Technical Report

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A GUIDE TO

TECHNICAL REPORT WRITING

The Institution of Engineering and Technology

CONTENTS

FOREWORD ...................................................................................3 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................4 1 OBJECTIVES ................................................................................5 2 THE FORMAT OF THE REPORT ..............................................6 2.1 Beginning and end...............................................................6 2.2 Appendices ..........................................................................7 2.3 Sections and sub-sections....................................................7 2.4 Headings and decimal notation ...........................................8 2.4.1 Format .......................................................................8 2.4.2 Notation.....................................................................9 2.5 References............................................................................9 3 THE WRITING OF THE REPORT............................................10 3.1 Accuracy ............................................................................10 3.1.1. Spelling ...................................................................11 3.1.2 Punctuation..............................................................11 3.1.3 Choice of words......................................................12 3.1.4 Sentences.................................................................12 3.1.5 Paragraphs...............................................................12 3.2 Brevity ...............................................................................12 3.3 Unobtrusive writing...........................................................13 3.4 Worked example................................................................13 4 ILLUSTRATING THE REPORT ...............................................14 4.1 Positioning .........................................................................14 4.2 Conventions .......................................................................15 4.3 Clarity ................................................................................15 4.4 Tables and graphs ..............................................................15 4.4.1 Tables ......................................................................15 4.4.2 Graphs .....................................................................15 4.4.3 Space .......................................................................16 4.4.4 Diagram references.................................................16 5 FINISHING THE REPORT ........................................................16 5.1 Summaries .........................................................................16 5.2 Abstracts ............................................................................17 5.3 Contents lists......................................................................17 5.4 Checking ............................................................................17 5.5 Appearance ........................................................................18 5.5.1 Title pages ...............................................................18 6 CONCLUSION ............................................................................18 APPENDIX A BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................................19 APPENDIX B A GUIDE TO THE LAWS OF GOOD REPORT WRITING ...19

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FOREWORD The need for skilled report writing, far from decreasing, has grown since the first edition of this Guide nearly twenty years ago. The courses on the same subject held regularly at the IET are popular, and increasingly are asked for by companies who want such training for groups of engineers. In this revision, the bibliography has been updated. For the rest, the ten laws of good report writing remain the same and as...
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