Reading Reviews

Students are expected to have completed the assigned readings before attending class and actively participate in discussions.

Students must submit reviews of five papers on Gradescope. Late reviews will not be accepted.

You are encouraged to form study groups to discuss the papers, but each student must write their own independent review.


Each review must include the following information:

  1. Summary: (An overview of the main idea and contributions in one paragraph.)
    • What is this paper about?
    • What is the main contribution?
    • Describe the main approach & results. Just facts, no opinions yet.
    • Summarize the insights resulting from the empirical study.

  2. Strengths: (State the strengths of the paper in three bullet points.)
    • Is there a new theoretical insight?
    • Or a significant empirical advance? Did they solve a standing open problem?
    • Or a good formulation for a new problem?
    • Or a faster/better solution for an existing problem?
    • Any good practical outcome (code, algorithm, etc)?
    • Are the experiments well executed?
    • Useful for the community in general?

  3. Weaknesses: (State the weaknesses of the paper in three bullet points.)
    • Why should anyone care? Is the problem interesting and significant?
    • Is there sufficient novelty in what they propose? Minor variation of previous work?
    • What can be done better?
    • Any odd design choices in the algorithm not explained well? Quality of writing?
    • Any missing baselines? Missing datasets?

  4. Reflections: (Present questions or comments on the paper in one paragraph.)
    • What are the next research directions in this line of work?
    • What (directly or indirectly related) new ideas did this paper give you? What would you be curious to try?
    • What experiments can deepen our understanding?
    • How does this relate to other papers we have read?
    • How can your own research benefit from the insights provided in the paper?
    • Why is the paper not interesting?
    • What is the paper’s potential impact on the field?

You should strive for clarity and brevity in your reviews. You are encouraged to use active voice in your review. You should expect to spend around three hours per class on reading the paper and writing the review.

Formatting Guidelines

We have provided a recommended latex template that you may want to use for your reviews. You can use other document processing tools while adhering to the same structure and formatting guidelines (12 point font, single spacing).

LaTeX Template: review.tex
PDF: review.pdf
Makefile: Makefile


Reviews will be graded via sampling (not always graded) on a scale of Excellent (10 points), Satisfactory (7 points), and Unsatisfactory (3 points). Most reviews will get a 7. Reviews that are too long will automatically receive an Unsatisfactory grade. The purpose here is to get students to read (and discuss) papers before they are discussed in class.


Students will submit their reviews on Gradescope.

Reviewing Tips

I highly recommend reading the first article below.

LaTeX References

WARNING: These reading reviews must be your own writing. You may not copy from the papers or other sources that you find on the web. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students are expected to abide by the Georgia Tech Honor Code.