Allen Klinger, © 10/31/2002

To learn better ways of writing, read. Build a habit by creating a record of the things you read. Notes including lists: author, title, and source; give supporting material to strengthen written work. by including citations to references* and overall bibliographies**. Two recent books can help you develop; reference style involves choosing a format and using it consistently, whether it is [1] or [Woolever 1999]:

(*[1] Zobel, J., Writing For Computer Science - The Art of Effective Communication, NY: Springer Verlag, 1997.

Woolever, Kristin R., Writing for the Technical Professions, NY: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., 1999.)

A sample bibliography** is available. Use it as a starting point, a model, for an item you create this term.

Pointers to Articles, each an example of things to seek out. There are many interesting items in national newspapers, quality general magazines, personal computer monthlies, list servers, and on the world wide web. Read some to accept your responsibility to stay aware of current issues in computer technology.

Write a summary, a single page that lists the main points and gives the complete source, for any written item that you found interesting or useful. Write a reaction piece commenting in a paragraph or two on items that provoke or challenge. Regular attention to writing these items makes future efforts easier. Whether English is your first language or not, using it in text you compose is the key first step. Using the tools can rapidly accelerate one's effectiveness as a writer. They range from dictionaries to word processor and presentation software. See resources.

To complete this course you create a bibliography listing the items you found useful, and hand it in not later than the last class meeting or office hour of the eighth week.

Every class meeting during the first eight weeks of the term you are expected to have read a new item on computer technology. By the end of that period you should have written summary or reaction pieces on book chapters or articles (includes items found on the web) read. (Your course grade reflects your activity in reading, writing and presenting items on computer technology to the class.)

Select one or two books from the list there. Or choose any book on a subject that impacts project work, firms up technical knowledge, or develops professional skill. Or choose one of the following writing-oriented items to start the process.

McKeever, M. How to Write a Business Plan, 4th ed., Nolo Press, 1992.

Strunk, W. and White, E. The Elements of Style, NY: Macmillan,1972 Strunk's 1918 version or from Text Files (for the original site and philosophy go to Project Gutenberg).

Sageev, P. Helping Researchers Write... So Managers Can Understand, Columbus OH: Battelle, 1995 .

Zobel, J. Writing For Computer Science - The Art of Effective Communication, NY: Springer Verlag, 1997.

Houp, K. , Pearsall, T., Tabeaux, E. and Dragga, S., Reporting Technical Information, 10th Edition, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Markham, Beryl West With The Night, London: Virago, 1984, 1942.

Devlin, Keith Mathematics: The Science of Patterns, NY: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1994.

Dunham, William Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1990.

Hoffman, Paul The Man Who Loved Only Numbers - The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth, NY: Hyperion, 1998.

For writing suggestions please see project description and report.

Always keep in mind the key statement about writing style:

Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. -William Strunk, Jr., professor and author (1869-1946)

To learn about research paper publication visit Get Published or Register Email Address to get "Get Published".

To learn about writing an abstract for publication visit Phil Koopman

5/20/03 Version http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~klinger/write.html
©2002 Allen Klinger