Project Final Report

Due: Friday 12/9, late due Sunday 12/11

General Directions

Your final report is a comprehensive account of your project and as if you were planning to submit it to a conference (without worrying about formatting). It should be written as if you had “planned this as your project all along.” A report is not a chronological story of your project. It is a summary of what you did where the “story” serves the reader’s comprehension. Just like all of the related work you have read is framed not as a chronology but as a summary of what was done and found.

The report should stand on its own so that it makes sense to someone who has not read your proposal or prototype. It should be 5-7 pages (not counting references) using standard margins (1 in.), font (11-12 pt), and line spacing (1-1.5) OR you can use the ACM standard 2-column template. A typical submission is around 3-4 pages of text and 5-7 pages overall with tables and figures. Your report should have a title and your names with netids.

For citations, use the same notation that is common in the ACM papers (SIGCSE, ICER, ITiCSE, etc.) and cite the work by saying something like “In Smith et al.’s [3] work, ….” Note the use of the [#] as an annotation as opposed to a noun “In [3], …”

You may also include an appendix with as many pages as you need. This should mainly be of tables and figures, not text. The only text that really belongs in the appendix is any captions that help explain tables and figures. However, the report should be understandable without the appendix. The appendix is just a place for supplemental and extra information. So when in doubt, if the reader needs something, just put it in the appendix unless you find yourself referencing it a lot.

You should convert your written report to a pdf and upload it to Gradescope under the assignment “Project Final Report” by the due date. Use the group submission feature on Gradescope. You do not need to upload your accompanying data, code, or other supplemental resources demonstrating your work to Gradescope; instead, your report should contain instructions on how to access these resources (see part 2 below for more details).

Checklist for this section

  1. 5-7 pages (not counting references)
  2. Standard margins, spacing, and font
  3. Citation style uses “In first_author’s_last_name et al. [#], …”

General Feedback from Prototype

  • Provide more context about your data. While Prof. Stephens-Martinez knows where you got the data, at this point, you know more about it than she does. Also, your classmates (to who you will be presenting) are not familiar with your data set. Therefore near the beginning of your methods/results section should be a section about the data that answers the following:
    • Where is your data from? (ex: “We collected data from the website to create a database of pokemon.”)
    • When was it collected? (ex: “We collected all pokemon that existed from 1996 – 2016.”)
    • What is the demographic breakdown as is relevant to your question? (ex: “Table A shows the breakdown of pokemon in our data set by generation and their primary type for the 5 most common types [which are the types that are relevant to our research question].”)
    • And any other information that helps contextualize your data to help the reader understand how to interpret it.

Part 1: Introduction and Research Questions

Your final report should begin by motivating your topic and stating your research question(s). In contrast to the prior reports, the final report does not need to explicitly justify that the research questions are substantial and feasible in the text; your results should demonstrate both of these points.

You can start with the text from your prototype, but you should update your introduction and research questions to reflect changes in or refinements of the project vision. And there should not be a section comparing this report with prior ones. Remember, this report is as if you had “always planned” to do what you did and were submitting it to a conference. Your introduction should be sufficient to provide context for the rest of your report.

Checklist for this section

  1. Introduces topic
  2. Motivates research question
  3. Defines one or more research questions – Exemplary would clearly label these, such as having them be in a numbered list
  4. Includes citations as needed for an introduction unless it’s clear the introduction does not need any citations

Part 2: Related Work

This section should summarize the work you found that is related to your project. It should be organized by the big ideas and summarize the key takeaways generally with supporting citations. Remember the “how to write briskly” reading and that you can always use another paper as an example of how to write your own related work section.

Checklist for this section

  1. Organized by the big ideas and is a coherent whole
  2. Summarizes the key takeaways for all related work mentioned that are relevant to this work
  3. Includes citations – Remember, the citation style mentioned in the general directions

Part 3: Methods and Results

This section should summarize how you answered your research questions and the results of that analysis. Often there are two “sets” of methods, the methods used to answer most/all of the research questions, like cleaning and transforming the data, and the methods used for a particular research question. The former should be in its own section, so the text is not repetitive. The latter is in its respective results section for the sake of proximity.

