Writing Requirements in Computer Security

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This paper presents suggestions in incorporating essays in a Computer Security course. The first approach is a short essay that presents the student's personal view on computer security within the campus. In the paper, s/he uses information from the university's IT website and documents, as well as security disclosures of websites and software applications. This assignment is presented at the beginning of the course and serves as a basis of discussion both for the development of writing skills and for the identification of vulnerabilities faced by the campus community on the intranet and Internet illustrating the need for clear written regulations in IT security. The second approach requires an extended essay that describes the work performed in a term project. The essay assignment is developed in several stages that include a summary proposal, partial and complete drafts and final paper. The writing requires the student to go through all the steps needed to develop a significant scientific paper. The work must be original, supported by extensive literature review and follow a topic relevant to computer security. The essay development is complemented by ongoing class discussion of scientific papers, and by an in class presentation. The course was already piloted with the extended essay version and has received significant positive feedback from the students. It was recently approved to fit the Graduation Writing Requirements at our institution.



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