Submitting A Reading Response

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CS260 is a reading-intensive course. Plan on spending multiple hours to read and understand each paper. If you are not yet familiar with the practice reading and reviewing academic papers, consult Michael Mitzenmacher's advice on how to read a research paper.

What to Write

In your written responses include the following:

  1. A very brief (a couple of sentences) summary of the paper. What is the main thesis/argument?
  2. A paragraph (or two) on how the paper contributes to our understanding of human-computer interaction. Possible questions to consider: How do the ideas in this paper relate to others that we have read about? How do they relate to known real-world systems? How might they inform the design of future products? How might they inspire future research? Also--more fundamentally--what kind of contribution does the paper make: Does it ask a new question? Does it suggest a new approach? Does it provide a novel intellectual framework? Does it present a particularly interesting new system?
  3. A paragraph (or two) on the strength of the argument. Is the argument sound? Are the assumptions reasonable? Is the problem well-motivated? How about validation -- is the right kind of evaluation presented for the contribution the authors are trying to make? If the evaluation includes an experiment, are all reasonable factors controlled for? Is the data correctly collected and analyzed?
  4. Optionally, any other reactions you might have to the paper.

An excellent way to structure your commentary is to discuss three "positive" topics and one "criticism" for each paper (or three "I like"s and one "I wish", for those familiar with that terminology).

(These instructions were adapted from Krzysztof Gajos at Harvard and Scott Klemmer at Stanford.)

How to Submit

You will submit your answers to Google Docs via a custom link for each lecture by 7pm on the evening before class.

On the Main Page Schedule , next to the lecture title for a particular day, you will find a Submit Response link. This link will take you to a Google form. I suggest composing your answer offline and pasting it into the form once it is finished. Your answers will be batch-processed and added to the Lecture's wiki page on the evening before the lecture - do not post your answer directly to the wiki.

Other Resources

For a comprehensive treatment how to write reviews of conference and journal papers, see:

The Task of the Referee, Alan Jay Smith, Technical Report No. UCB/CSD-89-51.