Howtowrite copia


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Howtowrite copia

  1. 1. Alessandro Talamelli Fluid mechanic and Aerodynamic laboratory II School of Engineering Università di Bologna How to write the report Model• “standard model”• Based on the style used in the last 50 years• Highly recommended for beginners• It is the way that most professional scientists and engineers choose to write 1
  2. 2. Purpose of a report• 1 Convey information• 2 Stimulate and entertain• The second is just an add-on Better to avoid it especially beginners Planning• What is the report about ? What are you trying to say ?• Who are you writing for ?• How long can the report be? 2
  3. 3. The standard model• The first major section is an introduction; the last is a conclusion The conclusion answers questions posed -- explicitly or otherwise -- in the introduction• Factual material and measurements are kept completely separate from opinion and interpretation, often in different chapters or sections• Formal, and rather impersonal, language is used• The report usually refers quite extensively to the work of other individuals• The sections of the report are numbered Sections• The title• Abstract or summary• Table of contents• List of symbols• Acknowledgements• Introduction• Theory• Method or methodology or procedures• Results• Discussion or interpretation• Conclusion• Recommendations• References and/or bibliography• Appendices 3
  4. 4. The title (1)• It is very important ! Some people decide if reading or not a report just by the title• Must be logical, accurate, descriptive, and grammatically correct• Titles should be as short as possible• They can be made by two parts. (e.g. ‘Hot wire Anemometry Techniques for Turbulence: an Experimental Study using wind tunnels) The title (2) • Include author name and affiliation, date, your email address, and a URL to your home page • Include a list of appropriate keywords 4
  5. 5. Author policy• made a significant intellectual contribution to the theoretical development, system or experimental design, and/or the analysis and interpretation of data• contributed to drafting the article or reviewing and/or revising it for intellectual content• approved the final version of the manuscript, including references. Abstract or summary • Brief overview of the report, including its conclusions and recommendations • Both languages • Specific length (300 words ??) • The abstract of a technical paper or report is considered to be capable of ‘standing alone • Not numbered • Write it only after you have completed the report 5
  6. 6. Abstract or summary• Must not contain references• Avoid equations and math• Highlight not just the problem, but also the principal results• Since the abstract will be used by search engines, be sure that terms that identify your work are found there Introduction • what the report is about • what its role is in relation to other work in the field (previous experiments) • who will benefit • (why you spent so much time to do this project ??) • At the end say something about the context of the report • Or finish the introduction with a list of the questions you set out to answer 6
  7. 7. Acknowledgements• thanks to those people who have helped directly in the work• In novels, the authors often thank their friends and family. In technical reports …???• It is important acknowledge the grant Theory• describes any background theory needed for the reader to understand the report• Some literature survey• Do not include unnecessary things 7
  8. 8. Method• the way the work was carried out• what equipment you used• any particular problems that had to be overcome• how you analysed the results Results• Report results plainly as possible, and without any comment• Include enough data to convince the reader that you have done what you said you would do, and that your conclusions will be trustworthy• Try to summarise the results into a few tables and graphs 8
  9. 9. Discussion• Provide an interpretation of the results• Compare them with other published findings• Point out any potential shortcomings in the work• Add some final conclusion of the discussion• Here the author is allowed to be less objective Discussion• It is acceptable to mention opinions, and speculate• If your findings are unusual you should explain why you think this might be 9
  10. 10. Conclusion• Give the overall findings of the study• It is not the very last bit of the report.• The conclusion of a technical paper or report is considered to be capable of ‘standing alone• A conclusion is not a summary• Check if the conclusions follow from the body of the report Recommendations (future work)• Include any advice to offer the reader• Recommend here the appropriate course of action if the report is about making some sort of business decision• Provide suggestions of further and future work 10
  11. 11. References and bibliography (1)• The bibliography is the set of publications that the authors referred to in a general sense in writing the report or carrying out the work it describes. These publications will not usually be cited explicitly in the text• References, on the other hand, are given in support of some specific assertion, and are always mentioned explicitly in the text References and bibliography (2)• References allow the reader to follow up your work• References are not a method for convincing the reader that you have read a lot• Give enough detail so that the reader can follow up your references 11
  12. 12. References and bibliography (3)• Books: authors, year, edition, publishers name and publishers location• Articles in journals: authors, year, name of the publication, volume and page numbers• cite a URL that will take the reader directly to the document you cite References and bibliography (3)• Styles: – give the authors and year in the text, e.g, (Bloggs, 1995), and the full details at the end of the report or in a footnote in alphabetic order – Put numbers in brackets e.g. [1] and list the references in appearance order• If you use another persons words directly, you must be clear about this and give a full reference. 12
  13. 13. References and bibliography (4)• 1. C.K.E. Mees and T.H. James, THE THEORY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESS, 3rd Ed., Macmillan Co., New York, 1966• 2. J.R. Manhardt and D.J. Forst, "The Albert Effect: I.Dual Mechanism", PHOTO. SCI. ENG., 8, 265 (1964)• 3. Kodak Publication J-1, "Processing Chemicals and Formulas for Black and White Photography", 1963• 4. R. Francis, personal communication. Appendices• Put here any material that is not directly relevant to the report, and will only be read by small number of people. E.g.: mathematical proofs, sections of computer programs, data bases ….. 13
  14. 14. Numbering and structure• number each section of the report starting (or not) at the introduction and continuing until the references (E.g. 1, 2, 3 ….).• usually abstract and references are not numbered• number sub-sections. E.g. 1.2 or 1A, 1B...• hierarchical numbering scheme helps to orient the readerLanguage, style and presentation• If the message/work is one of profound importance, it will be communicated rapidly even if presented badly• Few scientific and technical reports contain ground-breaking findings• The author must pay attention to language, style and presentation to encourage people to read the report 14
  15. 15. Grammar and spelling• Use short sentences. Do not be afraid of repeating words• it is vital that you have your work read by someone else before you decide that its finished• get a printed copy of your document (not on a computer screen) and check it very thoroughly yourself Style• You can use ‘formal’ or ‘informal’ style• Do not change style !!!• In UK they try to avoid ‘I’ (be careful)• Try to avoid the double passive• Humour is fine but not for beginners• Do not write like you speak 15
  16. 16. Presentation• Important !!. The first impression to the reader is often made by the presentation• The document must be consistent (use of the same typeface for headings and for captions, all lines have the same spacing, if all pictures are centred on the page ….)• Binding Visual material• Try to plot always non dimensional data• Label everything. (E.g. `figure 1). Check that when you refer to figures in the text, these references are correct• Put only figures that are referenced• Refer to real authors when you add an image• If you prepare graphs in colour, then print them on a monochrome printer, they may become unreadable. 16
  17. 17. Things to avoid• Avoid clichés and stock phrases• Avoid poems and other non-technical material• Avoid giving too much data• Avoid computer program listings and long mathematical proofs (put in the appendix)• Do not include excuses …… 17