CS 653: Topics in Programming Language Implementation -- Programming Models
(Spring 2008)

Advice on Reading Papers

Tia Newhall provides a very brief set of tips for reading research papers.

Start keeping track of all the papers you have read in a bibtex format. You can store your notes about the paper in a field called Annote. If you have a mac, there is an awesome utility that helps you do this called BibDesk. For other platforms check out the following links:

Example Review

Here is an example review for the LamWolf91 paper that we read in CS553 last semester (pdf, tex, bib).

The detail in the example review is the amount of detail you will need in your review for the paper you present in class. Your weekly review will follow the same format, but you only need to do ONE of the following:

  • place this paper in context of papers we haven't already read in class by actually skimming some of those papers. (In the example, the second paragraph for the second question).
  • provide an example to illustrate the approach
  • generate a number of future research questions that were not specified explicitly in the paper.
The above three activities are quite useful when reviewing a paper, but do take time.

Michelle Strout
Last modified: January 2, 2008