CM50175 -- Research Project Preparation

Assesment:  The Project Proposal

The Bare Facts

The objective of this course is to teach you how to do research in computer science.   In particular, you are expected to learn about how to choose a good topic, how to conduct research (both through literature and through your own work), how to evaluate research (both yours and others) and how to communicate the results of your research in writing.

This is this courses main summative assesment:  an 8,000 word project proposal which is worth 90% of your mark (the other 10% is made out of the mandatory seminars).  

The proposal due date is 2 May, 2006.  You need to submit 2 bound copies.  One will be returned to you with comments, one will be retained for the external examiner.

Contents of the Proposal

The proposal should contain:
The exact structure of the document is up to you, but there must be:
The proposal should reflect about 80 hours of effort, including both research and writing time.  The length of the full proposal should be aproximately 8,000 words.  The exact word count is not important; this figure is given to show the approximate scope for the project.  Excessively long proposals (and dissertations!) are as inappropriate as excessively short ones.   Depending on the nature of the research, some amount of space will be given over to figures, diagrams and/or an extensive bibliography.

It is expected that significant sections of the project proposal will eventually serve as drafts for several chapters of your final dissertation.   However, the primary purpose of the proposal is to document and communicate the early stages of your project research.

Assessment of the Proposal

Assesment will depend on your supervisor as well as the course lecturer.   The mark sheets they will be using are available from the course web page, under

Your supervisor will be asked to asses the following questions about your document:
The following questions will not be assesed, but you should discuss them with your supervisor:

The lecturer will be marking the Introduction only to make sure the students have learned the course objectives.  Since one person will be looking at all the proposals, it is particularly important that your Introduction is both clear and concise.  

When considering whether a proposal is passable, the lecturer will be asking:
Good proposals should address further concerns, such as :
The final grade will be  determined by summing the marks by the two markers: each marker's input will be worth 50% of the total for the assignment (or 45% of your overall mark).
page author: Joanna Bryson
last updated: 6 February 2006