Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How To Prepare a Project Report

Report writing is one of the primary objects of any student who are in the threshold of completing their graduation. It is to be noted that the final report is not to be done for sheer formality. This report acts as a tool for judging the professional skill of the new engineer. It is also considered to be an extended service for the engineering students who might require information. Remember this report will be subjected to critical analysis by many readers.

Hence to prepare the final report, an engineering graduate must have good knowledge about the practical skills that will be required to solve an engineering problem. All sorts of resources must be compiled to create a report. Experimenting by using the lab, analyzing the theories, observation, details with regard to how to use the equipments, and work experience with others. The most important aspect is one must have a good flair for writing and ideas must be well communicated and the information should be authentic.

There are structural guidelines that one needs to follow while preparing a project report for final year engineering. This format is applicable to all types of students.

Title Page

The following details must be given

· Title

· Authors full name

· Discipline and degree

· Appropriate industrial and other collaboration

· Month and year of submission

It is important that this page will not show any page number

Abstract

Here one has to pint out the main ideas of what the project is about, how it was visualized, and what has been achieved. All this must fit into one page.

Content List

Here one must give a complete list of what the report will contain including the abstract. Make sure that the title page is not included in this list. Here you will be providing chapter wise list.

List of Tables/Figures

A list of tables and figures must be provided if the report contains tables/figures. The list must include table/figure number, title of the table/figure and also page number. These must be numbered sequential throughout the document. The table/figure must highlight clearly the points you are making. Fit the contents of the table within a page. Use a smaller font if necessary or place it in a landscape mode.


Acknowledgements

It is normal to thank all the people who have helped you and provided support. It could be your guide/supervisor. Acknowledgements should be short and business like.

Background.

This area deals with the subject area of the project.

· Chapter 1 : Background

- Motivation

- Problems description

- Objectives of the work

- Organization of the report

Introduction

Here you must include specific topic related problems that you would be researching. Include your research design, hypothesis etc.

· Chapter 2: Introduction

- Details of relevant theory

- Review of past/reported work

- Brief introduction of the proposed work/solution

Methodology

This is the main body of the report. This will include the following:

· Chapter 3: Deals in accordance with the title that is to be researched.

- Main work

- Theory

- Simulation software

- Solution approach

- Design or circuit

· Chapter 4:

- Method to be described

- Presentation of Data

- Results

- Findings

· Chapter 5: Evaluation [ this could be an optional]

- Provide objectives of evaluation

- Compare with other works

Conclusion

· Chapter 6: Conclusion

- Review of the project in brief

- Reiteration of important findings

- Suggestion of future work


Appendices

This has to be numbered sequentially with Appendix 1. Numbering of pages will include appendices.

References and Bibliography

Usually a number of reference materials will be used in a report. The use of source material should be explicit in the report. Every item mentioned in the report must have an entry in the reference list. There are many styles that are followed like APA etc. It follows a sequential order

Books

Title of the book, name of the author, year of publication, and name of the publishers can be included.

Journal

Author(s) name, year of publication, title of the article, name of the journal, volume, year of publication and page numbers can be included.

Website

Do not specify as Google/Yahoo. Specify the exact url of the website rather than specifying the top level domain like www.xyz.com

Instead specify as www.xyz.com/abc.html

The above is the basic structure of a report. There are hard fast rules one must apply when writing the report. Some are discussed below:

Formatting of the report

Please use Microsoft Word so that all information that is explained will have good looks as these help you to avoid rearrangements. Also make sure that the document is Word 2003 compatible.

Length

Basically there are no hard fast rules and the length can vary from person to person depending on the project. It is advisable for an engineering report to have around 100 pages. These will include tables and appendices.

Language of Report

Report must be written in English as this is considered to be consistent form. Certain grammar rules needs to be followed

Apostrophes: This is the most common mistakes all students make. In English language the apostrophes is used as a contraction. In an academic writing the words must be written in its full form and words should not be shortened.

Acronyms:

Science and engineering fields use lot of acronyms and will be familiar only to specialists who are familiar with the subjects. When using it for first time always give it the expanded version.

Colloquialisms:

Avoid usage of slang, phrases, idiomatic and chatty expressions while writing a report. In an academic or technical writing avoid using the first person ‘I’ as much as possible and also do not refer to the reader as ‘you’

Grammar:

Make your sentences small and write it as whole sentences. Proofread your writing every 3-4 hours so that you will be able understand the text as it was to be meant. Ensure that the writing is clear and it follows the basic grammar rules.

Jargon:

Be consistent while using technical terms. Please define and use the same words when you are writing about the same concept.

Spelling:

There are no excuses for spelling mistakes. It creates a bad impression. Take the help of spell checker or dictionary. Spell checker will not be useful if the words spelt are correct ex. ‘from’ or ‘form’ Hence a manual spell check is advisable to ensure the correct word fits into the sentences. Hence proof reading is always suggested.

Typeface and Font Size

Times New Roman typeface and font size of 12-point should be used throughout the report except for Appendices. Italics should only be used sparingly for emphasis.

Paper

High quality 80gm A4 size paper shall be used. The paper should be white in colour, acid free and non-erasable kind.

Printing

Printing has to be done on one side only. It is recommended to use a laser or ink jet printer. Avoid dot matrix printers.

Corrections

Corrections of typographical errors, or changes in the text, figures, or tables, must be made as cleanly and invisibly as possible. Do not use Correction fluid. Corrections should be made on the original word document before printing the problem page.

Margins

The margin on the document must measure according to the following specifications:

Top : 25mm

Bottom : 20mm

Left : 20mm

Right : 20mm


Spacing/Justification

Text should be typed, one and a half-spaced, left-right justified on one side of the paper only. For captions of figures and tables, single spacing can be used.

Pagination

Page numbers are to be placed at least 15 mm from the edge of the page at the bottom centre of the page. Every page except the title page must be numbered.

Title page is 'i' but is not numbered. Preliminary pages are to be numbered in lower case Roman numerals (ii, iii, iv etc).

The main text pages are to be numbered in numerals and all pages must be numbered consecutively and continuously.

Header

A header should be included at the top of each page from the title page. It will include candidate’s name, qualification sought and calendar year.

Paragraph

This should be separated by a single blank line.

Citations

Whenever more than 30 words are quoted from other person’s work the authors name should appear in the references. When small words are quoted, these can be written within quotation marks.

Plagiarism

This should be avoided at any cost. Try to use the content of the subject matter but do not copy word to word. Words and sentences can be rephrased and written. This can lead to serious trouble and it will be treated as an offence as many come under the copyright category.

Hence it is to be noted that report writing is an art by itself and one has to follow the normal procedures.

4 comments:

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Innovation Lab said...

Very Good post for Engineering Students. Most students can't Know the structure for how to make a Project Report. This is very helpful for the students who are going to do their academic projects.

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