Your report should be specific about exactly what data were used and how the results were generated. For example, if you filtered out some of the data due to A and B reasons, you should state what criteria were used to filter the data, why, and how much of the data was filtered out (or is left). These steps should be explained in enough detail such that an informed reader (like another group working on the same data set) could reasonably be expected to reproduce your results with time and effort. Just saying, for example, “we cleaned the data and dealt with missing values” is not sufficient detail.

Results should be summarized using clearly labeled tables or figures and supplemented with written explanations of the significance of the results with respect to the research questions outlined previously.

Your report should also contain instructions on how to access your full implementation (that is, your code, data, and any other supplemental resources like additional charts or tables). The simplest way to do so is to include a link to the box folder, GitLab repo (share it with Prof. Stephens-Martinez’s netid email:, or whatever other platforms your group is using to house your data and code. Remember to keep the data private!

Checklist for section

  1. There is enough information about the context of your data to understand your results – See the general feedback above about providing context about your data.
  2. Summarizes the methods used to transform the data into what was used to answer each research question – If the data you had was readily available with no transformation, this subsection should simply say where the data came from.
  3. Explains the methods used to answer each research question
  4. Reports the results of each research question

Part 4: Limitations, Discussion, and Future Work

In this part, you should discuss any important limitations or caveats to your results with respect to answering your research questions. For example, if you don’t have as much data as you would like or are unable to fairly evaluate the performance of a predictive model, explain and contextualize those limitations.

Besides limitations, put any other discussions or ideas for future work here. This could be a discussion on an idea that explains the results you had, but you do not have the data to provide evidence for the idea. This could explain how future research might address the limitations you outline, or it could pose additional follow-up research questions based on your results so far. In short, explain how an informed reader (such as a peer in the class) could improve on and extend your results.

Checklist for section

  1. Outlines limitations or caveats to the work
  2. Discusses the works results or future work

Part 5: Conclusion

This section should provide the key takeaways from your work and should only be a few paragraphs at most.

Checklist for section

  1. The section is a few paragraphs at most
  2. Fully addresses all research questions stated in the introduction

(Optional) Part 6: Appendix of Additional Figures and Tables

If you are struggling to keep your report within the 5-7 page limit, you may move some of your figures and tables to an optional appendix that will not count against your page limit. However, your report should stand on its own without the appendix. The appendix is for adding more nuance to your results, not to give you more space to talk about your results. Succinctness is an important skill to practice. Your paper will be graded without looking at the appendix.

Feedback and Grading Rubric

Each section will be graded on a four-step rubric scale as follows.

  • E (Exemplary) – Work that meets all requirements of that section.
  • S (Satisfactory) – Work that meets all requirements with only slight mistakes or missing pieces of information.
  • N (Not yet) – Work that does not meet some requirements and/or displays developing or incomplete work that needs substantial revision to meet satisfactory standards.
  • U (Unassessable) – Work that is missing, does not demonstrate meaningful effort, or does not provide enough evidence to determine a level of mastery.

The entire assignment is worth 100 points.

  • 10 points will be allocated for meeting general directions (length, on-time pdf submission, group submission, etc.). You cannot submit a proposal greater than 3 pages. Learning how to be succinct is an important skill.
  • 18 points are allocated for each section. (18*5 = 90)

The rubric will be converted to points as follows:

  • E = full credit
  • S = E_full_credit – 1
  • N = E_full_credit / 2
  • U = E_full_credit / 5
  • Blank = 0

Anything earning less than an E will receive feedback in Gradescope. If your proposal earns less than an S in any section, you will be allowed 2 resubmissions to bring it up to the E or S standards for all sections. If your report earns E’s and S’s only, you can have 1 resubmission if your group decides to aim for a higher score. I will aim to give you feedback by Tuesday, 12/13, so a resubmission must be given by Friday, 12/16.

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