A gentle introduction to writing research papers

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A gentle introduction to writing research papers. but drawing heavily on slides from Chris Power. Alistair Edwards. Objectives. To give a brief introduction to scientific writing in general To help you prepare for the specific writing task for the assessment of this module. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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A gentle introduction to Writing Research PapersA gentle introduction to writing research papersAlistair Edwardsbut drawing heavily on slides from Chris PowerObjectivesTo give a brief introduction to scientific writing in generalTo help you prepare for the specific writing task for the assessment of this moduleExercise and assessmentExerciseNow to Monday, Week 8 (18 November)Small groupsWrite a literature review on one of 4 topicsAssessmentWeek 7 Spring Term to Week 1 SummerIndividualWrite a literature review on a topic of your choice, related to one or more ADVT classes Why do we publish? (principled)As scientists we work at the forefront of our field, we have new insights into many topics in which we workWe have an obligation to share our improved knowledge, about interaction or any topic, with othersPeer-review self-selects the best work to be shared with the outside world forming a meritocracyOur work grants us immortalityWhy do we publish? (pragmatic)Publications help us communicate our message to other scientists to foster collaborationPublications give us esteem, which is a quality that allows you to influence decision makersPublications get us money in the form of grants and scholarshipsPublications grant us jobs Publications get us money in the form of grants and scholarshipsIncreasingly trueAll university departments are being assessed via the Research Excellence Framework (REF)This will depend to a large extent on bibliographic metrics of publicationsPublish a paper and get lots of people to cite it = Why do we publish?Often people publish just to publishThe publish or perish paradigmThe best research scientists put out a moderate number of publications, each of which has an original contribution to the field in which they workThe contribution is what you are trying to communicate to the reader you want them to understand what you have done, how you have done it and why Why do we publish?Publish or perishOrganizing your research (paper)Organizing your research (paper)Choosing a topicChoosing your audienceWhat is your hypothesis?What is your story?Doing your literature reviewFinding your evidenceChoosing a topicOne key to success is What are you going to research?but in the context of this assessmentYour group must choose one of the given topics1. Formal methods in HCI2. Designing for trust3. Motivations of people in crowdsourcing4. Effects of font size and line spacing of text on webpages - what should we be recommending to web developers use to make the web easiest for people to read?Choosing a topicOne key to success is What are you going to research?but in the context of the later assessmentmust be related to one or more of the classesmust have a significant literaturemust be of the right sizemust require no original researchChoosing your audienceFor the formative exercise think of your colleagueson the HCIT programmebut have not read as much as youChoosing your audienceFor the assessment think of the second markeris an HCI expertbut has not been to the classesWhat is your hypothesis?A hypothesis is a propositionYour objective is to prove or falsify that hypothesis(QUAN)Example hypothesesAnimation makes web advertising more effectiveFast-tempo music increases game players sense of immersionPerceived ease-of-use is positively related to flow experience of playing of an on-line gameData entry by older users is easier when the pocket computer has a keyboard, albeit a small oneThe null hypothesisThe negation of the hypothesisSeek to prove itFail and you have proved the hypothesise.g. Perceived ease-of-use is not positively related to flow experience of playing an on-line gameEven a review paper should have a hypothesisFind a point to argueand do so with reference to the literatureWhat is your story?Every paper has a storyFinding it can be hardbut once you are clear you can write a clearer paperNo tale is so good that it cant be spoiled in the telling (Proverb)Example storiesThis is my hypothesis and here is the evidence to prove or disprove itA historySellingan ideaa productTeachstart from what the reader knowsand lead them to new knowledgeDoing your literature reviewThere is always a literature reviewYour assessment paper will be mostly a literature reviewDoing your literature reviewDoing your literature reviewLook for those references that have titles and keywords that seem to match the problem you are solvingIf available, read the abstractCollect papers either digital or go to *gasp* the library!Do this early because if you need to see a paper and we dont have it in the University you can order through inter-library loans (ILL)Doing your literature surveyRead the abstract, introduction