Also, Chapters 29 through 38 are a handbook designed primarily for advanced non-native speakers of English, a necessity for this class. Parts of this handbook are useful for native speakers too; for instance Chapter 32 deals with modal verbs (would, could, should, and so forth), which many native speakers have difficulty using correctly in writing. The appendixes include a good short summary of English punctuation of use to everyone.
The text's major weakness for this class is that it is not aimed at computer engineers, but at engineers in general, and especially mechanical engineers, judging from the examples and illustrative material in the text.
We will assign some chapters to read from Huckin and Olsen, but you'll find that browsing through the unassigned chapters will yield useful information. The book is well-written and easy reading--unlike so many of the writing textbooks on the market.
These assignments are designed to be appropriate for computer engineering, and have mostly been developed in 1988 and 1989, although some of them go back several years to other courses at other universities. We welcome motivated, specific, written comment on ways you think they might be improved. Don't just tell us there are too many and they're too hard! We know that, and there's not much we can do about it without seriously weakening the class.
The homework assignments will be posted to the web in two formats: PDF and HTML. If the two disagree, then the PDF should be regarded as the more authoritative.
To read the files on-line, use Netscape (or one of the other World-Wide Web browsers), and open the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) http://www.cse.ucsc.edu/~karplus/. This is the home page for Kevin Karplus, and contains pointers to several other documents, including the assignments for this course. If you have not used Netscape before, almost any of the CATS consultants in any of the computer labs can help you, because browsing the World-Wide Web has become a major form of recreation for the consultants.
The easiest to read on-line is the HTML, Although it is possible to print directly from many World-Wide Web browsers, I'll also provide PDF files generated directly from the LATEX originals. These will generally produce a better looking printed copy that will take up less paper. There will be hypertext links (pointers) from the WWW pages to the PDF files.
Please read each of the assignments carefully--don't rely on a vague memory of in-class discussion. Common problems that have come up with the assignments in the past are discussed in the assignment writeups, but still about half of the problems we see in turned in work are things that we specifically warn about.
Each paper you turn in must have the names of the authors prominently displayed at the beginning. Anyone caught using a term paper service or copying from books, journals, or fellow students will be punished as severely as the University allows. Flunking the course is an absolute minimum.
On some assignments (like the final project), we will encourage group authorship, and on others we will insist on single authors. If you are not sure which category an assignment falls into, please ask.
We encourage you to have someone else read your drafts, point out errors and unclear passages, and make suggestions, but not do re-writing for you. We will frequently use class time to exchange drafts of papers and discuss them in small groups.
We also encourage you to use the tutors who are assigned to the course. In the past, predictably, only the best students have made substantial use of the tutors. The tutors are students who have taken the course previously, and who know what we want you to learn, and how to help you do it.
This is a difficult course, but anyone who uses the resources we provide can pass it, as well as learn something worthwhile. A lot of you hate to write and think that you are not very good at it. We don't guarantee that you will learn to like to write, but we can guarantee that if you do what we ask, and work hard at it, that you will learn to write competently, and perhaps a good deal better.
The colleges also provide writing tutors, and we encourage you to seek their aid as well.
Anyone whose help you use (including the instructors, tutors, classmates, spouse, ...) should be acknowledged in the turned-in assignment. Formal reports should have an acknowledgment section, but other document styles usually need a separate cover memo to the instructors for acknowledgments--you should regard this cover memo as a standard part of anything you turn in, even if it is not specifically requested for an assignment. Of course, any books or journals you use as sources should be properly cited, and we intend to teach you how to do this, so that you do not plagiarize (copy without citing) unintentionally. If you omit citations, if you copy blocks of text from your sources without explicit indication of quotation, if you paraphrase more than a paragraph from a source, or if you use information from a source without citation, you may be guilty of plagiarism. The minimum penalty for plagiarism is failure in the course--I have failed people in the past, and will probably have to do so in the future--but let's not make in necessary this quarter.
Claiming someone else's work as your own is the biggest academic sin.
If you are not certain about how much help is permitted, how much is encouraged, and how much will be considered cheating, please talk with us. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out that we allow more assistance than you thought--the key point is that all assistance must be acknowledged in writing.
The schedule posted on the web lists the assignments for this quarter with due dates. If the due dates are changed, we will inform you in class. Note that many assignments overlap; this is the normal case for people who write for a living, as engineers do (30-50% of the work day).
You are required to turn in your early drafts, as well as the final copy--the early drafts allow us to see how well you edit and how well you respond to suggestions from your peers.
We will be doing peer-editing on-line this quarter, using the Collage system created by Tara Madhyastha especially for CMPE 185. Go to the web pages for Collage (http://www.collage.soe.ucsc.edu/) and read the documentation at http://www.collage.soe.ucsc.edu/peerEdit/doc/CollagePeerEditUserManual.pdf! There are some restrictions created by the use of this software:
Acrobat has an awkward and unintuitive user interface--you'll mainly be using the markup tools: Note, Highlight, Strikeout, Underline, which are not too hard to figure out. There is no easy way in Acrobat to use standard manuscript markup symbols (a disgrace for a tool whose main justification is allowing markup).
Please remember when using Acrobat to go to the general preferences and set the identity to being your collage user id, so that the ``Note'' tool will have the correct id at the top.
Here are the steps for getting started on peer editing:
You will need to have a peer-editing userid. This can be any sort of id and need not be traceable back to your real id (except by the instructor and TAs). If you want other students to know who you are or be able to communicate with you outside the peer-editing, you should use your CATS userid. If you want to do the peer-editing somewhat anonymously, use a new id.
You do not need to memorize, bookmark, or copy the long URLs--you can get to everything within a few button clicks from the Collage main page at http://www.collage.soe.ucsc.edu.
By the way, the collage software checks that the main body of the text has not been altered by the markup--you can add notes, highlighting, and so forth, but do not edit the text itself (stay away from the Text Select tool).