Writing Competency Requirement in Computer Science

  1. Overview: To fulfill the writing competency requirement in computer science, a student must find a well defined topic in computer science, study the related subjects, write a paper under the supervision of the faculty, submit the paper for evaluation, and have the paper approved by the faculty.

  2. Format and style of the paper: The student should complete the paper based on the proposal approved by the faculty (see guideline #3) and the study he/she has done.
    • The paper should have a title, an abstract of its contents, a section of introduction to the main subject of the paper and the approach of the study, followed by the main technical sections to explore the subject, a section of conclusions on the findings through the study, and ended with references to books and articles cited in the paper.
    • The paper should have at least eight pages in its contents, double spaced between lines, using Times New Romans 12-point font or its compatible fonts.
    • A paper written like a manual of computer systems is not acceptable. The paper should be written as a regular article with all technical terms and acronyms well defined before they are used in paper. The contents of the paper must coherently describe the topic, the study, and the findings.

  3. Rules of integrity: The paper should be the result of the student's own study written in sentences from the student's own thoughts to convey to the reader what the student has learned from the study. Plagiarizing contents from books and articles will end in discipline actions including the total rejection of the paper.

  4. When to start: The student should spend at least two semesters working on the writing competency paper. Except for special cases approved by the faculty in advance, the student should start working on the paper while taking CSCI 311 Operating Systems in the fall of his/her junior year and and finish the paper when finishing CSCI 430 Computer Communication in the spring of his/her junior year.

  5. Initial proposal under CSCI 311 Operating Systems: The first step of the process is to identify an interesting topic in computer science for an in-depth study. While taking CSCI 311 Operating Systems typically during the fall of the junior year, the student is required to seek a topic under of the guidelines of the faculty teaching the course and the student should consult the faculty to tailor the direction and the range of the study to cover the topic. In the end of course, the student should have a proposal describing the study plan and the outlines of the resulting paper, and have this proposal approved by the instructor of the course.

  6. Development of a draft under CSCI 430 Computer Communication: While taking CSCI 430 Computer Communication typically during the spring of the junior year, the student should proceed according to the proposal to finish a paper based on the study plan. In the end of course, the student should submit the first draft to the instructor of the course for initial approval.

  7. Final submission of the paper: The student should improve the draft based on the feedback from the instructor and then submit the final paper to the department secretary. The paper should be submitted no later than the first week of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. The paper submitted should be registered by the department secretary first, and then evaluated anonymously by two faculty members. Accordingly the student should only put down the student ID instead of the full name on the paper.

  8. Due date and graduation: The paper should be submitted no later than the first week of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. Submission after the due date does not allow the time needed for the faculty to read and provide feedback and for the student to revise accordingly. Failing to submit the paper by the due date may end in the delay of graduation to a later semester. The paper will be approved as a fulfillment of the writing competency requirement in computer science if it receives at least an average of 3 points from the grading faculty.

Template, example, and rubric


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