How to write a term paper

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One of the course requirements is a term paper. It could be a Wikipedia article (see the link), Essay (see the link) or a chapter of a textbook for this course (see below). There will be topics offered for the registration using ISIS in certain date and time that will be announced in advance.

How to write a textbook chapter

In order to make it more meaningful, your chapter will be stored in this website and used as a class resource by future generations of your colleagues. Your text sould look like a chapter from a textbook, more specifically a good textbook. It is not enough to describe the topic correctly as in the case of encyclopedic article, but you have to write attractively in order to make it interesting to study for your reader. The text should be accompanied by the related comments, interesting things, figures, pictures, schemes, diagrams, infoboxes, etc. You should also provide the examples and exercises to demonstrate the problem that could be used by the reader to check how he has understood the topic and that we could use as an inspiration for test questions. Since you use this powerful engine, you should provide the links to electronic resources both inside and outside this web (but do not confuse them with correct citations that have to be present as well). You can and should reference even the articles and chapters that are not yet added to this web, but one can expect that they will be elaborated in future.

The length of an article should be roughly about 14000 characters and the text must meet the requirements and parameters of scholar article, particularly the references (note that Wikipedia as well as any other encyclopedia is a tertiary resource and hence CANNOT be cited by no means, but it surely is not necessary to remember in master's course). You should not follow the structure and contents of our slides. Contrary is the case! You often find that there is handful of other related information and viewpoints on the respective topic and it is desirable that you work them out. If you come with something interesting, we will be happy to add it to our lectures. We believe that everybody will benefit as people often learn the most effectively when they have to explain something to somebody other. Keep certain level of details. There could be sometimes a considerable subtopic within your topic. You do not need to elaborate it in detail - somebody other can do it in future. In such case propose the particular subchapters in your text.

Examples of really nice, readable textbooks are as follows: here, here or in this book.

It is strongly recommended to save the concept frequently while writing of anything using wiki and keep a copy in notepad or a similar program. Until the text is not saved on the server, there could be a connection failure or other contingency that may destroy many hours of your effort.

Recommended structure

Unlike simulations there is no required structure of the text. The main goal is to be readable. Nevertheless you should not forget on the following points, but you do not need to keep the order and structure the text around them.

  • Introduction - real examples are a very good kind of introduction, especially if they are not very relevant to the topic at first sight, but you show that they do
  • Problem explanation, terminology
  • Real applications
  • Solved example (more examples are better; one simple, others more advanced)
  • Relevant facts (how the phenomenon is used, etc.)
  • Interesting things, curiosities
  • Exercises that students could use to practice the problem and that could be an inspiration for test questions
  • References

Stick to the topic and do not forget that you participate on a bigger project. Consider what other chapters are offered (and think what chapter could be offered or eventually add them to the list yourself). You should cover your topic and do not interfere the others much.

How to submit

The only possible way to submit your text is solely as a contribution in Course materials section of this web. You should never submit a word-processor file. Please, make yourself familiar with MediaWiki syntax in order to make full use of it. It is really simple.

Language versions

It is desirable that various language versions of the same article will be interlinked. On this web it is done using the same internal name of an article (always in English) with the language suffix (e.g. "/cs" for Czech). There is no suffix for English language. Please, always check if there is already a Czech version of the article that you are going to write and if so, use the same internal (English) name.

For example the article about Monte Carlo Method written in Czech has a title "Metoda Monte Carlo", and its internal name is "Monte Carlo Method/cs". The name of the article about the same topic in English will be simply "Monte Carlo Method". You should always have the proper language selected in language selector in the upper left-hand corner. Otherwise the article may "disappear". In fact, it will be just stored under a different language version.

If you are a foreign student and do not understand Czech, please ask some of your Czech colleagues to help you.

These rules are very important to keep the site consistent. Thank you that you adhere to them.