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  1. 1. Report Writing
  2. 2. <ul><li>What is a report? </li></ul><ul><li>A report is the formal writing up of a practical experiment, project or research investigation. </li></ul><ul><li>A report has clearly defined sections presented in a standard format, which are used to tell the reader what you did, why and how you did it and what you found. </li></ul><ul><li>Reports are written in a way which presumes that the reader knows nothing about your experiment or research. </li></ul><ul><li>Reports are written in sufficient detail so that someone reading it would be able to replicate your experiment exactly. </li></ul><ul><li>Reports differ from essays because they require an objective writing style which conveys information clearly and concisely. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Setting the objective </li></ul><ul><li>A clear objective in the form of a single sentence, which expresses exactly what you intend the report to achieve. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of your intended recipients when setting the objective; a report on the launch of a new product written for the Marketing Director would have a very different focus from that written for the Financial Controller. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself why the report is required, and what the recipients need to know about the proposal. </li></ul><ul><li>Your objective should be specific and utterly clear in its emphasis. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to achieve an objective can be the direct result of an unsatisfactory report in terms of structure, presentation and language </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Types of reports </li></ul><ul><li>There are basically two types of report, each requiring a different structure: </li></ul><ul><li>A research report investigates a subject and reports on the findings. This might research a competitor's activities, consider options for a new computer system, or report on product development. </li></ul><ul><li>Information-Only reports: simply passes on information. It might be a memo, or the monthly budgets or management reports and updates. The structure of an information only report groups your organized information into a logical and clear sequence. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The aim is the objective, and is expressed in a single sentence at the beginning. </li></ul><ul><li>The method explains how you researched your subject and the sources used. </li></ul><ul><li>The results present your findings in an objective and neutral fashion. Any unnecessary constructive detail should be included in an appendix. </li></ul><ul><li>The conclusion is where you express a subjective view drawn from the results of your research </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Structuring your Report </li></ul><ul><li>  Most reports include the following sections: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Title </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Method </li></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><li>Appendices </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Title </li></ul><ul><li>This should be short and precise. It should tell the reader of the nature of your research – what were you studying? </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. The effects of stress on eye - witness testimony </li></ul><ul><li>Omit any unnecessary detail e.g. ‘A study of….’ is not necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>Review some journal articles for appropriate examples from your subject area. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Abstract </li></ul><ul><li>The Abstract is a self-contained summary of the whole of your report. It should therefore be written last and is usually limited to one paragraph (approximately 150 words). It should contain: </li></ul><ul><li>an outline of what you investigated (as stated in your title) </li></ul><ul><li>why you chose to look at that particular area with brief reference to prior research done in the field </li></ul><ul><li>your experimental hypothesis (prediction of what the results will show) </li></ul><ul><li>a brief summary of your method </li></ul><ul><li>your main findings and how these relate to your hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>a conclusion which may include a suggestion for further research. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>3. Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>The Introduction ‘sets the scene’ for your report; it does this in two ways: </li></ul><ul><li>by introducing the reader in more detail to the subject area you are looking at through presenting your objectives and hypotheses. </li></ul><ul><li>Initially you should explain the background to the problem with reference to previous work conducted in the area (i.e. a literature review) .  </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure you only include studies that have direct relevance to your research . </li></ul><ul><li>Briefly discuss the findings of other researchers and how these connect with your study. