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Seminar scientific report

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How to write a good IT report

How to write a good IT report

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  • 1. Writing a good Scientific Report By Dr. A. O. Akala Department of Physics, University of Lagos 09/09/2013 1SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 2. A good Scientific Report is like a lady’s skirt The right to search for truth implies also a duty: One must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true. -Albert Einstein ......Neither too long to lose fitting, nor too short to uncover the critical zones. 09/09/2013 2SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 3. Title The title is expected to motivate readers at first glimpse- It must be “catching”. All words in the title should be carefully chosen, with reasonable cohesion to pass the intended message of the entire text- “Succinctness”. Hence, a good title represents the fewest possible words that adequately describe the contents of a paper, book, poster, thesis etc. First impressions are strong impressions, a title ought therefore to be well studied, and to give, so far as its limits permit, a definite and concise identification of what is to come. -T. Clifford Allbutt. -e.g “Challenges of mobile communication in Nigeria”. 09/09/2013 3SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 4. Abstract The Abstract should provide a brief summary of each section: Introduction, Methodology, Results & Discussion, and Conclusions. According to Houghton (1975), “An Abstract can be defined as a summary of the information in a document”. •State the principal objectives and scope of the investigation •Describe the methodology employed. •Summarize the results. •State the principal conclusions. A well-prepared abstract enables readers to identify the basic content of a document quickly and accurately, to determine its relevance to their interests, and thus to decide whether they need to read the document in its entirety. 09/09/2013 4SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 5. Introduction •It should present first, with all possible clarity, the nature and scope of the problem under investigation. •Definition of the problem is very cardinal. If the problem is not well stated, readers will have no interest in the solution. •In the introduction, you should have a “hook” to gain the reader’s attention. Why did you choose that subject, and why is it important. •It should state the principal conclusion(s) suggested by the result. 09/09/2013 5SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 6. Literature Review •This section reviews previous literature that are relevant to the current investigation. •Point out possible deficiencies in the previous efforts that you are attempting to correct, or how you feel your research can add value to the existing literature, even though when a deficiency has not been noted, but this must be convincing. •This will help readers. 09/09/2013 6SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 7. Methodology The main purpose of the methodology is to describe the experimental design to support repeatability by others to ascertain its merits. Most of this section should be written in the past tense. •The order of presentation should be chronological, however, related methods should be described together when necessary. 09/09/2013 7SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 8. Results •Present both positive and negative findings. Include appropriate statistics and use table /graphs liberally. •present a representative data rather than endlessly repetitive data, your charts/graphs can show the entire data. •It is often good insurance to state what you did not find under conditions of your experiments. •The results should be succinct . The results need to be clearly and simply stated, because it is the results that comprise the new knowledge that you are contributing to science. •The whole thesis must stand or fall on the basis of the results. Thus, the results must be presented with crystal clarity. 09/09/2013 8SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 9. Discussion •Try to present the principles, relationships, and generalizations shown by the results. And bear in mind, in a general discussion, you discuss – you do not recapitulate the results. Be as definitive as the data allow “show clearly” “establish for the first time?” •Point out any exceptions or any lack of correlation and define unsettled points. Never take the high-risk alternative of trying to cover up or fudge data that do not quite fit. •Show how your results and interpretations agree (or contrast) with previously published work-“extend and/or confirm previous observations?” •Interpret the results, and discuss possible significance, weakness of study, and future directions; discuss the theoretical implication of your work, as well as any possible practical applications. •State your conclusions as clearly as possible. •Summarize your evidence for each conclusion. The primary purpose of the Discussion is to show the relationships among observed facts. The Discussion should end with a short summary or conclusion regarding the significance of the work. Anderson and Thistle “Finally, good writing, like good music, has a fitting climax”. Many a paper/thesis loses much of its effect because the clear stream of the discussion ends in a swampy delta. 09/09/2013 9SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 10. Tables Table 3.1: Monthly S4 index at the corresponding ionospheric heights. Month S4 (Highest) Height (Km) 1 0.35 350 2 0.304 368 3 0.48 350 4 0.18 105 A tabular presentation of data is often the heart or better, the brain, of a scientific paper/thesis. As a rule, do not construct a table unless repetitive data must be presented. That is, the title or legend should be concise and not divided into two or more clauses or sentences, unnecessary words should be omitted. The title of the table should be written before the table itself is drawn as shown. First Table in Chapter 3. 09/09/2013 10SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING The Table must be mentioned in the text.
