CSE 290 - Spring 2012
Scientific Writing

Prof. Lawrence Saul

Do you sometimes struggle to put your ideas into writing? Does your advisor feel the need to edit your text? Have anonymous reviewers ever misunderstood your main arguments? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are likely to benefit from this course.

Now in its fifth year, this course develops writing skills for students in all areas of computer science. The course is aimed specifically at Ph.D. students who are writing up projects for publication and/or preparing their research exam.

Classes meet once per week; attendance is mandatory. Classes start with a discussion on some aspect of writing style. They end with students receiving detailed feedback on their rough drafts.

Students should bring a writing sample to the first day of class. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor.


  • Professor: Lawrence Saul
  • Meetings: Fri 3-4 pm, EBU3B 4109.
  • Grading: 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration.
  • Units: 2



Fri Apr 06Course goals and expectations.
Writing for the reader.
Fri Apr 13Actions.STY, Chapters 1-3.
Fri Apr 20Characters.STY, Chapter 4.
Fri Apr 27Cohesion and coherence.STY, Chapter 5.
Fri May 04Emphasis.STY, Chapter 6.
Fri May 11Concision.STY, Chapter 7.
Fri May 18Shape.STY, Chapter 8.
Fri May 25Elegance.STY, Chapter 9.
Fri Jun 01Introductions.STY, Chapter 10.
Fri Jun 08Global coherence.STY, Chapter 11.