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, state your aims or hypothesis </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>4. Method </li></ul><ul><li>The Method section should describe every step of how you carried out your research in sufficient detail so that the reader could exactly replicate your procedure if they wanted to. Information on your experimental design, sampling methods, participants (if there were any), equipment and the overall procedure employed should be clearly specified. </li></ul><ul><li>This information is usually presented under the following sub-headings: </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Participants (if there were any) - say how many participants or items were included. Why and how were they selected? What were their defining characteristics? </li></ul><ul><li>Design – Say what your experimental method was (e.g. laboratory or field experiment, questionnaire survey etc) and why you chose this method. What was your design i.e. how many different conditions did the experiment have (e.g. for Psychology students was it an independent or matched groups design?)? Also say what kind of data you gathered and how you collected it. </li></ul><ul><li>Apparatus/Materials – Give a full description, do not use a list. In some subjects, particularly Science disciplines, this section is only required if you used special equipment. </li></ul><ul><li>Procedure – A step by step description of what you did from start to finish. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>5. Results </li></ul><ul><li>Your Results section should clearly convey the findings of your experiment. </li></ul><ul><li>These are what you will base your commentary on in the Discussion section, so the reader needs to be certain of what you found. </li></ul><ul><li>Present data in a summarized form (e.g. means and standard deviations). </li></ul><ul><li>Raw data (e.g. individual recordings taken during the experiment) should be included in the Appendices. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not over-complicate the presentation and description of your results. Be clear and concise. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe what the results were, don’t offer interpretations of them. </li></ul><ul><li>Present them in a logical order . </li></ul><ul><li>Those that link most directly to your hypothesis should be given first. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Presenting Data in Tables and Graphs </li></ul><ul><li>Do not present the same data in two or more ways i.e. use either a table or a graph, or just text. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that a graph should be understandable independently of any text, but you may accompany each with a description if necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>Use clear and concise titles for each figure. Say which variables the graph or table compares. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe what the graph or table shows, then check that this really is what it shows! If it isn’t, you need to amend your figure, or your description. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Statistical Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>If you conducted a statistical analysis of your results: </li></ul><ul><li>Say which test you used (e.g. chi-square, t-test) and briefly explain why you chose that particular statistical test. </li></ul><ul><li>Show how your results were analysed, laying out your calculations clearly (ensure you include the level of probability or significance p or P, and the number of observations made n ). </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly state the results of the analysis saying whether the result was statistically significant or not both as numbers and in words. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>The Discussion section is probably the most important part of your report. </li></ul><ul><li>It relates the findings of your study to the research that you talked about in your Introduction, thereby placing your work in the wider context. </li></ul><ul><li>The Discussion helps the reader to understand the relevance of your research to previous and further work in the field. </li></ul><ul><li>This is your chance to discuss, analyze and interpret your results in relation to all the information you have collected. </li></ul><ul><li>The Discussion will probably be the longest section of your report and should contain the following: </li></ul><ul><li>a summary of the main results of your study </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>An interpretation of these results in relation to your aims, predictions or hypothesis, e.g. is your hypothesis supported or rejected?, and in relation to the findings of other research in the area, specifically those studies that you included in your Introduction. </li></ul><ul><li>Consideration of the broader implications of your findings. What do they suggest for future research in the area? If your results contradict previous findings what does this suggest about your work or the work of others? What should be studied next? </li></ul><ul><li>A discussion of any limitations or problems with your research method or experimental design and practical suggestions of how these might be avoided if the study was conducted again. </li></ul><ul><li>Some carefully considered ideas for further research in the area that would help clarify or take forward your own findings. </li></ul><ul><li>A conclusion which briefly summarizes the main issues arising from your report. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>7. References </li></ul><ul><li>Here you must give details of work by all other authors which you have referred to in your report. </li></ul><ul><li>8. Appendices </li></ul><ul><li>The Appendices contain material that is relevant to your report but that would disrupt its flow if it was contained within the main body. