This assignment is the first of two parts, both of which will have you working with the same research paper. There is nothing to submit on Canvas. You will put your work in your research folder and link it from your log and we will find it via the link from our individual log.
This week we are focused on reading a technical research paper.
Setting your weekly goals
We're starting to get more formal with specifying weekly goals. So this week, before you begin the rest of your assignment, read through this whole assignment and the assignment due for class on Thursday and identify the tasks that need to be completed. Record these at the start of your log for the week (week 2).
Read your assigned research paper, first pass
Last week you read:
However, as we saw in class on Thursday of week 1, going straight to the answers to these questions can be a bit overwhelming. So this week we will take a two-pass approach to reading your paper.
Find and access your assigned paper
The paper assigned for your group is linked from this spreadsheet:
Feel free to print it, or read it electronically, but it helps to read in a medium/application where you can take notes on or add highlights to the paper itself.
Create your Reading Log
You will log notes on every paper your read, and this assignment in particular asks you to take detailed notes and answer questions on the reading. In general, you will often be taking careful notes when you read papers.
Create a new google doc in your research folder to store notes on the papers you read. Name the document "FirstName LastName Reading Notes". Put a link to this document somewhere at the top of your individual log.
Read and record notes on your first pass through the paper (the one in the Main Paper column above)
Now that you have your reading log set up, you are ready to start reading. In this first pass your goal is to (1) get the general idea of the paper's contribution and approach (2) figure out what additional information you need to know in order to understand the paper.
Place the name and authors of the paper in a new section of your reading log. Then, read your paper and take notes using the following procedure, recording the answer to each step (using the headings and numbers below) under the header you just created in your reading log:
- Read the paper's abstract. Then record in your reading log what you think the main problem the paper is solving is, and what you think the paper's main contribution is. This should be in your own words.
- Now, read the introduction, and highlight or underline any words, terms or concepts that you do not understand, but don't stop to try to figure them out, yet. When you have finished reading the introduction, answer the following in your reading log:
- Give more detail about the specific problem(s) that this paper is addressing. While your answer above might have been very general, you should try to give more detail here.
- What terms or concepts are you confused about, and how important do you think each will be to your understanding of the paper?
- Next, skip to the "Experiments" or "Results" section and read it, again continuing to highlight (but not worry too much about) things you don't understand. Then, in your log record the answer to this questions: "How does the author show that their approach is successful? What evidence does the author provide? Is it compelling"
- Now, read the "Background" or "Related Work" section. After you are done, answer this question in your log: "How does the work in this paper build on what has been done before?" Your answer doesn't have to be perfect. Just give it your best shot. You'll answer this question again on your next pass.
- Finally, read the "meat" of the paper which describes the new approach or technique that the paper proposes. Continue to highlight what you don't understand, but also highlight areas that you feel are important. Use a different annotation for each, so you can distinguish between them. When you are finished, answer these questions in your reading log:
- To the best of your understanding, what is proposed in this paper? The answer to this question should contain as much detail as possible, and should be a few paragraphs long, most likely.
- What are the key concepts/terms/ideas that are blocking your more complete understanding of this paper? These should be the things you highlighted as confusions that you feel are most important for you to understand in order to understand this paper.
- Finally, read quickly or skim any sections that you have not yet read, though at this point these sections should consist only perhaps of the discussion and the conclusion. There is nothing to record for this part.
Bring your laptop with you to class on Tuesday. We will spend most of Tuesday's class trying to figure out how to resolve your confusions.