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Writing for Computer Science 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1852338022
ISBN-10: 1852338024
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Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews of the second edition:

"Zobel emphasizes that clarity … . my review would read as follows: buy this book. … The contents of the book are valuable, both as a reference … . has tailored his book quite specifically to computer science researchers. He presents valuable examples drawn from computer science papers … . This book is best suited to individual use. However, it could also serve as a supplementary text for a course on research methods. …" (Max Hailperin, Computing Reviews, February, 2005)

"I decided to recommend Zobel’s work to my advanced students and Ph.D. candidates. … An extra goody are the twenty exercises. They constitute a good start into raising many of the issues treated in the book. Many chapters give check-lists or lists of good practice. … His own way of writing demonstrates that there are helpful rules no writer should disobey. … Good writing, even in computing science, remains a process of experience and dialectics. Zobel’s book proves the point." (Frieder Nake, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1106 (8), 2007)

About the Author

Zobel-Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
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China
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2nd edition (February 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852338024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852338022
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Nahas on May 15, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you think you want this book, you do want it. It's a great guide to writing any report/paper/book in the field of computer science. It has great suggestions for describing mathematics and algorithms, how to gather data from experiments and how to present it. It contains good advice about the general act of writing, and discusses some of the conventions followed in Comp. Sci. It is extremely well written - lucid and concise. It covers a great deal of material in only 175 pages. It is short enough that I often reread the relavent chapter before I sit down to write a section of a paper. For novices, it's a great introduction. For experts, you'll probably learn something and it is a good catalog of things to keep in mind while writing. (NOTE: I checked this book out of my school's library before I bought it; you might be able to do the same.)
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This book is a perfect guide for producing reports/theses papers related to Computer Science. I was in the midst of writing a thesis and was struggling with the conventions and styles to use, but after a quick perusal of this book I had all my doubts cleared. Examples are numerous and clear and easily aid you in the writing process. Also, I like this book because it explains the motivation for certain styles and conventions rather than just stating them.
This book was recommended to me by a professor, and I noticed it sitting in several of my professor's offices, as well as offices of several graduate students I worked with.
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My roots are in computer science where I started my professional life. Therefore I was attracted by the title. I borrowed the book from the library and read it from cover to cover, frustrated not to be able to use my yellow highlighter on the pages of quite a few chapters.
The pertinence of the examples chosen proves that Justin Zobel has reviewed his fair share of papers. If you referee papers, chapter twelve on "Refereeing" is for you. If you are in computer science or if you use computers in your research, then chapter 5 ("Mathematics"), 7 ("Algorithms"), and 11 (Experimentation") are written specifically for you.

Scientists outside of computer science are not left out. Chapters two to four are about style and grammar. His examples will often bring a smile to your face as you recognize your own mistakes. Justin Zobel's book has the merit of systematically illustrating the principles of writing he recommends to the readers. I cannot say I always agree with his examples. For example page 32, he writes "Beginning a paper by stating that a topic is popular or that a problem is important is flat and uninspiring" (I could not agree more); he then illustrates such a flat start with the great example "Use of digital libraries is increasingly common". But then the "may well be preferable" example that follows has the same problem: "Digital libraries provide fast access to large numbers of documents". It uses two imprecise adjectives and does not enhance the knowledge of even the most junior researcher in computer science.
Chapter 6 on graphs, figures, and tables gives many examples. Justin believes in making figures "less dependent on the paper's text" (page 112) by making their caption more informative. I do too.
Chapter 9 gives general instructions for writing the various parts of a scientific paper, from its title to its conclusion.
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We used this book for my course on research skills at Cambridge and I must say it was a useful reading. The examples are pertinent and clear and the insight on how to write really useful. I would particularly recommend it for non-native speaker like myself.
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Format: Paperback
It is a very nice book for foreigners. I speak portuguese and found a lot of good material in the book. It helped me a lot on writing papers, reports and other related material for computer science.
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I read this book cover-to-cover during a Masters in Mobile Computing, and it has some gems. It will make a handy reference book later while I start a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction.
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I had to buy it for a graduation thesis seminar. It turned out to be well written, interesting and very useful. I feel the advices really made writing scientific text much easier.
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The books is good for non-english researcher for computer science and technical writers. The structure of the book is logical and its guide your writing skills well.
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