ICS 221 Software Engineering


Term Paper Guidelines



Term Paper Guidelines


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The term paper is an original, in-depth exploration of some current topic in software engineering. The paper must be new for this class, not a revised paper written for some other class. This paper may be largely survey in nature. Substantial latitude will be allowed in choosing the topic, but all topics must be software-related and approved in advance by the instructor.  Each student will present in class a 5-minute overview of their paper


Abstract Due During Week 6 (November 3-7) via email (attachment or Plain Text)


The “abstract” assignment consists of the following items in a 1-page single-spaced document (Word, PDF, or Plain Text).

·         Title reflecting the theme of your term paper

·         You name, email, student id, and date

·         1 paragraph 50-200 words

·         3 references – i.e. three references that provide a context for the theme of the term paper. 1 reference may be a paper that was selected for class lecture and 1 reference may be a Web site. But, at least 1 reference (if not all 3) are papers you have found (e.g. using the resources on the Links page).


Short Presentation During Week 10 (December 1 and 3)


The short presentation will consist of the following slides (or some reasonable variation of the following)

·         Title slide with title, your name, email, and whatever information you deem appropriate

·         Motivation—why you in particular wanted to investigate this area

·         2-3 slides explaining the content of your survey—usually content would include a definition or description of the area, common problems in the area, and classification of the seminal and other research papers you found in the area and what their accomplishments were. You might use a table to organize your classification.

·         Conclusions—including e.g. what has been achieved overall and what remains to be done in the field.

You may choose to include your opinion on the field even if your opinion is “this field is as dead as Latin because …”


Written Document Due by 5 p.m. December 12


The paper will be basically a survey of research, not a new research contribution. However, survey papers often have novel contribution in the way the author organizes or classifies papers.  For the purposes of this class, completeness is more important than originality of the classification. Of course, the paper has to be originally written; plagiarism results in a failed assignment and disciplinary action.


The paper itself should be 20-30 pages double-spaced (1.25” margins, Times style font size 12 or Arial/Tahoma style font size 10). You may exceed the page length to provide references separately, e.g. you might have 28 pages of text followed by 3 pages of references. In any case you should not have more than 33 pages.