FSU Seal - 1851


    CIS 5935 Introduction to Research
    Fall Semester 2008


This class has students attending in two distinct modes:

  1. Mixed Mode On-Campus
  2. Distance Learning On-Line

The content, objectives, assignments, assessments, and grading are the same for all students. Obviously, however, on-campus and distance students sometimes participate in different ways.

For all students: Regular participation via the Blackboard course interface is required. Official course announcements, lecture materials, assignments, and help archives will all be on-line at this site. Note that all registered students should have the course web site listed on their My FSU portal page. Be sure to test this and resolve any difficulties no later than the first week of classes. All deliverables will be submitted via Blackboard.

For on-line students: All participation will be asynchronous using the Blackboard class site. Presentations will be recorded and posted for other students to attend.

For on-campus students: Mixed mode means that participation in on-campus classes is required. In particular, student presentations will be given live and it is expected that all on-campus students attend these presentations.


Class Activity   TEC 142   Aug 26 - Dec 9   Tue   5:00pm - 7:00pm (Central Time)


Chris Lacher, Computer Science Faculty
Responsibilities: Instructor: CS/SE Content, Writing; Course Supervisor  
Office: Faculty Annex B 101 / Panama City Campus 
Office Phone (during office hours): 
(these all ring the same instrument)  
850-770-2256 (local direct line)
850-644-2090x2256 (local Tallahassee)
866-693-7872x2256 (toll free)
Mobile Phone & Voice Mail (24/7): 850-510-5575 
Email:  lacher@cs.fsu.edu
Mail & Delivery: Florida State University
4750 Collegiate Drive
Panama City, FL 32405-1099
Lacher Weekly Schedule Effective Aug 25 - Dec 12, 2008 (excluding Sep 1, Nov 11, and Nov 27-28)
Darby Syrkin, Library Faculty
Responsibilities: Instructor: Search, Databases, Form, Writing 
Office: TEC Information Lab/ Panama City Campus 
Office Phone (during office hours): 
(these all ring the same instrument)  
850-770-2244 (local direct line)
850-644-2090x2244 (local Tallahassee)
866-693-7872x2244 (toll free)
Email:  dsyrkin@pc.fsu.edu
Mail & Delivery: Florida State University
4750 Collegiate Drive
Panama City, FL 32405-1099
Syrkin Weekly Schedule Effective Aug 25 - Dec 12, 2008 (excluding Sep 1, Nov 11, and Nov 27-28)
Online Q/A Direct access to Darby's IM


This course introduces information research methods and writing standards for content research and publication in Computer Science and Software Engineering.


At the end of this course, the student should have the following skills, capabilities, and artifacts:

  • Describe steps necessary to conduct independent research in a given research area
  • Conduct library and internet research to create an annotated bibliography for the research area
  • Format a bibliography according to APA and discipline standards
  • Cite references into a bibliography conforming to APA and discipline standards
  • Write a narrative literature review of the research area, with citations into the bibliography
  • Propose research or innovation based on the literature review
  • Complete a proposal containing the literature review, proposed research or innovation, and annotated bibliography
  • Create and give a presentation based on background research and literature review
  • Create and give a presentation based on proposed innovations and literature review


  • Class Discussions: (20%) Students are expected to discuss their own ideas as well as those of other students in the class. Discussion will be held at the Blackboard course web site.
  • Assignments: (30%) Assignments involve deliverables documenting various steps and components in the literature and content research process. Assignments will be released via the course calendar.
  • Presentations: (20%) Presentation dates will be given in the course calendar.
  • Research Prospectus (30%) This is the capstone deliverable for the course, a written paper that introduces and explores an area for research. The paper should have these identifiable components:
    1. Annotated Bibliography: (10%)
    2. Narrative Literature Review: (10%)
    3. Innovation Proposal: (10%)


85-88 B+75-78 C+65-68 D+
91-100 A        81-84 B        71-74 C        61-64 D        0-58 F
89-90 A-79-80 B-69-70 C-59-60 D-

Note that for S/U grading in a graduate course: "S" is considered to be B or higher on the letter grade scale.


Date      Topic / Activity
Aug 26Introduction
Sep 2Research Topics
Sep 9Research Topics and Literature Research
Sep 16Literature Research 2
Sep 23Literature Research 3
Sep 30Literature Research 4
Oct 7Internet Search and Evaluation
Oct 14Publication
Oct 21Abstracts and Annotation
Oct 28Plagiarism
Nov 4Literature Reviews
Nov 11No class - Veterans Day
Nov 18Research Proposals
Nov 25Research Ethics
Dec 2Student Presentations
Dec 9Final Paper Due

Note: Detailed content and assignments will be made available via the Course Calendar.


First Day Attendance Policy: Official university policy is that any student not attending the first class meeting will be automatically dropped from the class. For distance students, this policy is interpreted as posting to the discussion forum "First Day Attendance" no later than the first day of the semester.

Regular Attendance Policy: The university requires attendance in all classes. Attendance in distance classes shall mean regular access to the course web site via campus.fsu.edu and regular participation in the class discussion forums. Here, "regular" shall mean a substantial amount of time on a weekly basis. Note that individual access statistics are maintained by Blackboard.

Grade of 'I' Policy: The grade of 'I' will be assigned only under the following exceptional circumstances:

  • The final exam is missed with an accepted excuse for the absence. In this case, the final exam must be made up during the first two weeks of the following semester.
  • Due to an extended illness or other extraordinary circumstance, with appropriate documentation, the student is unable to participate in class for an extended period. In this case, arrangements must be made to make up the missed portion of the course prior to the end of the next semester.


The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University’s expectations for the integrity of students’ academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process.  Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to “. . . be honest and truthful and . . . [to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University.”  (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, found at http://dof.fsu.edu/honorpolicy.htm.)

All students are expected to uphold the Academic Honor Policy. Please note the following items are defined and made violations by the policy:

  1. Plagiarism
  2. Cheating
  3. Unauthorized Group Work
  4. Fabrication, Falsification, and Misrepresentation
  5. Multiple Submission
  6. Abuse of Academic Materials
  7. Complicity in Academic Dishonesty
  8. Attempted ...

Violations of the academic honor policy may result in failing grades and/or dismissal from the university. All students are expected to read and understand the policy.

Turnitin.com: FSU subscribes to Turnitin.com, a database of papers that have been previously published or turned in for credit in university courses worldwide. Student work may be checked in the Turnitin database for originality. Note that turning in work that contains uncited quoted material from any source is considered plagiarism and a violation of the FSU honor code.


Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should:
(1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; and
(2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type.  This should be done during the first week of class.

This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.

For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the:

Student Disability Resource Center
97 Woodward Avenue, South
108 Student Services Building
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167
(850) 644-9566 (voice)
(850) 644-8504 (TDD)

(This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.)


Information regarding the status of FSU in an emergency situation may be obtained from the following sources:

  • For information specific to the Panama City Campus go to the FSUPC web page at http://www.pc.fsu.edu/ or call the Campus Hotline number 850-770-2000
  • For information related to FSU in general and the Tallahassee Campus go to the FSU alerts web page at http://www.fsu.edu/~alerts/
  • For state-wide and national information, go to the Florida Division of Emergency Management information pages at http://www.floridadisaster.org/

Any specific information related to this class will be posted on the course web site or sent via email to your fsu email address.


This syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advanced notice. Such notice will be in the form of an announcement to the course web site on My FSU.