Cleveland State University

College of Engineering


ESC 720 - Research Communications


Homework Assignments


The first rule for doing well on homework assignments is to follow directions. Do no less than required, and do no more than required.


Homework 1 due Wed. Aug. 26

1.      According to Markel's book, what percentage of employers say that employees must have good communication skills?

2.      What are the eight characteristics of good communication that we discussed in class?

3.      List five types of written communication that are often used in engineering work.


Homework 2 due Mon. Aug. 31

1.      Find an example of an undefined acronym in the paper "When to recommend: A new issue on TV show recommendation," by J. Oh, S. Kim, J. Kim, and H. Yu. Give the acronym and its definition. (Note that "TV" is common enough that it should not be considered an undefined acronym.)

2.      Browse through the American Control Conference keywords list at and submit between 5 and 10 keywords that match your interests for a paper review.


Homework 3 due Wed. Sep. 9

1.      Write the following sentences more clearly.

a.       The body was found in an alley by a passer-by with a bullet in his head.

b.      The suspect is about 30 years old with wavy hair weighing about 150 pounds.

c.       A purple lady's bicycle was stolen from in front of Fenn Hall yesterday.

2.      Hand in a reference list that includes one journal paper, one conference paper, one thesis, and one book. Use the IEEE citation formats at with the following exception: do not use abbreviations for journal titles or conference names.

3.      One of the slides in Section 8 of the Introduction slides for this course shows an example of inconsistent reference formatting. Rewrite the references in a consistent format.

4.      Hand in the abstract (possibly rewritten) of one of your papers. It should be between 150 and 200 words, it should summarize the results of the paper, and it should not include introductory information.

5.      Hand in your Doctoral Plan of Study form. If you have not written one yet, complete a draft. You will not be required to follow the Plan of Study that you hand in - this assignment is just to help you think about it, and to make sure that you understand the requirements.

6.      Hand in a proposed timeline for your doctoral degree completion, including bi-annual milestones.


Homework 4 due Wed. Sep. 16

1.      Propose a topic for the paper that you will write for this class. Broaden the topic to propose a more general topic. Narrow the topic to propose a more focused topic.

2.      List five informal sources that you can use for background information about your topic - web pages, magazine articles, newspaper articles, etc. Give specific sources - don't just say "Wikipedia."

3.      List 40 formal sources (journal articles, conference articles, and academic books) that you could potentially use for your paper. When you hand in your list of 40 sources, they do not need to be formatted correctly.


Homework 5 due Wed. Sep. 23

1.      According to, how many master's degree graduates at Ohio University were accused of plagiarism in 2006? What were the consequences for the professors and students who were involved?

2.      Find the web page "Requesting Permission to Reuse IEEE Material." How would you use the procedure described there to obtain permission to use a figure from the paper "Application of Biogeography based optimization in tuning a PID controller for nonlinear systems"? How would you obtain and acknowledge permission to use a figure from the paper in your thesis?

3.      Find the web page "Obtaining permission to re-use Elsevier material." How would you use the procedure described there to obtain permission to use a figure from the paper "Robust weighted fusion time-varying Kalman smoothers for multisensor system with uncertain noise variances." How would you obtain and acknowledge permission to use a figure from the paper in your thesis?


Homework 6 due Wed. Sep. 30

1.      Who is CSU's Engineering Librarian?

2.      What is the definition of "impact factor"? What is "h index"? What is "cited half-life"? What is "citing half-life"?

3.      Go to the CSU library web page and find the "Web of Science" research database. Find the entry for the journal "Mathematical Problems in Engineering." For the year 2014, what was its two-year impact factor, impact factor without self-cites, cited half-life, and citing half-life? Answer the same questions for the journal "Biomedical Engineering Online."

4.      How much does it cost to publish an article in "Mathematical Problems in Engineering"? How much does it cost to publish an article in "Biomedical Engineering Online"?

5.      How many engineering (miscellaneous) journals are indexed in Scimago, and among them, what is the rank of the journal "Mathematical Problems in Engineering"?

6.      How many biomedical engineering journals are indexed in Scimago, and among them, what is the rank of the journal "Biomedical Engineering Online"?

7.      Which publisher with the word "mechanical" in its name appears on Beall's list of predatory publishers?

8.      List the 10 individuals who are listed on Politico's web page "10 high-profile plagiarism cases."

9.      Read the Wikipedia article "Reliability of Wikipedia." Write a one-paragraph summary.


Homework 7 due Wed. Oct. 7

1.      Based on the availability and your initial review of your 40 formal sources from Homework 4, narrow down your list to 25 formal sources. Your list of 25 sources does not need to be formatted correctly.

2.      Based on a two-minute review of each source in your 25-item list, narrow down the list to between 10 and 15 primary sources. Hand in a three-part summary (using the bullet-format discussed in class) of each of these primary sources. Make sure the references are correctly formatted.


Homework 8 due Wed. Oct. 14

1.      List three controversies (technical, social, or otherwise) that are associated with your topic.

2.      List three technical problems that researchers are currently studying that are related to your topic.

3.      Write the thesis statement for your research paper.

4.      What question does your thesis statement answer?

5.      List three broad implications that are related to your thesis statement.


Homework 9 due Wed. Oct. 21

1.      Suppose that after you write your dissertation, you want to reprint one of the figures from your dissertation in a journal paper. Do you have to obtain permission?

2.      Hand in the outline for the paper that you're writing for this class, including section and subsection numbers and titles.

3.      Hand in a discussion of your ACC paper assignment, including the following components.

a.       Is the research in the paper novel? Include your own literature review (list of papers) along with a discussion of whether or not the authors adequately connected their work with previous research.

b.      Are the claims of novelty clearly supported?

c.       Is the paper clear, logical, and well-organized?

d.      Is the research reproducible?

e.       What could a reader learn from the paper?

f.       Is the research important and significant?

g.      Is the contribution clearly stated in the abstract, introduction, and conclusion?

h.      Is the paper well-written with respect to layout, figure clarity, grammar, formatting, and so on?


Homework 10 due Wed. Oct. 28

1.      Submit your paper to, class id 8782083, password ESC720.


Homework 11 due Mon. Nov. 2

1.      Come to class prepared to discuss your ACC paper.


Homework 12 due Wed. Nov. 4

1.      Turn in your ACC review on the PaperPlaza web site.


Homework 13 due Wed. Nov. 11

1.      Write a proposal in response to the Dan Simon Foundation Request for Proposals (RFP). Submit your proposal at The syllabus includes a couple of sample proposals that you can use to learn the principles of good proposal writing; however, note that the sample proposals are not necessarily in the format required for this assignment.

2.      Turn in your peer reviews for your classmates' papers at See the web site for instructions and for the specific questions that you need to answer.


Homework 14 due Wed. Nov. 18

1.      Submit your research poster (PDF format) to


Homework 15 due Wed. Nov. 25

1.      Submit your revised paper to Your paper should be revised based on the peer reviews that you received from your instructor and from your classmates. This submission should include two separate documents combined into a single file: (1) A "response to reviewers" document that clearly explains where and how you modified your paper based on each review comment, or why you disagree with the review comment; and (2) Your revised paper, with changes clearly indicated.


Mon. Nov. 30 and Wed. Dec. 2

Oral presentations during class; 10 minutes per presentation. Come to class prepared to complete an evaluation form for each presentation that you hear.


Mon. Dec. 7

Optional final exam 12:30-2:30


Professor Simon's Home Page


Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Cleveland State University

Last Revised: November 23, 2015