Some guidelines regarding lecture guides
(Slightly edited version of email sent on February 5)
As lecture-guide preparation has begun, here are some points that
are useful to keep in mind.
- The overall goal is high-quality exposition of a topic, not a
transcript of what happened in lecture. You should feel free to
include material not included in lecture if you like or think it
would improve your lecture guide; on the course website,
for each lecture I provide some possible starting points for
further exploration (as well as pointers to the papers that are
mentioned). And, you may consult any material you find, such as
textbooks (again, see course webpage for some recommendations),
Wikipedia, course notes for other classes, or lecture guides from
previous runnings of the course. After all, when you do research,
you should draw from all useful sources!
- That being said, previous experience suggests it is useful to remind
students that you must always cite external sources pointing out
their contributions; that is, you must give credit where credit is
due. Clearly, word-for-word quotes must be placed between quotation
marks with appropriate citations, whether this material comes from a
published paper, unpublished paper, Wikipedia, a textbook, previous lecture notes, whatever. Ditto for
paraphrases, except for the quotation marks. And, sources of ideas
must also be credited. The document Acknowledging the Work of
is a useful set of guidelines for this course and for all your writings.
Also, you should strive to put things in your own words rather than
rely excessively on wording from other sources; I believe the process of
explaining things in your own words enhances understanding.
Finally, your questions must be original; you should not just take
an exercise from a textbook, say. Remember that the point is
precisely that you should generate your own questions, since this is
an important part of the research process.
- If you think of ways to improve on lecture presentation, go for it!
(If you change notation, it might be good to provide a translation table.)
You can imagine that this could be a way to come up with the
questions that are a required part of the lecture guide; for
example, if you think of a better way to prove something or think
about something, write up a question (and solution) to guide the
user through your new idea.
- Format: I don't particularly care. People have generally used a
header of the following form:
CS6740/INFO 6300: Advanced language technologies Spring
Lecture #?? --- [date of lecture, topic]
Lecturer: [whoever, usually me] Scribe(s): [your names here]
You can see http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs674/2007fa/ for some
Last modified: Mon Feb 8 13:07:01 EST 2010