Fundamentals of Computer Science I (CS151 2003F)

Format for Lab Write-Ups

Summary: At times during this semester, I will ask you to write up your laboratory exercises. This document provides some basic guidelines for laboratory writeups.


File Types and Names

The writeup should be typed and saved as a .scm file. For example, you might save laboratory writeup one as smith.writeup1.scm. Please make sure that you include a group member's name as part of the file name so that the graders and I can distinguish them.

Please use plain ASCII text files for your work (that is, the files you save from DrScheme should be fine; just don't edit them in a program like Microsoft Word). When you save your file for submission use Save Other under the File and then select Save Definitions as Text....

Starting the File

The writeup should begin with Scheme comments that give

You can often create your .scm file by starting with the log from a session (or from your definitions window), which you've saved as a text file. We will load the .scm file and execute it, comparing output as we go.

Sample Output

You should include sample output for any test expressions in your program. That sample output and any comments you have should be preceded by semicolons. For example, if you were testing the list procedure, you might write:

(display "Testing list with no parameters")
; ()
; Hmm ... no parameters gives the empty list.

(display "Testing list with null as a parameter")
(list null)
; (())
; No, that's not the same thing.  Why not?  Perhaps I
; need to check lengths.

(length (list))
; 0
; Okay, nothing is in that list, so the length is 0.

(length (list null))
; 1
; Hmmm ...that's not the same as the empty list.  Ah!  I remember,
; Sam said you can have lists in lists.  So this must be the list
; of the empty list, which means that there's one element.

Note that you do not need to include the observations in most cases, although I do think they help you remember why you were doing the tests and what confused you (or what they showed you).

Note also that I have not included the Scheme prompts (>) in my file. You should not include the prompts, either.

Documenting Procedures

Whenever you write your own procedures, you should make sure to document them with the 6P's:

The preconditions represent requirements you have in order for your procedure to work. The postconditions represent guarantees about the result (and the state of the Scheme system after you're done). For more information, see the reading on preconditions and postconditions.

You can see the Glimmer Scheme Web for a number of examples of this kind of documentation. You can also find an example in the reading on comments.

Checking Your Spelling

I prefer that you take care in your spelling and grammar and will penalize you for incorrect spelling and grammar. In the MathLAN, you can check the spelling of many files with the spell program. Simply open a terminal and type % spell filename You should, of course, substitute the name of your own file. You also should not type the percent sign, which is the normal prompt on our computing system.

Turning it in

Email your writeup to me. I'd prefer that you cut and paste.



Monday, 4 September 2000 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Tuesday, 5 September 2000 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Tuesday, 12 September 2000 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Sunday, 18 February 2001 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Tuesday, 10 September 2002 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Friday, 13 September 2002 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Wednesday, 22 January 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky

Tuesday, 4 February 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Sunday, 9 February 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Monday, 10 February 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Tuesday, 8 April 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Thursday, 11 September 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]


Disclaimer: I usually create these pages on the fly, which means that I rarely proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details. It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.

This document was generated by Siteweaver on Tue Dec 9 13:58:49 2003.
The source to the document was last modified on Thu Sep 11 15:16:34 2003.
This document may be found at

You may wish to validate this document's HTML ; Valid CSS! ; Check with Bobby

Samuel A. Rebelsky,