Many of you will seek either temporary or permanent jobs where you will
ask by your potential employer for examples of your achievements. The
ability to produce a neat, concise, accurate report to show the
employer is a powerful statement. If your plans for the future include
attending graduate schools, the value of these reports is immense in
illustrating your research and graduate work potential.
Report writing skills for an engineer is a must. The practicing engineer
is struck with a never-ending stream of reports to sponsoring agencies,
division heads, customers, etc. Your presence in this class
implies that you may have taken few other courses that required report
writing. However, in this class you need to post some of your reports
on the Web as well as regular submission. Please note that it is the quality of the report
and not the quality of the web page that determines the grade for that report.
I have posted easy-to-follow guidelines for you to set up and maintain your Web pages for this class.
In general, the report should address itself to the following question:
Keep in mind that your report must be concise and clear. You should not
assume that you are writing the report only for the instructor, but rather
for the world. So, if you are stating a fact that your instructor
discussed it during a class or lab session, make sure to explain it
properly. Make sure that your report comes in logical order and the
material smoothly flows from section to section. You should also be
keenly aware of the copyright issues. Make absolutely sure that all
statements from other resources are given credits to the original source(s) and author(s).
- What was to be done?
This should be a brief outline of the problem and any additional information such as special
techniques and goals. In writing this section, give a brief overview of the problem, but most
importantly, point out the important issues it is dealing with. This should be brief but not
just a repetition of what is in the text.
- How was it done?
This section should have a general statement of your design philosophy, how did you go
about solving the problem. Basically, this section would describe how you
planned to carry out the experiment and why would it work. This does not
mean that you should include step by step calculations, but instead requires
the description of ideas and methods used to meet the goal. The discussion in this section should
include a printout of the computer model and explanation of the parameters used for each node.
- What were the results?
This section should include the output of the simulation runs with proper sections high-lighted and
associated variables identified with their proper names.
- What was learned from the results?
In this section you should analyze the results and summarize your report. Results should be analyzed
in view of whether or not they point out the important aspects of the model. A part of this discussion
is related to whether the results make sense or not and how well they demonstrate the behavior of
the system. When results do not match the expected outcome, the problem could be in one of many areas:
- Incorrect input values: Check to make sure all numbers, and values were entered correctly with
proper decimals when they are values, and names when they are variables.
- Incorrect assumptions: Check to make sure that the model accurately reflect the assumptions given
in the problem.
- Incorrect model: If the above two checks can not detect the source of the error, the problem might
be in the logic and the method that you used to build your model. This requires that you rethink
your solution approach and modify the model appropriately.
- What are your recommendations?
In this section you should state what you set out to do, what you did and conclusions that can be
drawn from what you did. You should highlight the main points of the problem and its solution and make
recommendations based on that solution. This section is usually brief but it is extremely important
to the reader in that it is the clincher, the last thing that they read. It is important to leave
the reader with a good feeling about your report.
One final word about report writing, it is extremely important that your
report be professionally done. All reports should be neat, precise
and concise and must show clearly what and how was done. All
figures, diagrams, graphs and tables should be properly labeled. You
have access to a digital camera and a scanner. You can take pictures or scan them from books,
journals, etc. to include in your report if necessary. All pictures used in your report must be
saved in the appropriate format on your digital media with their names mentioned in the report.
If you need help with image processing see Mr. Mahmud or myself.
Please do not hesitate to ask questions, and consult this page often to make sure that your reports
are in appropriate format. Again, do not forget that it is not the style of your web pages (for
this class) that makes-up your grade, but their contents alone. You can always improve your
pages later during the semester.