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Security Seminar: Student paper

Contents: | Requirements | Planning | Grading |


The student paper has to be written in English. The topic of the paper is the same as the topic of the presentation you gave. A list of possible topics is available here.

You write the paper with the same team of students that you did the presentation with.

The goal of the paper is different from the goal of the lecture. Apart from explaining the topic in general and with technical details (like for the lecture), the topic should be approached more critically. In the paper you should voice your own opinion on the topic, and substantiate that opinion with arguments found in the literature. Is the approach really that good? Is it practical? What improvements could be made? What do other researchers think?

The paper should be roughly 10 pages (excluding references and appendices) on A4 paper with reasonable margins and a 10 or 11 point font. In the paper you should

Make sure that you describe the technical solution in sufficient enough detail and precision. The paper should be based academic literature on the topic. Some initial references are provided for each of the topics, but you are expected to do your own literature study and to find additional relevant references. The paper could also be based on input obtained during the presentation of the research in class.

The paper should contain at least one protocol. The societal part could be based on interviews with stakeholders. And please use your own words when writing the paper. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Also note that verbosity is not a measure of quality. Aim for roughly 10 pages, and only use more (or less) only when absolutely necessary.

Paper skeleton

You must prepare a skeleton of the student paper. This must be submitted to the teachers to check whether the paper is going into the right direction. The skeleton should therefore contain an outline of the full paper. It should contain all envisioned chapters and sections, each with a few lines describing what it will contain. Also include all references you aim to cite.


To prepare a paper, first look for any relevant literature on the topic of your choice, and read those papers. Find at least one paper that cites the paper you choose, and discuss how this paper views the paper of your choice. Then prepare a skeleton for your final paper: write down all section and subsection titles, adding brief lines describing the content of those. This guarantees a logical structure for your paper. By this time you should know what you want to say in your paper, and where you want to say it.

See the following indicative time line to plan writing your paper.

wk 1 wk 2 wk 3 wk 4 wk 5 wk 6 wk 7
Study literature Write skeleton feedback on skeleton Write final paper
The seminar schedule and the deadlines for submitting the skeleton and the final version of the student papers can be found on the main page.

Please submit electronically, by email, to me. Accepted formats: pdf only.

The skeleton will be discussed in class two week after the deadline.


The content of the paper is scored according to the following criteria:
(Technical) quality
Whether the paper shows an understanding of the (technical) issues involved. Correctness of all (technical) statements and claims.
Whether a proper argumentation is given, and whether all main aspects of the topic are addressed, with proper regard of what are the main points and what are only secondary points. (This covers the criteria argumentation, depth and intelligibility, and comprehensiveness used for scoring the presentation.)
Quality of references
Whether you found and cite all relevant literature. Originality (finding relevant references yourself) is appreciated.
Own opinion
Whether the paper clearly expresses and argues your own opinion on the subject matter.
The form of the paper is scored according to the following criteria:
Clarity of writing, objectiveness, linguistic quality (in terms of spelling and grammar).
Logical structure of the paper, helping the reader understand what he is about to read, giving the paper a natural flow.
Formatting of the paper, including precise formatting of the bibliography.
On each of the criteria you can score. unsatisfactory (u), satisfactory (s), good (g), or very good (vg). If you score satisfactory on all criteria, this corresponds to a 6 as the final grade. Similarly, unsatisfactory corresponds to 4, good to 8 and very good to 10. (Observe how this is subtly different from how the presentation and opposition are scored.)  

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Maintained by Jaap-Henk Hoepman
Email: jhh@cs.ru.nl