Write-Ups for Directed Study Projects (699s)

Making a final writeup for your directed study project (or summer intern project, or honors thesis project, or …) is important. Reflecting on what you’ve done is an important part of the learning process.

Your write-up is important for a number of reasons:

  1. It helps you learn from the experience by reflecting on it.
  2. It documents what you’ve done so others can gain from it.
  3. It makes it possible for others to pick up where you left off. Even if the next person is “your future self.”
  4. It helps in evaluating the project (which is particularly important if you need to be graded).

Note: even if you are continuing the project, writing it up at the end of the semester/summer is a good idea: thing of it as a way to reflect and learn from what has happened, and to pass along the knowledge to the person who is going to continue. That person may be your future self, so be nice.

Write up contents

I ask that everyone follows a similar format. The exact form is less important than having all of the parts.

Things to include:

  • your original project proposal (if you had one)
  • the source code for your project (for example in a zip file). make sure there is enough info so someone else might be able to build/use it. (note: a preferred thing for source code is that it is in a GitHub repository that is part of uwgraphics)
  • some example results (this might include a running demo, videos, images, use case descriptions, etc.)
  • a bibliography - list the things you’ve read for this project. Besure to give a complete enough reference (a real citation, author,title, etc). I’d prefer an annotated bibliography (that is one where you give a brief description of each reference, maybe including what you’ve gotten out of it.).
  • the final project document

I recommend creating a web page with links to all these things (and a brief description).

Your final document should include these 4 sections:

  1. Describe your results

    A description of what your final result is. Describe what you’ve achieved. Explain the methods it uses, what the software does, how it might be used, what its limitations are, … Describe how you’ve evaluated the results.

    You should give some documentation for what you’re handing in.

    You should think of this not just in terms of evaluation, but also in terms of project continuity: what does someone need to know so they can pick up the project where you left off. Even if the person continuing the project is your future self, try to be nice to them.

    You may want to describe what you tried that didn’t work - sometimes the “research” is a negative results (knowing what not to do in the future).

  2. Describe the work that you did

    Describe how you got to your result. Where did your time actually go? What did you try that didn’t make it into the final result? What was hard/easy?
    This should be relatively easy to do because you can look back at your Status Reports.

  3. Describe what you **learned** from this project

    The primary goal is for you to learn something (this is a class). Describe what you’ve gotten out of doing this project. There will probably be a list of technical and non-technical things that you’ve learned.

  4. A self-evaluation

    How happy with you with how the project turned out (remember, the goal isn’t just the result - its also what you’ve gotten out of doing it). What would you do differently next time? What would you tell someone else who is about to start a similar project?

Code, Documentation, Resources

Make sure that as much of what you’ve created is available for others and archived.

This means more than just providing a ZIP or repository of the code - be sure to have enough documentation that someone can figure out what there is, how to use it, and where to start if they want to try to extend it.

Please check that all files are present.

If you have a GitHub repository, please have a copy as part of uwgraphics. This might either be by transfering ownership, or allowing us to fork/clone your personal repo.

It is probably good for every directory to have a readme file.

For large data objects (e.g. videos), we probably need a storage mechanism other than GitHub.