This warning applies equally to information obtained from the Internet. It is very easy for markers to identify words and images that have been copied directly from web sites. If you do this without acknowledging the source of your information and putting the words in quotation marks then your report will be sent to the Investigating Officer and you may be called before a disciplinary panel.
Your report should now be nearly complete with an introduction, main text in sections, conclusions, properly formatted references and bibliography and any appendices. Now you must add the page numbers, contents and title pages and write the summary. The summary, with the title, should indicate the scope of the report and give the main results and conclusions.
It must be intelligible without the rest of the report. Many people may read, and refer to, a report summary but only a few may read the full report, as often happens in a professional organisation. This refers to the checking of every aspect of a piece of written work from the content to the layout and is an absolutely necessary part of the writing process. You should acquire the habit of never sending or submitting any piece of written work, from email to course work, without at least one and preferably several processes of proofreading.
In addition, it is not possible for you, as the author of a long piece of writing, to proofread accurately yourself; you are too familiar with what you have written and will not spot all the mistakes. When you have finished your report, and before you staple it, you must check it very carefully yourself. You should then give it to someone else, e.
You should record the name of this person in your acknowledgements. Monday - Friday Must include the title of the report. Reports for assessment, where the word length has been specified, will often also require the summary word count and the main text word count. States the objectives of the report and comments on the way the topic of the report is to be treated. Leads straight into the report itself.
Must not be a copy of the introduction in a lab handout. Divided into numbered and headed sections. These sections separate the different main ideas in a logical order.
Details of published sources of material referred to or quoted in the text including any lecture notes and URL addresses of any websites used. Other published sources of material, including websites, not referred to in the text but useful for background or further reading. Any further material which is essential for full understanding of your report e. The report must be printed single sided on white A4 paper.
Hand written or dot-matrix printed reports are not acceptable. Do not number the title, summary or contents pages. Number all other pages consecutively starting at 1. A single staple in the top left corner or 3 staples spaced down the left hand margin.
Stylistically, literature reviews are often written in the past tense, but many authors favor the present tense when the research being summarized was completed recently.
Passive voice may seem tempting to use, but active voice will serve you well here, because you can smoothly place the names of authors into the subject slot of the sentence:. Any of the above titles will usually do for this section. As necessary, this section includes a description of the relevant apparatus and materials used, and photographs and diagrams could be used, sparingly, to help clarify the procedures. Stylistically, passive voice and past tense verbs are essential in this section, but be sure that your sentences are written efficiently and contain simple subjects and verbs when possible.
The basic form of directly saying "what was done; why it was done that way" should be used over and over in the "Experimental" section. After the dispersion thickened it was poured into molds coated with Vaseline to prevent sticking. Finally, subsections, perhaps numbered, are often used to aid in the organization of the material. For most readers, this is the most important section of the report—your readers must easily find your results in order to interpret them.
Here you straightforwardly present the results of your experiment, usually with minimal discussion. Naturally, the use of tables, graphs, and figures is especially enlightening here, as are explanations of how data were derived:.
Often this section is combined with "Results" into one "Results and Discussion" section; this allows you to interpret your results as you summarize them. Logical deductions must be made, errors of or ambiguities in the data should be discussed, and even simple causal relationships must be confirmed. It is important here not to rely on a table or figure to do the work for you—you must outrightly and concisely interpret. Beware of making sweeping generalizations or unfounded statements.
Again, passive voice may seem tempting here, but active voice can be highly valuable, especially as you make a logical assertion:. As a rule, use past tense to summarize your actual results; use present tense to present established facts or present your interpretations "The helium sintering data show.
Finally, consider referring back to the key literature of your introduction or literature review in this section. Enlighten your readers and perhaps even elevate your work by discussing your results in relation to the published results of others. In "Discussion" you supplied your reasoning; now you present the exact conclusions you have arrived at as they relate to your experimental objectives. Conclusions may be listed and numbered, and it should be made clear how they contribute to the understanding of the overall problem.
In a sense, you are going back to the big picture provided by your introduction now, incorporating your conclusions into that picture, even suggesting where more work is needed. This section may be short—often about the same length as the abstract. How many do you know? How many did you get right. Two out of six? Many people would not have recognized these two.
As for CRA, camera-ready artwork would be better. Try to avoid words that do not exist when you write. Keep to words people understand or at least can look up in a standard dictionary—your readers will thank you for the effort.
One habit you should avoid, common to most technical writers, is overusing abstract words. For example, what is a device , output or facility. Such words are so abstract they become meaningless to the reader. String them together, such as output device and you have instant jargon for the word printer. For example, in a desktop publishing manual you could use the terms folio, recto and verso.
The simpler page or page number folio , right-hand page recto and left-hand page verso are easier for the reader to follow. When you write up your technical information, remember to use examples, illustrations and analogies to explain difficult information or new ideas. The operating system of your computer is like the bridge a ship, the control center for everything that happens on your machine.
A good diagram, flowchart or graph can present information quickly that would take ten sentences to explain. Such a diagram makes any explanation or technical description far easier to understand. Good layout can help guide readers to key information. For example, when writing instructions you want the reader to take in numbered bold statements.
For many technical documents you need to test them on the intended readers. Show users instructions and get them to carry them out.
Rework any area where users slowed down. Rethink, redesign and rewrite any area that confused users. Make sure all users can go from the start of each instruction to the end without faltering. Such testing on readers will show up ways to improve documents that even the best technical writers would have missed. Click here to cancel reply. Time limit is exhausted. Share it Twitter Facebook LinkedIn. For example, the following demand different approaches. Of course, some reports often have both the evaluation and recommendation reports rolled into one Technical Manuals and Instructions Here the emphasis is on using appliances, equipment or programs.
