CSCI 3327 Research Paper Guidelines
As stated in the course syllabus/classes/os/syllabus/, a
paper together with a presentation will account for 10% of your course grade.
The paper will comprise 6% of your grade while the presentation will account
for the remaining 4%. These instructions apply to the paper.
The paper will be turned in two times (first draft and second draft).
A printout of your first draft is due at your presentation. The first draft of
the paper is not a ``rough draft''. It is to be a completed, well-written paper.
It is possible, but not common for the instructor to accept the first draft as
the final draft. A poorly written first draft will affect the grade you receive
on the final draft.
You will turn in your first draft by providing a printout to the instructor.
The instructor will provide written feedback/suggestions on the first draft.
The second draft of your paper is due 1 week from the day you receive written
feedback on the first draft. The second draft should address items of feedback
given by the instructor. When turning in the second draft include the original
first draft as well as a printout of the second draft.
The contents of the paper should address the way in which the given concept
is implemented for the assigned operating system. As a minimum you should
address the issues/options discussed in class. There will likely be other
information you will want to include as well.
Out of 60 possible points for the paper, 50 points will be based on the
content of your paper. The form of the paper will account for remaining 10
points and should adhere to the following guidelines:
- a maximum of 3 pages (if single-spaced); this may require great
discipline to achieve
- there should be at least 3 referenced works
(with at least 2 printed works); your text book may be used as one of
- the paper should be ``word-processed''
- use some known standard for formatting (e.g., MLA, APA, etc.); my
favorite style is the default formatting of the LATEX typesetting
system; NOTE: if your selected style requires double-spacing then
you may use up to 6 pages
- sources must be acknowledged in keeping with the guidelines of your
- Remember, you need to pick a known, standard format and
- Direct Quotations
- In technical writing it is unusual to directly
quote a source directly. Do not directly quote sources unless you have
a compelling reason to do so.
- Paraphrasing Sentence-By-Sentence
- It can be tempting to read a
paragraph that says what you want to include in your paper and then
re-write each sentence of the paragraph by rewording each sentence.
Do not paraphrase sentence-by-sentence. Instead do this:
- Read multiple sources on a given concept.
- Understand what you read.
- Depending on the complexity of the concept you may find it helpful
to jot down an outline of the core components.
- Set aside all sources.
- Based on your understand of the concept, write what you want to
say about the concept.
- Citing Sources
- In technical writing you should give a citation
for every concept you did not invent. At a minimum, therefore, every
paragraph should contain one more citations that indicate what sources
can be consulted to verify the information you have reported.
- Works Cited
- If you did not cite a work in your paper then don't list
it as one of your ``Works Cited''.
- General Background Information
- Don't spend words re-hashing general
concepts we discussed in class. Your paper is supposed to focus on how
a particular OS implements a concept. For example, if your topic is
``Memory Management in Linux'', don't talk about benefits of a virtual
memory system and don't spend words on alternatives to virtual memory
systems. Instead say: ``Linux utilizes a virtual memory system ...''
and then go on to describe in detail the structure of its page tables,
its page replacement algorithm, etc.
- Use of Diagrams
- You probably should include one or more diagrams
in your paper because certain concepts are best conveyed in that form.