Academic Writing for Computer Science

Module aims

The aim of this course is to teach research and writing skills within computing science, but outside the immediate circle of a research group. The course will be offered to MRes and first year PhD students, and is mandatory for MRes and those PhDs who are funded by the department (including EPSRC studentships).

Learning outcomes

  • Be familiar with and apply several writing techniques 
  • Recognise and apply features of Computer Science academic writing.
  • Identify different types of plagiarism
  • Generate a good bibliography
  • Identify several types of literature review and apply the adequate one to their own work
  • Recognise different types of literature
  • Use effective reading techniques
  • Summarise literature
  • Critically analyse the literature 
  • Write a literature review in a coherent way 
  • Summarise literature
  • Communicate effectively according to the audience
  • Prepare good quality slides
  • Apply techniques to dealing with questions (and nerves)


The course is offered to MRes and first year PhD students, and is mandatory for MRes and those PhDs who are funded by the department (including EPSRC studentships)

Teaching methods

 The course will consist of a mixture of lectures and workshops, feedback on the reports, 1 min madness, and Google poster competition, as well a literature review report that the students will be able to use for their 9 month report and thesis. The course will run throughout the Spring term, and we will try to create a schedule that will average 2 hours of face time events per week.

Course plan

  • 3 month report feedback 
  • Academic writing workshop 
  • Literature review workshop 
  • Draft literature review report submission 
  • Guest speaker ? (TBD) 
  • Presentation skills workshop 
  • 15 min student presentations on literature review (recorded) (assessed)
  • Feedback on draft literature review and student presentations 
  • 1 minute madness 
  • 1 minute madness feedback (24th Feb)
  • Google poster competition + feedback  (start of March)
  • Literature review report - final submission (assessed)
  • Feedback on the literature review report will be given after the Easter period, in time to be used for the 9 month report 


Students will be assessed on their 15 min presentations and on their literature review report. There will be other assignments students will have to submit and receive feedback in preparation for final assessed submissions.

Please bear in mind that our feedback will be solely on the writing style. Supervisors must return feedback on the technical content.

Module leaders

Professor Emil Lupu