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CS 7976: Seminar in Technical Writing

Fall 2019

The goal of this seminar is to help advanced PhD students with writing and editing technical documents, such as papers and dissertations. Students should be working on papers or dissertations, in any area of CS, that we can discuss and analyze.

We will cover the basics of good English composition, organization of sentences, paragraphs, and sections, and other topics. We also consider the organization of effective papers and other scientific documents. We will discuss published papers and the students' own writing. The exact topics and emphases will depend on the students' needs.

The course will be co-taught with with Jane Kokernak, our communications specialist.

If you enroll in this course, please look for an email from me with a link to a Google poll to help us assess your needs. If you have registered and have not received such an email, please write me and I will send you a link.

Enrollment is limited to 10 students, first come first served. It is not restricted to students from the PL group. The course is 2 credits, and does not count toward any specialty area.

We will have a group meeting approximately weekly, and students will have 1-on-1 sessions with the instructor as appropriate.

Meeting Time

Our scheduled meeting time is

Wednesdays, 2:50-4:30, RY 145

Our CRN is 16320


We will set up a communications forum. That might be via Piazza, Gchat, or Slack. We can decide that as a group at our first meeting.


Our official textbook is:

The following book is also very good, especially on fine points of usage:



Assignments will be posted here. These will be mostly one-week assignments, but they won't be every week (last year we wound up with 5 of them).