  • 11. Figures Figure caption should be written below the graph or diagram of interest, and it should be chapter specific. Pictures should be captioned as plates, and they should be chapter specific too. Figure 3.1: GPS TEC Over Lagos, Nigeria during September 26, 2011 Geomagnetic Storm. First Figure in Chapter 3. 09/09/2013 11SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING The Figure must be mentioned in the text.
  • 12. Conclusions This section should elucidate the core result of the work, its main contributions to the field, and its novelty value. A well-written, conclusion independently promotes the work. Write the conclusions in present tense, this way, you bring your results to a more general academic level. Finally, this section may include a subsection on future study: introducing the future prospects or ongoing projects on the issue. Explain your limitations. Perhaps, in the research group, there may be another dissertation in progress, or a further project is planned on the subject. This section can be quite brief and generalized; its purpose is chiefly to show that the author recognizes the need for further work and is able to place his/her contribution in a specific academic perspective. 09/09/2013 12SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 13. References List only significant, published references. Check all parts of each cited reference against the original publication. All references must be alphabetically arranged. Harvard style is the recommended system for quotations and references. All references must appear in the body of the text. 09/09/2013 13SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 14. Articles Articles in Learned Journals. The format will follow thus: Name of the author(s) (Bold) Year (Bold) Title of the paper Name of the journal (Italics) Volume Page(s) An example is given below Akala, A. O. and P. H. Doherty (2012). Statistical distribution of GPS amplitude scintillations, J. Atmos. Solar-Terrestr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2011.11.006, 74, 199–211. 09/09/2013 14SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 15. Books Books that are reviewed. The format will follow thus: Name of the author(s) (Bold) Year (Bold) Title of the textbook (should be italized) The publishing house (press) Where published Page(s) An example is given below Beck, E.A. (1981). Physical Principles of Exploration Methods. The Macmillan Press, Ltd, London.234 09/09/2013 15SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 16. Conference Proceedings • Recognized conference proceedings. The format will follow thus: Name of the author(s) (Bold) Year (Bold) Title of the paper Proceedings of which association The place where conference was held Period Page(s) An example is given below Akala, A. O., P. H. Doherty, C. S. Carrano, and L. N. N. Amaeshi (2009). The Role of Global Positioning System in Enhancing Aviation Safety in Nigeria. Proceedings of the Institute of Navigation-ITM, 26-28th Jan., Anaheim, CA, USA, 196–202. When it starts a sentence, e. g. Akala et al. (2009) reported that ...... . When it ends a sentence, e. g. Scintillation activity is predominant during March Equinox (Akala et al., 2009). 09/09/2013 16SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 17. Edited Books/Monographs • Edited books from which articles credited to each author or contributor. The format will follow thus: Name of the author(s) (Bold) Year (Bold) Title of the paper In which book appeared (Italics) Name of the editors The publisher Where published Page(s) An example is given below Mellot, M. M. (1985). In Collisionless Shocks in the Heliosphere: Reviews of Current Research, Geophysical Monograph Series, 35, (eds. B. T. Tsurutani, and R. G. Stone), AGU, Washington DC, USA, 51. 09/09/2013 17SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 18. Thesis Procedures (Undergraduate) Chapter 1 Introduction •Background to the study •Statement of problem •Aim and Objectives Chapter 2 Literature Review Chapter 3 Methodology Chapter 4 Results and discussion Chapter 5 Conclusions and Recommendation References Chapter 1 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Background to the study 1.2 Statement of problem 1.3 Aim and Objectives Chapter 2 2.0 Literature Review 2.1 Basic Concepts Chapter 3 3.0 Methodology Chapter 4 4.0 Results and discussion 4.1 ……………………. Chapter 5 5.0 Conclusions and Recommendation References 09/09/2013 18SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 19. Thesis Procedures (Graduate) Chapter 1 Introduction •Background to the study •Statement of problem •Purpose of study •Research Questions Chapter 2 Literature Review Basic concept of the work Chapter 3 Methodology Chapter 4 Results and Discussion Chapter 5 Conclusions and Recommendation References 09/09/2013 19SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 20. Acknowledgements Acknowledge any significant technical help that you received from any individual, whether in your laboratory or elsewhere. You should also acknowledge the source of special equipment, cultures, or other materials such as data exchange. You might, for example, say something like, “Thanks are due to Juan Espinoza for providing the GPS data, and to R. Smith for his valuable discussions on spherical harmonics”. Acknowledge financial assistance, such as grants, contracts, or fellowships. 09/09/2013 20SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 21. Presentations • Just 8 slides to discuss your contribution with the audience (Undergrad). Comportment, Delivery as regards the physics of the concept. • Title page (1) • Problem statement and motivations (1) • Graphs and Tables (4) • Conclusions (1) • References (1) –just few references from the set. 09/09/2013 21SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING
  • 22. Thank you for listening! & Best of luck!! 09/09/2013 22SEMINAR ON PROJECT WRITING