General Advices


Some suggested readings (to make you a better writer):
Read this paper about how to write a technical paper. Many ideas apply to writing proposals as well.
Read this paper about how to write sentences, paragraphs, etc.
And, of course, read Strunk and White. Many times.


Some advices on how to give a good presentation:
Some online advices from others:
Read this paper about things to avoid when giving a talk
Read this paper about how to give a good conference talk. Many ideas apply to the mini-talk you'll give.


Read this article about how to read a research paper. The take-home message is that until you can answer a bunch of questions, you are not done reading a paper. William lists a number of important questions. I would add two: 1) What are the re-usable principles/tricks/algorithms presented in this paper? 2) What is the (authors') insight that drives the research? A system research paper often has a bunch of novel tricks. I believe the more such things you have in your toolbox, the more likely you can come up with an elegant/novel system design.