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: raw data and calculations; interview questions; a glossary of terms, or other information that the reader may find useful to refer to. </li></ul><ul><li>All appendices should be clearly labeled and referred to where appropriate in the main text (e.g. ‘See Appendix A for an example questionnaire’). </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>  How to Present your Report </li></ul><ul><li>Below are some tips you should bear in mind when you come to write up your report: </li></ul><ul><li>Write in the third person (passive voice) e.g. ‘A series of experiments were conducted’ rather than in the first person ‘I conducted a series of experiments’. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid using personal opinions, descriptions or unnecessary detail e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The data were painstakingly collected…’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The colour changed to a beautiful blue…’ </li></ul><ul><li>These sentences contain detail that is subjective to the writer. </li></ul><ul><li>Which words would you take out to ensure the sentences are objective? </li></ul><ul><li>Also refrain from using non-quantifiable descriptions such as:' The vehicle reached a very high speed’  ‘It was the storm of a lifetime’ </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Be clear and concise and stick to short , simple sentences . Don’t be afraid of getting straight to the point. For example the following two sentences convey the same meaning: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Studies conducted previously in the field have revealed…’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Previous research shows…’ </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid using an over-familiar, informal style e.g.: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ At the end of the day…’ ‘When it comes to the crunch…’ ‘In a nutshell…’ </li></ul><ul><li>Check your spelling, punctuation and grammar! Make use of the spelling and grammar checkers on your PC but remember that some errors will not be identified e.g. scientific names. Proof-reading your work can often gain you vital marks! </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>A Report on </li></ul><ul><li>Operator Interface Technology </li></ul><ul><li>By </li></ul><ul><li>Ashwini Kumar </li></ul><ul><li>Control Systems Engineer </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering Department Paper Tiger Equipment </li></ul><ul><li>March 12, 2007 </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>A Report on </li></ul><ul><li>Operator Interface Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Prepared for </li></ul><ul><li>General distribution at Annual review Conference </li></ul><ul><li>By </li></ul><ul><li>Ashwini Kumar </li></ul><ul><li>Control Systems Engineer </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering Department Paper Tiger Equipment </li></ul><ul><li>March 12, 2007 </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>MEMORANDUM </li></ul><ul><li>Date: March 12, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>To: Victor Bottaci, Vice President </li></ul><ul><li>From: , Ashwini Kumar, Control Systems Engineer </li></ul><ul><li>Subject: Individual initiative project/Annual Review Conference   </li></ul><ul><li>Paper Tiger is scheduled to meet in one week for our annual review conference. </li></ul><ul><li>At the meeting our senior staff members will present their individual initiative projects for review by all employees. A report has been prepared recommending an update of our current product line to incorporate new operator interface technology, which will be distributed to supplement the presentation prepared for the annual review conference. </li></ul><ul><li>The operator interface technology presented is state of the art and will be a turnkey opportunity as an upgrade for our current paper-shredding equipment line. There will be numerous benefits to implementing this new technology including increased profit margin, increased customer satisfaction, and enhanced usability of the equipment. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Abstract </li></ul><ul><li>Our current operator interface system uses hardwired pushbuttons, pilot lights, and message displays to interface the operator and the machine. The system we use now is substandard for several reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>confusing to the uninitiated </li></ul><ul><li>difficult to install </li></ul><ul><li>prone to device failure </li></ul><ul><li>difficult to upgrade </li></ul><ul><li>New operator interface technology offers huge installation timesaving over our current hardwired system, because we won’t have separate devices to wire individually to the PLC. The only connection required is a cable to the PLC via a serial port. </li></ul><ul><li>Another key benefit of the new operator interface technology is that it uses a software program to configure the display, which eliminates the possibility of end user tampering. If any updates or changes need to be made, all that is required is simple editing to the program on a PC or a laptop, then a download to the unit- most units can be programmed while in run mode virtually eliminating the downtime associated with a hardwired system. </li></ul><ul><li>This system utilizes a touch-screen graphical display to allow the operator to control and communicate with the machine. The touch-screen LCD allows the operator to intuitively operate the machine using industry standard symbols and bitmap graphics. The operator interface accesses the PLC registers to display machine variables in engineering unit values and to adjust operating parameters, and because the OI accesses the PLC registers directly, the required I/O is less than the current system. The operator interface also has a real-time clock for custom operating schedules. </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords: