The papers this year were quite good and clearly many of you have taken to heart all the suggestions and information given to you on the Cmput 603 webpage. Good Job!


I’ve decided this year for the comments on your papers to make a checklist of what should be included in each section. Thus, what I am asking you to do is to read over your paper and see if you have included the following important elements for each section.


I feel that this is more helpful to you than individual comments on the papers since you can use this checklist to directly assist you with paper number 2. Furthermore, reading your papers and comparing them to the checklist will get you to think about your work in a critical manner which is an essential component of graduate work.


When you are going through the checklist if you find that you are answering no to the questions then you should begin to be able to identify where you are having problems.


If your grade was in the high 80’s and above you are probably not answering no very often. What needs to be improved in these instances is writing. You need to take the extra time to make sure all of the things mentioned in the comments for paper 1 from previous years are being done in order to ensure clarity of communication.


If your grade was in the high 70’s to low 80’s you are several crucial aspects, or if you have them, you have poorly communicated them such that I did not know they were there!


If your grade is below 75 then you need to carefully revisit all the comments from previous years and diligently use the checklist when writing paper two. It is likely you are missing most if not all of the crucial components that you need to include.



Please keep in mind the comments from the paper two section as well as the mock paper as you read these.




The abstract must tell a person interested in the paper several important pieces of information.  It must tell the reader what article you are summarizing both by name and by title, what the summarized article’s main contribution is to the field in question and any key criticism of the article. Additionally, it must say in what way you are going to critically engage with the article.


So, have you:

1.      Given the Author and Article title? (A number reference is no good since this an abstract and the person reading it is only perusing to see if they want to go further).

2.      Have you outlined the key contribution to the field the summarized article makes? (You need to situate the reader specifically to the field of research being dealt with and say why it is important)

3.      Have you outlined any criticisms or advantages not engaged by the author? (You need to tell the reader what you are doing with the important aspects of the summarized article).

4.      Have you outlined your experiment briefly? (Perhaps it is methodology which is what the reader is looking for).

5.      Made certain that this is an abstract and not an introduction! (Remember the abstract is not the introduction…the introduction is the introduction….Too often in your papers the abstract was treated as a pseudo introduction and the introduction served as a pseudo summary which came before the summary.




Remember, all of this needs to be brief and succinct.




Have you:

            1. Introduced the field being discussed? Do you go from general to specifc??

            2. Included any relevant background information?

            3. Created a solid segue from the general state of the field to the article

            are summarizing?

            4. See comment 5. in Abstract. Make sure you are not starting a pseudo summary

            of the introduction.




Have you:

1.      Included the article title and author(s) names?

2.      Used the author’s names to signpost for the reader?

3.      Highlighted the main contribution this paper makes to the field of research you are discussing?

4.      Critiqued the paper you have reviewed?

5.      Made sure that you have not written a paraphrase of the article? (If all you are doing is summarizing the contents of the article you are getting off track Learning how to focus in on the important aspect of a paper is a hard skill to learn but essential to graduate work).




Have you:

1.      Highlighted the main important contribution of each article in the related works section?

2.      Explicitly connected the related works to your summarized article? (If you can not explicitly connect paper X to your summarized article, or at least to another paper (paper Y) in this section which is connected to your paper then paper X has no business even being mentioned).

3.      Have you kept your discussion of related articles succinct and on point? (Do not mention information that is irrelevant).




Have you:

1.      Have you explicitly connected your research to the summarized article and the field of research in question? (How are you contributing? How is your work valuable?).  

2.      Outlined how you plan to do your research? (Methods, experiments, etc.).

3.      Have you discussed your hypothesis? (What are you attempting to prove? What results do you expect to obtain?)




See the mock paper.

Have you:

1.      Explained your methodology? (Please note that this does not mean give me a step by step walk through of minutia. Do not tell me that you downloaded WEKA and then clicked on an icon to install it, then downloaded data, then pressed this button, then clicked that button.

2.      Have you explicitly explained what your terms mean, etc? (What is a correct classification etc?).




Have you:

1.      Briefly restated the main contribution of the summarized article?

2.      Briefly restated your critique of the article?

3.      Briefly restated how you are going to engage with the shortcomings or unforeseen benefits or advantages of the summarized article

4.      Briefly summarized your experimental result?



­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­When you are writing paper two, after you have completed this checklist go back over your paper and using the paper one comments dealing with grammar and writing check to make sure you are not making errors and that your writing is smooth and polished. Ask yourself:

            -am I making clear unambiguous statements?

            -do all of my paragraphs have topic sentences?

            -to I have good transition between paragraphs?

            -do I have any non sequiturs?

            -do I have run on sentences?







Do not tell me that in this paper “I will summarize an article, then in section three I will address some related works, and in the end I will offer concluding remarks.” This is what is expected in the type of paper you are writing. You need to say “I will critique Simard et al.’s Calonme Algorithm and then in section three I will discuss several Lauritsen’s relevant article “Game theory in computing” as it has an important contribution, “smattering distribution,” which was a key building block for Simard et al…” Etc.



Make sure you are explaining any diagrams etc. Saying that something is shown in figure 1 does not tell a reader anything. You need to explain clearly what the diagram shows.