Written Project Report and Demo

Counts towards 33% of your final grade
Your final written report is due: Friday, May 9 by noon

You should prepare a final report of 12-15 pages that describes your project. Your report may not be more than 20 pages long (including references). It should be similar in style and organization to the research papers that we read this semester (the well-organized ones that is). This is your opportunity to describe in detail what problem you were solving, how you solved it, how you tested your solution, what your results show, difficulties you encountered along the way, what you would have liked to have done (or done differently), and what you learned from your project.


During the last week of class you will give a 25 minute class presentation of your work. You should design your presentation in similar way that you designed your paper presentation. See my Oral Presentation Guide for more information on how to structure your talk.


During the last week of class or during finals week, you will give me a 20 minute demo of your project.

It is up to you to decide what you are going to demo. Before we meet, decide what you are going to show me, come up with a simple demo script, and run through it several times to make sure that there are no glitches during the demo. This is your chance to show off all your hard work; you want to convince me that you did something interesting and that you did a substantial amount of work.

Detailed Requirements for the Written Report:

Paper Organization
Writing Style Guidelines

Paper Organization

You should have the following main sections in your paper:
  1. Abstract
    The abstract is a brief summary of your work. It should be written to make the reader want to read the rest of your paper. Briefly state the basic contents and conclusions of your paper: the problem you are solving, why the reader should care about this problem, your unique solution and/or implementation, and the main results and and contributions of your work.

  2. Introduction
    The introduction is the big picture of your work: what, why, and how. It includes a definition of the problem you are solving, a high-level description of your solution including any novel techniques and results you provide, and a summary of the main results of your paper. In addtion, motivates the problem you are solving (why should a reader find your work important), and describes your contribution to the area (this may not be applicable to your project).

    The first paragraph of the introduction should contain all of this information in a very high-level. Subsequent paragraphs should discuss in more detail the problem you are solving, your solution, and your results and conclusions.

    • Statement of Problem Being Solved
    • Motivation
    • Problem Solution
    • Results and Conclusions

  3. Related Work
    This is an essential part of a research paper; discussing related work is a good way to put your work in context with other similar work, and to provide a way for you to compare/ contrast your work to other's work.

  4. One or more sections describing your Solution
    • Details of the problem you are solving
    • Details of your solution and the project's implementation
    • Details of any implementational set up for your experiments
    • Discussion of what was difficult/easy to implement (alternatively, this discussion can be contained in your conclusion, but it must appear in your paper).
      how did your implementation vary from your proposal and why?

  5. Experimental Results demonstrating/proving your solution
    • Explain the tests you performed (and why)
    • Explain how you gathered the data
    • Present your results
      Choose quality over quantity; the reader will not be impressed with pages and pages of graphs and tables, instead s/he wants to be convinced that your results show something interesting and that your experiments support your conclusions.
    • Discuss your results!
      Explain/interpret your results (possibly compare your results to related work). Do not just present data and leave it up to the reader to infer what the data show and why they are interesting.

  6. Conclusions & Future Directions for your work Conclude with the main ideas and results of your work. Discuss ways in which your project could be extended...what's next? what are the interesting problems and questions that resulted from your work?

  7. References
    At the end of your paper is a Reference section. You must cite each paper that you have referenced...your work is related to some prior work.

Writing Style Guidelines

  1. Write in a top-down style
    First present the the high-level issues, then expand them. This applies to the overall organization of your paper as well as the organization of sub-sections and individual paragraphs.

  2. Conclude each paragraph, section and entire paper
    Each chunk of your paper whether it be a paragraph, a sub-section, a section, or the entire paper should have a conclusion. For example, each paragraph should be written as follow:
    • 1st sentence(s): main idea of paragraph
    • middle sentences: expansion of the idea (further explanation or elaboration of the topic)
    • concluding sentence(s)

    Each section of your paper should be organized as: high-level important points first, details second, summarize high-level points last.

  3. Use active 3rd person
    We present, we show, we demonstrate...

  4. Define terms, and always define them before using them

  5. Use figures
    Use diagrams to help explain system design, and graphs or tables for presenting results. If your project has a GUI component, then your paper should have some screen dumps of your interface (look at the man page for xwd).
    You should have a figure showing the high-level design of your implementation.

More writing advice can be found at the bottom of the course web page.