1.1Background to the Report3
1.2Writing Reports for Me4
2The Basics of Project Report Writing6
2.1Before You Start6
2.1.1Top-down versus Bottom-up6
2.1.2When to Write7
2.2Structure: What to Include7
2.2.1The Front Page8
2.2.2Executive Summary or Abstract8
2.2.3Table of Contents8
2.2.7Literature Survey or Market Survey9
2.2.8Sections Describing the Work10
2.2.10Conclusions and Further Work11
2.3Structure: Sections and Sub-sections13
2.3.1Close-Harmony Singing in the Balkans13
2.3.2How Not to Write about Close-Harmony Singing in Vietnam14 2.3.3Report Length14
2.4What I Look For in a Project Report14
2.4.1Project Report Marking14
2.5Resources on the Web16
2.6Speeling and Grammatically Errors16
2.9.1Plagiarism in Indiana19
3.6Styles and Numbering24
4.1Some Things to Watch Out For if You Choose LaTeX26
6Conclusions and Further Work30
Technical report writing is an important skill, and will stand you in good stead in your future career. It's much more precise than many other forms of writing. A project report is not quite the same as a technical report, however it should show the same level of care and attention to detail.
This document was written to provide a few pointers about what I look for in a project report, and some tips for writing these documents using Microsoft Word. It is written in the form it recommends, and contains examples of both good and bad styles. It is intended for undergraduate project students, and post-graduate students in their first year. It assumes a reasonable familiarity with Microsoft Word (although not at the level of an expert user), and a reasonable grasp of English grammar.
This introduction chapter introduces this document, and contains some advice about writing reports for me to review.
(You've now read the first couple of paragraphs of the introduction, and you should have a good idea of what's in the rest of the document, whether you have the necessary background to be able to understand it and might find it useful, and what's in the rest of this introduction chapter. All reports should start like that.)
1 Background to the Report
I've been supervising undergraduate projects for a few years now, and I find myself constantly giving the same talks to different students. This is getting a bit tedious, and I find I often forget to mention something to one student, and a report then gets handed in at the end which isn't as good as it could be. So I decided to put down my thoughts (or at least those of them that I remember as I write this) and distribute this document. Other thoughts will no doubt occur to me later, and this document will be updated as I remember them.
Please note that there is no accepted standard for project reports. Different supervisors will have different opinions and preferences about style; in some cases this document merely describes my preferences and opinions. Any student reading this document would be well advised to talk to his or her other supervisor as well, and attempt to write a document to satisfy us both.
Distributing this report written in Word has two additional benefits: it allows me to give examples of what I regard as good (and occasionally bad) styles, and it gives me the chance to distribute a...