Numbering Report Sections• Expect feedback on your report - this could come in writing or verbally• Make it easy for the ‘reader’ to feedback by numbering important sections of your report• Not only can you number each section but also every paragraph in a section• 1. - Introduction 1.1 - 1st Paragraph of the Introduction 1.2 - 2nd Paragraph of the Introduction 2. - Method 2.1 - 1st Paragraph of the Method 2.2 - 2nd Paragraph etc.
Figures• A picture tells a thousand words? There is great substance in this statement, and nowhere more obvious than in technical reports.• Use figures liberally to communicate specific results (graphs) and show an overview of the system being described through block diagrams, etc.• Where possible, put multiple plots on the same axes, so that comparative conclusions can be drawn. Ensure that each figure has a number and a title, so that it can be referenced from the text.
• The reconstructed humeral bone compared with the real bone
Tables• Tables are an excellent means of giving an overview of numerical results or providing information in a form which lends itself to comparison.• Again, ensure that each table has a number and a title, so that it can be referenced from the text.
Equations• Some authors shun the formality of equations, preferring to describe the required relationships in textual form.• However, it is generally possible to encapsulate a whole paragraph of such text in a single equations.• Use equations in a technical report where possible! Number all equations consecutively to allow reference from the text.• Be careful that all the notation you use is defined .
Not all rules of format are constant Reports Textbooks Journals Sandia Laboratories Prentice-Hall ASME Figure 1 Fig. 1 fig. 1 Table 1 Table 1 table 1 equation 1 equation (1) Eq. 1
Each typestyle has its own personality and power Serif Sans Serif Times New Roman Arial abcdefghijklmnopqr abcdefghijklmnopqr stuvwxyz1234567890 stuwxyz1234567890 Garamond Arial Narrow abcdefghijklmnopqr abcdefghijklmnopqr stuvwxyz1234567890 stuwxyz1234567890 Courier Comic Sans abcdefghijklmnopqr abcdefghijklmnopqr stuvwxyz1234567890 stuwxyz1234567890
Choose a type size that is easy to read 48 point posters 36 point presentation slides 24 point 18 point titles 14 point 12 point text 10 point 8 point footnotes
Appendix• Appendices allow you to add supporting information to your report. You can attach spreadsheets, forms, questionnaires, tables, charts, articles – in fact anything that will support the content of your report•You can attach spreadsheets, forms, questionnaires, tables, charts, articles – in fact anything that will support the content of your report• Appendices are usually numbered using Roman Numerals – to get the right effect select the font style ‘Times new Roman’ and use capital letters e.g. Appendix I, Appendix II, Appendix III etc.
Tools• Make use of the Report Writing tools that Microsoft Word™ has to offer: – Spell check – Grammar check – Thesaurus – Report Templates• Justify the text to ensure a consistent look throughout• Check font size, style, colour and headings are consistent
Quality control• Having completed the major chore of writing the document, you may consider that your work is complete.• If there is a higher authority to whom the project/document is done under the guidance of, you may consider that it is their duty to do the quality control on it.• Wrong! While your supervisor may suggest modifications to structure or provide suggestions on some technical points, it is not their job to correct spelling, grammar, etc.• The primary responsibility for the quality of your document lies with yourself. It is worth taking that extra small amount of time to ensure that your document is professional and is free from grammatical and spelling mistakes.
The schizophrenic author• In proof-reading the document yourself, you should attempt to look at the document in a fresh light as a reader completely new to the material.• The capacity to adopt this `schizophrenic stance will greatly aid your ability to improve the document.• Dont be tempted to gloss over sections or speed-read the text, happy in the knowledge that you know whats in there!
Phases of Reports revisions– First revision: • Check for accuracy and validity of statements, charts, and equations. Cross misleading or confusing information.– Second revision: • Strive for clarity. • Use simple non-confusing statements. • As a rule of thumb, each statement should not be more than two lines. But avoid too many short sentences
Phases of Reports revisions• Second revision – Avoid jargon not known to readers. – Avoid complicated drawings. – Match the report to the interest, need, and technical level of audience. – Under-estimate the knowledge of the audience.• Third revision – Improve the report organization – Are there enough headings and sub-headings
Phases of Reports revisions• Third revision – Does the material follow a logical development• Fourth revision – Seek conciseness – Ask yourself how much can be deleted without disturbing the reader’s comprehension of the report.
Phases of Reports revisions• Fifth revision – Correct errors in grammar, spelling, and sentence structure.• Sixth revision – Are you satisfied? – Allow someone to read your report
Again:Typical report sections• Depending on the nature of your document, it may (optionally) have the following sections:• Title page – with name, affiliation, date, etc.• Dedication – to a friend, family member, or loved one• Declaration – that the material in the report is the authors own work• Acknowledgement – to those who have helped or influenced your work
Typical report sections• Contents list – which lists items from here on with appropriate page references,• Abstract – which summarizes the report contents• Introduction – which introduces the work, provides the motivation and context and outlines other related work• Main technical chapters – which document the core technical work• Conclusions – which may also identify appropriate future work, – References – see Section – Appendices
Examples Title Page• The Title; e.g. A Report on .... .....................An Investigation into... .....................An Analysis of ... .....................A Comparison of ... and ...• Your Name• Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement of the ............................course.• If you are a HKPU student, your student number.• The date.
Acknowledgments• "I would like to thank my supervisor, Mr. _______, for the valuable advice and support he has given me in the writing of this report.• I would also like to thank my teachers, Mrs. _______ and Mr. _______ for their encouragement and guidance.• Thanks also to my typist, Ms. _______, for her immaculate job and her suggestions. My deepest thanks go to my wife/husband, for her/his love, understanding and support."
Summary / Abstract• This study was to ______________________________• It was requested by ____________________________• It was requested on (date).• The investigation was done by ____________________• The main findings were that ______________________• It was concluded that __________________________• The recommendations are that _______should be ______
Lists• List of Figures• Bar Chart of Answers to Question 1 ...................................8• Pie Chart of Socio-economic Status of the Respondents.....9• List of Tables• Survey Findings by Gender and Age Group........................10
1. Introduction• The Introduction contains 2 types of information:• 1. information about the report (background, literature review)• 2. an introduction to the content of the report (objectives, methodology)
2. Literature Review• The area of investigation has been commented on by Channel (1994), Hoey (1993), Halliday (1993) and Lesser (1979), who are in agreement that...• However, they have different opinions on ....• Due to the differences highlighted above, it was decided to investigate
3. Methodology (also called the Method or Procedure)• ___ respondents, chosen by the method of _____ were surveyed from (start date) to (end date). Of these, ______ were invited for interview on (date).• The statistics were analyzed using a _______ test because .........• The significance of the results was __________
5. Conclusions• The main conclusion that can be drawn is therefore that...• In the light of this, it is recommended that... (+ a general recommendation; e.g. that something needs to be changed. The detailed recommendations should go in the Recommendations section below.)