Latest Revision: 11/2/2017
California State University Stanislaus
Article Review Assignments
Assignment loosely based on an assignment by John Sarraille.
YOU WILL BE WRITING A REVIEW OF A SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE
To foster your inquiry into these topics, I am assigning you to write
a review of an article on some aspect of computer security.
Computer security is an extremely fast-moving field. To stay current,
a person needs to be able to independently understand discussions of
the latest discoveries in the field.
You must select a technical paper from the
26th USENIX Security Symposium.
Thanks to the generosity of the USENIX research community, all of their technical
papers, and videos of the presentations made by the authors at the conference,
are available on the USENIX web site.
are listed here,
grouped into "Tracks" with named themes like "side-channel attacks I" or "web
security III." Technical papers are all included in 'available media' and you must
select a paper to focus on. Papers include details that do not make it into
presentations, due to speaking time limits, so it is expected that each student
will read the paper they select.
(Note: Do not select a keynote address or invited talk as your focus, though
it might be worth your time to watch the video of an invited talk if the topic looks
interesting to you. Invited talks are usually by "big names" in a field.)
THE FORMAT OF YOUR REVIEWS
- 1.5 line spacing the review on standard
8-1/2 by 11 inch paper.
- For the main part of the document use a font size from 10 to 12 point.
- In a header that appears on all the pages, enter
- your name,
- class identifier (CS 4840),
- the due date, and
Make the font *style* (e.g. Courier, Helvetica, Times New Roman) of the header the same as
that of the main text.
Make the font *size* of the header two point sizes smaller than the size
of the main text.
- Center the title of your review at the top of the first page but below
The title of the review must be different than the title of the article,
but must reflect the content of the article.
Make the font *style* (e.g. Courier or Helvetica) of the title the same
as that of the rest of the main text.
Make the font *size* of the title two point sizes larger than the size of
the rest of the main text.
- Justify the left margin (only).
- Indent the first line of each paragraph.
- The space between paragraphs must be no larger than the space between
lines within a paragraph. (0 pt paragraph spacing)
- Set the
- left and right margins to 1 inch
- top and bottom margins to 1.5 inches. (Here, by "top margin" I mean
the distance from the edge of the paper to the top of the first
line of the text body. Thus I view the header as being *inside*
the top margin. The bottom margin is the distance from the edge to
the bottom of the last line of the text body, and the footer is
*inside* the bottom margin.)
- Number all the pages.
Put the page numbers in a footer that appears on all pages.
Make the font style and font size of the footer the same as that of the
THE CONTENT OF YOUR REVIEWS
In your reviews:
- Include a bibliographic entry for the paper you select, in a well-known
bibliographic format like ACM, APA, etc. Also include bibliographic entries
for any other information sources (like Wikipedia) you consult while you
are reading and understanding the USENIX security paper.
- Include a summary of the article. (no more than 6 paragraphs);
- Give an explanation of why you chose the article (e.g. what did you hope
- Discuss what you gained and learned from the article,
- State what further questions you now have concerning the subject of the
- Explain any new concepts or terminology that you discovered; and
- Report any other interesting outcomes.
- The length of a review must be more than two pages and less
than four pages.
HOW TO TURN IN AN ASSIGNMENT
Turn in the assignment in class on the due date or on any day before
the due date. Upload your PDF or MS Word document to
CS Homework site
as a "Security Paper Review".