The guidelines were developed by Professor Saiedian in mid
2000's for his software engineering (SE) students. Any EECS student may
use these guidelines for other classes by ignoring SE-specific requirements.
A PDF version of these guidelines is
Preparing a term paper outline
Due date. The term paper proposal is due during
the sixth week of the semester.
To prepare an outline, be sure to study the organization of two
papers closely related to the topic of your term paper. Set
your standards very high and obtain and study papers from
highly respected publications (e.g., IEEE Computer, IEEE Software, CACM, IEEE
Security & Privacy, ACM eLearn
for introductory papers, IEEE Transactions on Software
Engineering for more advanced papers). Summarize the paper
organization used by the authors of these two papers. This
should give you an idea how to organize your term paper and
what kind of contents your term paper should include.
Provide a reasonably comprehensive
outline of your term paper. Note that this requires and
implies that you have read plenty of materials related to the
term paper topic and you have spent some time thinking about
how to organize your term paper.
Your outline should include
the major sections, subsections, and possibly sub-subsections
of your term paper. For each of these, briefly describe its
objective and how it relates to the previous and the next
unit. You should also decide tentatively what figures and
tables you will be including and in what section or subsection.
References, references, references ... .
By now you should also have at least 10--15 research papers as
definite references for your paper. These should be the papers
that you have already read, or briefly reviewed or you plan
to read in more detail, and cite in your paper. Include these
with your outline. Also, briefly descibe how each paper helped you
shape your paper outline and organization or in what ways each paper will help
you in writing your own term paper.
Be sure to follow the Guidelines for Writing
a Term Paper for formatting requirements.
I will not evaluate your proposal if you do not follow
the guidelines. Do not underestimate the importance of having
appropriate references and properly formatting them. Very often,
your references are the only basis for someone to decide if
they should even consider your paper. The references will tell
how thoroughly you have researched the related area.
Software engineering analogies. While the earlier
milestone very much represented the requirements engineering
phase of preparing your term paper, the outline represents
the architectural engineering phase. When developing
software, if your architecture is sound, stable, cohesive and
possesses conceptual integrity, the corresponding product
will be a good one (easy to implement, changeable, reusable,
etc). If the architecture is not good, the corresponding
software will be chaotic and very unstable. The same is true
in writing your term paper: if you would like to have an easy
time implementing it (i.e., writing it), make sure you put
enough time and efforts into the outline.
If your outline is detailed and shows considerable thinking,
it will allow me to provide you with feedback. If it is
shallow, very brief, too general, I wont be able to provide
Two powerful digital libraries (links)
Professor Hossein Saiedian
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
2001 Eaton Hall
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045-7621
+1 785 864-8812
saiedian at eecs.ku.edu