If you define your aim as: You might decide to: Exclude alternatives to firewall software. Exclude a review of different firewall software packages.
Stress the specific company information most at risk. Look at the cost of introducing the software compared to the cost of losing data. Describe the worst-case outcome. Examine the technical issues to overcome in using firewall software. If you have more than one aim, sort them into priority order. Plan the sections and subsections you need With technical writing you must present your information so readers can: Write your headings using strong verbs and specific nouns When you have your sections and subsections, give them headings with strong, active verbs and specific nouns.
Adopting a Mechnized Auto Assembly Headings help keep you organized and focused on the topic. Poor Technical Writing The 15ATS series toggle switches, in excess of in total, were subject to the extreme of temperatures caused by being in close proximity to the furnace. Concise and Easy to Read Over automatic toggle switches fused when the keypad melted as the furnace temperature rose to over degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep information specific rather than general. General heavy precipitation during the period excessive heat select the appropriate key Specific four inches of rain in 48 hours degrees Fahrenheit click Alt-B As long as you guard against going into excessive detail, replacing general information with specific information will improve your technical documents.
Too General Problems arose in a number of areas of the stock transportation device that required intervention by an appropriately qualified member of staff so remedial action could be taken. Specific As the temperature rose to degrees Fahrenheit, the coolant for the metal rollers overheated causing the conveyor belt to jam.
Excessive Detail Monitoring the temperature saw a rise from Write in plain English Good writing, whether technical or general, presents relevant information in a clear style. Original From any page of a site, links can be found which point to other pages in the same site or to other sites, wherever they may be. Redraft in Plain English You can link any page to other pages on the same site or different sites. Use active verbs rather than passive verbs Using active verbs is the first rule of good writing.
Passive Verbs The QMS Magicolor 2 Printer is equipped with two interfaces, one is known as the parallel interface, the other is known as the Ethernet interface. Passive Verbs The experiment was conducted so that the relationship between the two theories could be examined. You must accurately spot them. Often writers miss passive verbs or try to change verbs that are already active.
You need to measure your use of passive verbs. One or two passive verbs a page will not ruin your style, nine or ten will. You need to know how to turn passive verbs to active verbs. Keep your average sentence between 10 to 20 words Long sentences make any document hard to read. One Sentence—70 words Shorter Sentences The web site offers both expert and technical advice sections.
Three sentences—Total 42 words Sometimes, it helps if you break long sentences into a list. Long Sentence Physical inventory records can be accurately kept for exchange transactions by reduction of the inventory from the receiving report and requiring customer services to prepare a production report on repaired items going back into the inventory as a replacement for items that have been sent to the customer in exchange.
One Sentence—50 words Shorter Sentences To keep inventory records accurately for exchange transactions: Reduce the inventory from the receiving report.
Wordy To understand and interpret an applet, the browser must have a Java virtual machine at its disposal. Complex Words As we noted in the preceding section, if you purchased additional printer options, such as a second printer tray, it is a requirement you verify its correct installation. Simple Words As we noted in the previous section, if you bought extra printer equipment, such as a second printer tray, you must check that you installed it correctly.
Jargon-ridden Most refractory coatings to date exhibit a lack of reliability when subject to the impingement of entrained particulate matter in the propellant stream under extended firing durations.
Jargon-free The exhaust gas eventually chews the coating of existing ceramics. However, jargon is more than a specialist term. Avoid acronyms and abbreviations The most common and irritating form of jargon is overuse of acronyms and abbreviations. Here are the rules to keep acronyms and abbreviations under control: Use the abbreviation without explanation, if everyone knows it i. For example, do not use PC for politically correct or for Privy Council as most people think of it as meaning personal computer.
Use the ten to twenty most common and understood acronyms in your organization without explanation when writing internally. Prefer the full form and the shortened word form when writing to other audiences and especially if writing to the public. Use the shortened word form to avoid most abbreviations. If the abbreviation is better in the shortened form and causes no problems for any of your readers, use it freely.
For example, if you are writing a leaflet about Personal Equity Plans and the word Plans could either confuse or become tedious, it might be better to use the shortened form PEP. Limit your use of shortened forms to one or two in any document, no matter what its length. Each time you do this you set a memory test for your reader. We have tested this by asking ten managers to read a two-page memo with two abbreviations explained on the first page.
When they turned the page and read the abbreviations, we asked them what they stood for. If you want to find the ones used in your organization, look at the added dictionaries on your word processor.
How to write a good technical report 2 Before writing the first word: Make your mind regarding the message you want to convey Try to define the likely audience.
Mechanics of writing a technical report is explained in a pseudo report format. The purpose of this pseudo report is to explain the contents of a typical engineering report. It can also be used as a template for an actual engineering report. With some adaptation, the format can be extended to other type of technical writings as well.
report. THE FORMAL TECHNICAL REPORT The formal technical report contains a complete, concise, and well‐organized description of the work performed and the results obtained. Any given report may contain all of the sections described herein or a subset, depending upon the report requirements. Understand the type of technical report you are writing. Technical reports come in all shapes and sizes, but they all share the same goal of communicating information .
Writing a technical report requires different skills from writing a paper, dissertation, or thesis. This presentation will help you sharpen your technical writing skills so that you have a greater chance of the funding agency accepting – and using – . In this presentation, aimed at students in engineering, science and technology, I present some personal thoughts on what is expected in a technical report. Aim.