operator interface, hardwired, registers, PLC, PC, I/O, OI </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Contents </li></ul><ul><li>Cover Page </li></ul><ul><li>Title Page </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract </li></ul><ul><li>Executive Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Glossary </li></ul><ul><li>References </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Executive Summary </li></ul><ul><li>During the past several years we have had a decline in market performance of our product line at Paper Tiger . Extensive research has been to pinpoint the cause of the performance decline. All the evidence points to one major issue, we have not kept pace with the industry standard of operator interface technology, or hmi (human interface technology). This report shows that new operator interface technology available today is superior to our current operator interface systems. </li></ul><ul><li>The components of new operator interface technology are slightly more expensive than the operator interface components we currently use, but with significant installed cost savings and PLC I/O cost reduction we will experience savings on system costs. The bottom line is that the new operator interface technology will work better, cost us less and thereby increase profit and improve customer satisfaction. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Over the last five years we have experienced a decline in new machine sales and customer satisfaction, due in large part to our failure to keep pace with rigorous updates in operator interface technology. </li></ul><ul><li>The purpose of this report is to prove the importance of updating our operator interface, and to recommend immediate action to implement the new technology. </li></ul><ul><li>This report compares the proposed use of modern operator interface technology, to the current hardwired operator interfaces that we now use on our machine products. </li></ul><ul><li>The scope of this report is to compare our current product to our product enhanced with new operator interface technology from a sales, production, service, and engineering perspective. The report includes projected cost of implementing the new product, projected man-hours for new product configuration and installation compared to current system man-hour requirements, and proves the merit of the proposed system change from a sales, customer, and service department perspective. This report will not cover specific product and/or manufacturer comparisons, or exact pricing of product candidates. </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><li>To account for profitability our sales trends have been studied as well as our competitors sales trends for the last eight years. The data was compiled from the above items and disseminated the importance of the information. cost data for current system components and new system hardware and software components has also been compiled . </li></ul><ul><li>To evaluate the feasibility from a production and engineering perspective have studied our production department machine building documentation to determine man-hour requirement for current system installation. Additionally I have consulted with production department personnel to estimate proposed system installation man-hour requirements. Next I consulted with the engineering department to evaluate the feasibility of taking on the engineering task of updating our product line. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to maintain customer satisfaction and serviceability I have studied pertinent documents from leading industrial journals. I have studied all of our customer feedback reports from the past eight years to present. Furthermore, I conducted five formal interviews with former customers to see where we went wrong, and if we could bring them back. Finally I consulted with our service department to solicit their input on the recommended product update. </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>From the research I have conducted, I have found our sales history to be the most compelling. From our sales reporting I have found that our sales declined sharply in 1995, about the same time that operator interface technology became widely available to industrial OEMs, similar to us. We have also lost thirteen big customers to our ambitious counterparts who have implemented the new operator interface technology. In the same year our competitors who developed their new product line incorporating the new operator interface technology enjoyed unprecedented sales increases. To date our product line has not been updated to incorporate the new technology, and as result our sales have continued to decline. </li></ul><ul><li>From the cost comparison between the components for our existing systems and those of the proposed system, I have found that we will incur an increase of approximately $150 for hardware components, and a one time software cost of $0-$2000 depending on manufacturer. In addition to these costs we would have to account for marketing the new product through promotional advertising. </li></ul><ul><li>Upon evaluating the production aspect of the proposed product update I was pleased to find that the product line can be updated with relative ease. From studying our production documentation I found that our current operator interface requires about $600 in materials, and takes an average of twelve man-hours to install and wire. At an average pay rate of $17/hour, that is an average installed cost of $804 plus PLC I/O. </li></ul><ul><li>With the new operator interface technology there is an average materials cost of $790 including average software cost of $40, (based