Working on computer science research projects can be a difficult task, partly because computer science projects are unlike research projects in any other discipline. Depending on the area of study, a research project can be defined differently. A general definition of a research project states that a research project aims to take old research (done by others) and either expand on it or create something new with the discovered research.
Often times with computer science classes, and in similar classes, professors will assign a research project as one of the final projects of the class. These projects can involve doing a wide array of things, from making a new computer program to using artificial intelligence in a new way. Writing a paper about the research project is a common aspect to a research project. The paper is usually used to explain the project and show the results and/or findings of the project.
Below are some of the best tips to help computer science students pick a research project and how to write about their chosen topic.
1. Pick the Project Topic
The first thing to do when working on a professional computer science research paper is picking the topic. In computer science, there are a variety of research areas to choose from. Below is a list of just a few examples of research project topics that students may want to consider.
- Medical apps
- Education apps
- Entertainment apps
- Information storage and retrieval
- Communication tools
- Social media research
- Video/media creation and editing
- Virus/malware protection
2. Research and Take Notes
Once students have picked have picked their research paper, it’s time to begin the actual research. Since the computer sciences are constantly changing as computers and other technological devices are also constantly changing, one of the best ways to research computer science is by using the Internet.
When working on research projects for other classes, like English or history, it is best to use book research. However, books on computer science can become outdated quickly, which is why it is some important to use Internet research, as it can update as quickly as the computer sciences can.
When researching online, students should make sure they are using reliable sources. One way to do this is to make sure that the articles or journals used are peer-reviewed. Peer-reviewed papers have been looked over by other professionals, so they are legitimate sources of true information.
Some great places to find peer-reviewed sources include the Journal of Computer Science, The International Journal of Computer Science, and The Journal of Computer and System Sciences.
Students should always take notes as they conduct their research. This way, they can save time as they will not need to reread entire articles as they work on their project or their research paper. It is not likely that anyone else will see a student’s notes; there is no specific way they need to be formatted.
If students do not have time to research, they can hire an academic writer to do the research for them. These writers can help to conduct the research, take notes, and even cite sources by writing a bibliography page. This can save a lot of time when it comes to the research project as a whole.
Use a tool to assist in teaching such as instructional videos or transition words and phrases worksheet to show how to link phrases for better clarity and flow of their content.
3. Conduct the Research Project
The next step in writing about a computer science research project is to actually conduct the project. While this may seem more like an obvious step than a tip, there is one important tip that goes along with it. Just like when a student researches and takes notes, a student should also take notes while they conduct their project. Also just like with researching, taking notes while conducting the project can also help to save time in the long-run.
4. Introduce the Project and Field
The very first thing that should be included in a research project writing, which is usually a long essay, is the introduction. There are two basic things that should be included in the introduction: the area of computer science the project is involved with and the actual topic/name of the research project.
According to the University of California, Irvine, there are about twenty research areas just within computer science. Each computer science research project will fall into one of these research areas. Below is a list of some of the most popular research areas in computer science. To learn more about any specific field, click on the link above.
- Artificial intelligence
- Graphic design
- Embedded systems
- Operating systems
- Software engineering
Once a student identifies the field they are working in, they should then go on to briefly summarize what it is their project topic is and/or what their hypothesis for their project was.
5. Writing about Research and Results
The body of the paper, which will take up the majority of the research project paper, should contain information that fully explains how the students went about making a hypothesis, testing their ideas, learning from their research, and more.
The beginning paragraph(s) of the body should explain the research that went into the paper. What sources did the student(s) use? What did they learn? What did they hope to expand on? These are some questions students should think about when writing their paper.
The middle of the body paragraph should focus on the research project itself. What steps did the student(s) take to conduct the project? Students should make this section of the paper as detailed as possible in order for the reader to have a good idea of what happened during the project.
The last body paragraph(s) should focus on the results of the project. Did the students achieve their goal? Did the project go as the student(s) expected? If the project did not produce the expected results, what did the actual results show? These questions and more should be answered to give the reader (most likely just the professor) a good idea of what the project actually accomplished.
If students follow these tips, then their computer science project and paper are sure to flow smoothly. Students should remember to take notes, remain focused, and write clearly. All of these things can help to make the project and its related paper a success.