and conclusionsIf they are well written these will tell you what the paper is about and whether it is usefulDiscard those that are not useful may want to keep a file of interesting things to look at for another timeKeep those that are applicable and read methods and resultsDoing your literature surveyRead the abstract, introduction and conclusionsThese will also be most important in the paper you writeand are often poorDoing your literature reviewMake notes as you go alongOrganize the papers cleverly use good tools to store and organize papersDesktop Bibtex, Endnote, RefManCloud Mendeley, CiteulikeDo not keep them in a word document or other basic file type you will drownWith the above tools you can then generate bibliographies for your own paper in whatever format you wantWhats your story?Structuring your paperYou then have to communicate all of the above to your readerBuild constructs of language sentence to paragraph, paragraphs to sections, sections to papersAll constructs of our paper will have the same structure:Introduction orienting the readerContribution the point of the constructConclusion sending the reader offStructuring your paperIntroductionContributionGenerallyMethodResultsDiscussionConclusionStructuring your paperIntroductionContributionFor the assessment mainly discussionConclusionAbstractAbstract:State the contribution you are makingState the motivation as to why it is interestingState the methodology you followedState the resultsState the conclusionsYou get about 1-2 sentences for each of theseThe abstract will keep people reading your paperExtended abstracts short paper you get 1 or 2 paragraphs for each of theseAbstractAbstract:State the contribution you are makingState the motivation as to why it is interestingState the methodology you followedState the resultsState the conclusionsYou get about 1-2 sentences for each of theseThe abstract will keep people reading your paperExtended abstracts short paper you get 1 or 2 paragraphs for each of theseAbstractThe abstract and paper should be capable of being read independentlyDont assume that the reader reading one of them has read the otherIntroductionIntroduce the topicThis paper is about very early onNo one reads the second paragraphJournalists dogmaIntroduce the backgroundIntroduce the paperLiterature reviewIn this section you will convince the reader that what you are doing is new and interestingHit on major themes within the research communityLook for problem areas such as common disagreements or dogma that is in the field so that you reference them clearlyThis is particularly important in your assessmentYou have not simply read the literature, you have analysed it criticallyDiscussion section?ConclusionsSimple ruleIntroduce nothing new in the conclusionsIt is a distillation of what has gone beforeConclusionsState or re-iterate succinctly:The contribution you have madeThe motivation as to why it is interesting to your audience and how it applies to themThe methodology you already describedThe key resultsWhat the findings mean to the field and how it is original and importantSources of informationZobel Writing for Computer Sciencehttp://www.amazon.com/Writing-Computer-Science-Justin-Zobel/dp/1852338024Strunk and White - Elements of StyleFor the specifics of constructions etc (if you are not confident) - Fowlers Modern English UsageMander K. (1994) Writing for Humanshttp://www.cs.york.ac.uk/tutorials/writingforhumans.htmlSources of informationHow to Write a Great Research Paperhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3dkRsTqdDAVideo (34:25) by Simon Peyton JonesThimbleby, H (2008) Write now!, (in) Cairns. P & Cox, A. (eds.) Research Methods for Human-Computer Interaction, Cambridge University press, pp.196-211Read literature critically for style - re-read papers, chapters that you found easy to read ExerciseInstructionsGroups of 2 3 Consult your tutorExerciseInstructionsGroups of 2 3 My groupApril, RichardSophia, TraceyHanieh, LeonardoYingzhu, AnqiFormative exercise topics1. Formal methods in HCI2. Designing for trust3. Motivations of people in crowdsourcing4. Effects of font size and line spacing of text on webpages - what should we be recommending to web developers use to make the web easiest for people to read?1. Formal methods in HCIHarrison, M., Campos, J. C. & Loer, (2008) Formal analysis of interactive systems: opportunities and weaknesses. (in) P. Cairns & A. L. Cox (Eds), Research Methods for Human-Computer Interaction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 88-111. 2. Designing for trustShneiderman, B. (2000) Designing trust into online experiences, Communications of the ACM, 43 (12) pp.57-59.3. Motivations of people in crowdsourcingNov, O. (2007). What motivates Wikipedians? Communications of the ACM, 50(11), 60-64.4. Effects of font size and line spacing of text on webpages - what should we be recommending to web developers use to make the web easiest for people to read?Ling, J. and van Schaik, P. (2007). The influence of line spacing and text alignment on visual search of web pages. Displays, 28(2), 60-67.

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