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How to build your topic?

Slides for Academic Writing Month workshop in the Data Science Institute in National University of Ireland.

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How to find build your topic?
Bianca Pereira
01/11/2018
The Problem
Years 1..2
I don’t have anything to write about
(a.k.a. I didn’t find my topic yet!)
Years 4..5..6..7..
AAAHHHH! I can’t write this
thesis!!
Today’s activity
Stop Searching
Start Building
Identify your
current topic
Write to identify
your tasks
How to build your topic?
The pen may not be out there.
Your topic may just not be “ready” out there
People will try to help you, then they will think you are
wasting your time, then they will be upset for you wasting
their time
Concepts in your mind are not readily understandable
“Wished benefits” do not describe the “thing”
Fuzzy concepts are hard to communicate
Stop Searching
Stop Searching
Just search a bit more won’t solve the problem.
Fuzzy concepts will not become clear just by reading
Ad

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How to build your topic?

  • 1. How to find build your topic? Bianca Pereira 01/11/2018
  • 2. The Problem Years 1..2 I don’t have anything to write about (a.k.a. I didn’t find my topic yet!) Years 4..5..6..7.. AAAHHHH! I can’t write this thesis!!
  • 3. Today’s activity Stop Searching Start Building Identify your current topic Write to identify your tasks
  • 5. The pen may not be out there. Your topic may just not be “ready” out there People will try to help you, then they will think you are wasting your time, then they will be upset for you wasting their time Concepts in your mind are not readily understandable “Wished benefits” do not describe the “thing” Fuzzy concepts are hard to communicate Stop Searching
  • 6. Stop Searching Just search a bit more won’t solve the problem. Fuzzy concepts will not become clear just by reading
  • 7. Clarify Explain your concept in terms of attributes and functions instead of “wished benefits”. Search one piece at a time Breaking your concept into pieces makes it easier/feasible to search and faster to communicate. Start Building
  • 8. Start Building Build it! And don’t be afraid to borrow or share parts Your final product is the result of your personal work and creativity! You can contribute with others by sharing or collaborating in the construction of the parts.
  • 10. Exam Rules 1. The exam happens NOW, not in a “deadline” in far future
  • 11. Exam Rules 1. The exam happens NOW, not in a “deadline” in far future 2. Sit separated from your colleagues
  • 12. Exam Rules 1. The exam happens NOW, not in a “deadline” in far future 2. Sit separated from your colleagues 3. No consultation to materials or colleagues
  • 13. Exam Rules 1. The exam happens NOW, not in a “deadline” in far future 2. Sit separated from your colleagues 3. No consultation to materials or colleagues 4. No access to phones and computer
  • 14. Exam Rules 1. The exam happens NOW, not in a “deadline” in far future 2. Sit separated from your colleagues 3. No consultation to materials or colleagues 4. No access to phones and computer 1. Setup a time and do it 2. Create your own space 3. Use only your current knowledge 4. Get free of distractions
  • 16. Writing in Design Science Research Problem Definition Characteristics of Solution Design/ Development Demo Evaluation Communication Paper
  • 17. Writing in Design Science Research Problem Definition Characteristics of Solution Design/ Development Demo Evaluation Communication Departing from “real” problems Curiosity-d riven problems Departing from research domain/topic New applicability to state-of-the-art Contrasting literature Exploring gap in literature Question state-of-the-art Paper
  • 18. Departing from “real” problems Observe someone’s (your) problems EXAMPLES: I can’t find some items I want in page 1 of Search Engines Topic: Choose a word that represent the problem 1. Describe the problem as you see it. 2. Only try to discover if you were right or wrong after having it in writing!
  • 19. Curiosity-driven problem Apply this if you have a person-related research question EXAMPLES: What is learning? How do people make sense of information? Topic: Write down a question you have 1. Write an explanation about the question. What is each element of the question? What do you mean and what you do not mean with this question? 2. Write some possible answers you can think of.
  • 20. Departing from a research domain/topic Apply this if you have chosen a research domain EXAMPLES: Explainable Recommender Systems, Entity Linking for Arabic Topic: Choose a domain or topic 1. Write whatever you know about it! Do not expect to write everything it has to be known. Otherwise you would sure write a book collection, and this is not the goal here. 2. Only try to discover if you were right or wrong after having it in writing!
  • 21. Give new applicability to state-of-the-art Use this if want to apply the state-of-the-art to a new problem Topic: Applying [technical solution] to [problem] 1. Briefly explain the characteristics of the problem and why the technical solution could be applied to solve the problem (given its characteristics) 2. Briefly explain the limitations and/or drawbacks of the technical solution when applied to the problem 3. Only try to discover if you were right or wrong after having it in writing!
  • 22. Contrasting literature Apply when you are trying to contrast: ○ technologies that solve a problem (e.g. 2 term extraction algorithms) ○ frameworks that model a situation (e.g. 2 ontologies) Topic: Comparison of [technology1] and [technology2] 1. Write a small description about each technology/framework as you know it now. 2. Write a short comparison about them as you can remember with commonalities and differences. 3. Only try to discover if you were right or wrong after having it in writing!
  • 23. Exploring a technical problem or gap in the literature Use this if “you have been reading..” Topic: Title of a literature you have read - ideally an important one in your area 1. Write a small description on what the paper is about (no checking the original paper) 2. What are the limitations of this UNIQUE/SINGLE paper? The ones written and the ones you can imagine! 3. Write about the problems you are interested at and the paper does not address. 4. Only try to discover if you were right or wrong after having it in writing!
  • 24. Question state-of-the-art Apply this when you want to question the applicability of the state-of-the-art Topic: Question the results/evaluation: ○ Why could it be mistaken? ○ What if another measurement has been applied? ○ Does the measure reflect the original problem it was trying to solve or it is just ‘the standard’? 1. Write an explanation about the question. What is each element of the question? What do you mean and what you do not mean with this question? 2. Write some possible answers you can think of.
  • 26. Reflecting on writing Identify: ● new questions that came during your writing ● things you are not sure of ● key elements of your thought List: what should be explored and a small reason why that is important for your flow of thought Select: top 3 most important/urgent things in your list
  • 28. Iterate Look for sources of the information needed, either through reading or through research (e.g. experiments, user studies, etc.) ● Break your top 3 information needs into tasks (Read tasks or Work tasks) ● Engage into each task ● Start a new writing session for each task