conservatively on one-application/20 units). The estimated install and connection time for the new system is one hour. At the same labor rate our installed cost will be $807 plus PLC I/O. One more consideration is that we will be likely to reduce our I/O count due to the embedded I/O of the new operator interface technology, thereby reducing our PLC costs. </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>In our engineering department we will essentially experience a wash, concerning system design, configuration, and manpower resources. Basically what will happen is our electrical engineer, Bill, will be alleviated of some of his workload, which I’m sure he will be eternally grateful, and our controls engineer, me, will experience an increased workload. Because of the PLC programming we currently do, the designing and configuration of the software will be a natural step and will not require any extensive training. Probably one or two days of manufacturer provided class is all the additional training we will require, which will most likely be free because of the product volume that we process. Since Bill and I are largely interchangeable in our drafting, design and programming duties, we will be able to adapt to the new scenario quite readily. </li></ul><ul><li>The research I have conducted from a customer satisfaction standpoint shows both of these aspects strongly favor updating our operator interface technology. In studying leading industrial journals I have found steady increasing support and demand for new operator interface technology starting in 1995, when the market was flooded with the gamut of new operator interface technology components and devices. This explosion of technology caused prices to plummet, making it almost mandatory for OEMs to develop their product lines with new operator interface technology in order to remain competitive. The eight years of customer feedback forms that I have studied reveal that customers are satisfied with the overall quality of our product, however, beyond 1994 we see about 75% of our customers requesting new operator interface technology to be incorporated into our equipment. </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Another important issue that was addressed in this study was serviceability. To evaluate this issue I consulted with our service department personnel. Our service technicians have unanimously supported updating our operator interface technology. There are several reasons for their enthusiasm, and they synthesize service and customer needs. </li></ul><ul><li>The new operator interface technology is intuitive; self-prompts provide users with industry standard symbols. </li></ul><ul><li>The new operator interface technology is easy to upgrade; only software program needs to change, not wiring. </li></ul><ul><li>The new operator interface technology can network; to connect to customers SCADA system. </li></ul><ul><li>The new operator interface technology is a trouble-shooting tool; has many useful diagnostic features. </li></ul><ul><li>The new operator interface technology is machine friendly; less wiring to come loose and cause breakdowns. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Based on promising sales projections, increased profit margin, customer demand, increased usability and function, and industry proven results indicated by top industrial journals, new operator interface technology is our best option for the future. </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>I recommend we take immediate action to incorporate new operator interface technology into our entire product line for the 2008-production year. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to accomplish this we will need to: </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate operator interface manufacturers to determine the right one for us. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop marketing for the new product. </li></ul><ul><li>Complete training for the engineering aspect of new operator interface technology. </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Glossary </li></ul><ul><li>OI Acronym for o perator i nterface, a device used to provide interactive information and control between a human and a machine-controlled process. Also interchangeably called: </li></ul><ul><li>HMI - h uman m achine i nterface, </li></ul><ul><li>MMI - m an m achine i nterface. </li></ul><ul><li>Hardwired terminology used loosely to indicate a system with electrical control devices, which are wired electrically for standard relay control, without using modern communications capabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>PLC Acronym for p rogrammable l ogic c ontroller, a processor based industrial controller originally developed to replace relay control systems in the automotive manufacturing industry to eliminate costly rewire required each new model year. Now used industry wide for machine control, plant automation, and supervisory and data collection. </li></ul><ul><li>PC Acronym for p ersonal c omputer, used generically to represent modern IBM format personal computers. </li></ul><ul><li>SCADA Acronym for S upervisory, C ontrol, a nd D ata A cquisition, a generic term for distributed control systems that perform any or all of the functions of the words that compose the acronym. </li></ul><ul><li>I/O Acronym for i nput/ o utput used to represent the input sensing devices, output work-performing devices and their corresponding controller interfaces. </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><li>Taylor, Jim. &quot;Monitor/Operator Interface Markets Grow 12% per Year.&quot; Control Engineering Online 1 Nov. 1996. 15 Nov. 2000 <>. </li></ul>