How to Write CHI Papers Course at CHI 2017

chi writing course free courses May 10, 2017
Woman writing at table. Photo by Anete Lusina

CHI 2017 marked the premiere of this course at the CHI conference. It was taught in person and over the course of two units.

CHI 2017 Schedule

Writing Unit Schedule

  • 9:30-9:35 Intro and Goals
  • 9:36-10:00 Micro Lecture: Clarity and Structure
  • 10:01-10:20 Exercise: Structuring CHI Research
  • 10:21-10:50 Exercise: Writing the Introduction

Reviewing Unit Schedule

  • 11:30-11:40 Recap
  • 11:41-12:00 Micro Lecture: On Reviewing for SIGCHI
  • 12:01-12:20 Exercise: Dissecting a CHI Paper
  • 12:21-12:50 Exercise: Writing a Helpful Review

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Writing Exercise 1: Structuring Your CHI Research

 DOWNLOAD COURSE HANDOUTS GOES HERE

  • Build a brief research plan for a CHI publication (10 minutes)
    1. Problem statement
    2. Indication of your methodology
    3. Anticipated main findings
    4. Anticipated conclusions
  • Present your plans to the group with a brief discussion (10 minutes) of structural flaws or strengths – we will all try to critique the plans

Writing Exercise 2: Writing the Introduction

Now, write your own Title, Abstract, and Introduction for the research plan you have developed (30 minutes). Use the four questions to guide you through the process of writing a fictional CHI paper about this research topic that you have in mind:

  1. What is the real-world problem that we are trying to solve?
  2. Why is it important to solve this problem?
  3. What is the solution that we came up with to solve it?
  4. How do we know that the solution is a good solution to the problem?

Use the same process as many CHI authors: 

  • Sketch the rough answers to each question into bullet points
  • Get together a maximum of 15 bullet points among all 4 questions
  • Start writing out the bullet points into paragraphs
  • Pass around your written paragraphs and discuss them in groups, I will assist.

Reviewing Exercise 1: Dissecting a CHI Paper

Structured discussion of the following paper:

Matthew Kay, Tara Kola, Jessica R. Hullman, and Sean A. Munson. 2016. When (ish) is My Bus?: User-centered Visualizations of Uncertainty in Everyday, Mobile Predictive Systems. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 5092-5103. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858558

  • Read the paper.
  • Which parts of the paper are excellent?
  • Why do you think they are excellent?

Reviewing Exercise 2: Writing a Helpful Review

Read and annotate one of these papers:

Write a review with a focus on:

  • Reflecting on the contributions
  • Discussing the weaknesses and limitations in a positive way
  • Calling out the strengths and utility of the work
  • Discuss!

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