What makes a good Report? A report must have a clear logical structure with clear signposting to show where the ideas are leading. The report must make a good first impression. Presentation is very important All reports must be written in good English using short sentences and with correct grammar and spelling Ref: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/Skills/pack/report.html
Where to start? Report Structure Before you write you should define the high level structure of the report The Table of Contents Defining a clear logical structure will make a report easier to write and to read. Report Structure I
Title Page Abstract Table of Contents Introduction Body Technical Detail & Results Discussion & Conclusions
References Appendices Report Structure II Introduction Background and Context Technical Details Results Discussion & Conclusion Order of Writing Start
with the technical chapters/sections Then move onto the discussion Finally write the conclusions and introduction and abstract if you are including one What goes in the Appendix? The appendix should not contain: Material that is crucial to the flow of the document Unnecessary bulking material
The appendix should contain: Material the would interfere with the flow of the main document, either because it is too long or not essential reading, e.g. lists of parameter values etc. Bibliography list of all the sources of material you reference in you document. Writing Style Your style should be: Readable, Professional, Objective, Logical, Succinct
Always write in the third person: The experiment was preformed. not I did this experiment A lot amount of data can be found on the WWW not I found a lot of data on the WWW Spelling & Grammar You dont get marks for good spelling but you can lose them for bad spelling!
Use the spell checker in Word but dont assume that it will correct all your typos Word will also check your grammar but dont rely on it Read your work aloud, get a proof reader, proof read yourself thoroughly Capitals Only use capitals for proper nouns Place names, company names etc If
you are using acronyms define then at the first point of usage: New Product Development (NPD) Avoid using capitals for emphasis, use bold, italics or underlines if you must. Headings Differentiate headings from the rest of the text using different fonts, bold, italics or underlines.
Be consistent in how you format your headings use predefined styles, modify these to suit your needs Dont go beyond 3 levels of headings Tables, Figures & Equations All tables must be labelled descriptively across the top and must be referenced in the text. All figures must be labelled descriptively across the top and must be referenced in the text. All equations must be numbered
consecutively General Presentation Text must be 12 point and 1.5 spaced Sheets should be plain white A4 printed in one side only, in portrait orientation except where necessary for tables and figures Text should be justified on both sides, and
leave a blank line between paragraphs. A staple in the top right hand corner is sufficient for most reports Follow instructions given by lecturers Cheating Cheating in an exam is defined as the use or attempted use of unauthorised material; unauthorised collaboration or attempted unauthorised collaboration; copying or attempted copying. Cheating is considered
a Major offence under the Code of Conduct and suspected cases will be referred immediately to the Discipline Committee. Normally the penalty for cheating is suspension for 12 months. A repeat of such conduct shall warrant expulsion. Citations and Referencing An citation is the acknowledgement in your writing
of the work of other authors and includes paraphrasing and making direct quotes. Unless you have a very good reason to do otherwise you should paraphrase that means putting the material into your own words. This shows that you understand what you have read and know how to apply it to your own context. Use direct quotes sparingly. Adapted from A guide to Academic Referencing, Liz McAspurn, RMIT Learning Skills Unit. Available: http://www.sece.eu.rmit.edu.au/survival/part7/referencing.htm Examples of paraphrasing
According to Montoya-Weiss and Calantone (1994) a wide variety of methodologies and study types have been used A study of product development in the Japanese electrical machinery industry (Wakasugi and Koyata 1997) found that .. Traditionally small firms are seen as being flexible and innovative while large firms are expected to have
structured processes (Wakasugi and Koyata 1997). Much of what is published about structure and organizational issues in small firms focuses on external relations ..(Rothwell and Dodgson 1991; Hoffman et al. 1997; MacPherson 1997). Direct Quotes Direct quotes need to be placed between quotation marks: Rosenfield defines a cluster as a geographically bounded concentration of similar, related or complementary businesses, with active channels for business transactions, communications and
dialogue, that share specialised infrastructure, common opportunities and threats. (Rosenfeld, Cited in Cook, 1996:143) This shows clearly that the words being used are not your own words. Longer Direct Quotes There are occasions when it is useful to use include longer direct quotes. If you have to do this and are quoting more
that about 40 words you should again use quotation marks but also indent the text. (Some authors change the spacing or use italics for longer quotes.) Example of Longer Direct Quote The sustainability of higher-value added industry is grounded in the diminishing significance of cost structures; their success is grounded in the capacity to innovate. innovation, in the sense of product, process, and organisational innovation, accounts for a very large amount, perhaps 80 90% of the growth in productivity in advanced economies. (Cooke, Uranga and Etxebarria, 1998: 1564). At the level of the European Union, a weak capacity to innovate has been identified as a
Useful Web Sites http://owl.english.purdue.edu/workshops /hypertext/reportW/ http://odtl.dcu.ie/wp/1999/odtl-1999-03.h tml http://www.sece.eu.rmit.edu.au/survival/ part7/referencing.htm
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