Tuesday, January 8, 2008

BTR820 Lecture 1: January 8th, 2008

Professor: Adam Norman
Class: S2173
Website: http://www.BTR820.com
Text: Writing White papers, Michael A. Stelzner


Students think they know how to research but don't, and overuse internet resources. Journals are underused, books as well.

In this class we will write a white paper (big, heavy and sorta fun).

White papers are cutting edge papers on an emerging technology or business solution. To persuade someone to make a purchase. In this class we will not be making an "advertisement" paper.

White papers Have:
- A thesis
- Research
- - Methodology
- - Sources
- Documentation
- Very nice formatting

- *Point you'll prove
- *Opinion about a topic
- the opinion will be proven through
- - facts (research via experimentation and previous facts)
- - argumentation
- The thesis should appear in
- - the title
- - the abstract
- - the introduction
- - the conclusion

A thesis must be provable!

Ways to come up with a good thesis:
- combine two topics (slashdotting vs small business)
- criticize a developed school of thought/philosophy (chop off small section and attack those viewpoints)
- do original research and data gathering (won't be able to do very much... very small area)

Some Whitepaper topics:
- VMWare is not cost effective for small businesses
- Amazons S3 Service is best suited for short term storage of large files
- An AMD-based Toshiba notebook is a good choice for a medium-sized business
- Linux on the desktop is ready for non creative academics

Then ...
Good Papers prove the opinion with:
- Data (eg 75% of all email is spam)
- Opinions (the percent will continue to increase
- Methodology (found this by surveying traffic at three ISPs, sampling 2000 emails over 31 days)

What we do in the class:
Two large papers (25pgs) on an *IT* topic of some sort... can be political, academic,

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