Contents How to get data? Structure Figures and Tables Spelling and grammar Conclusions
The purpose.... The report exists to provide the reader with useful information Research Results of an experiment It succeeds if it effectively communicates the information to the intended audience It fails otherwise!!
Getting data There are 2 main sources: 1. Internet 2. Books Searching for data needs patience Wikipedia helps you, it is not the report Dont stick to the same searching words
Structure: details A good report has the following parts Title Table of Contents Abstract Introduction Main sections Conclusions References Technical appendix
Title Should be informative Good Buoyancy Force (punchy) Drag Force: how to test, where to test (dramatic, informative) Bad Some factors that have effect on the forces acting on a moving object in a fluid flow (boring, vague) Performing round off analyses of statistical algorithms (boring, vague غامض ) Left & Drag (wrong spelling)
Table of Contents Shows the structure of the document and lets the reader navigate through the sections Include for documents more than a few pages long.
Abstract Describes the problem and the solution in a few sentences. It will be all the big boss reads! Remember the 2 rules Keep it short State problem and solution
The Introduction You should inform your reader of the background to your investigation. Outline the approach Describe the contents of the rest of the report in Section 2 we... in Section 3 we...
Further sections Describe Data Methods Analyses Divide up into sections, subsections Numbering is very important for sections and subsections
Conclusions Summarize what has been discovered Repeat the question Give the answer
Appendix This is where the technical details go Be as technical as you like Document your analysis so it can be reproduced by others Include the data set if feasible
References Always give a reference to other related work or facts that you quote Never pass off the work of others as your own – this is a very big crime!!
Writing clearly Structure alone is not enough for clarity – you must also write clear sentences. Rules: Write complete short sentences Use one theme If a sentence contains maths, it still must make sense! Use no more than 4 fonts. Use no more than 4 colors.
Figures Always label and give a caption under the figure Be aware of good graphics principles: avoid unlabelled axes broken axes Misleading scales
Tables Always label and give a caption over the table Be aware of rules for good tables: avoid vertical lines dont have too many decimal places compare columns not rows
Busy – too many DPs Better Number of Processors Time (secs) 128.35221 47.218812 83.634951 161.929347 Number of Processors Time (secs) 1 28.35 4 7.22 8 3.63 16 1.93
Spelling and Grammar Use a dictionary if in doubt Spell check!!!! Proofread!!!! He meant… This technique can also be applied to the analysis of golf balls He typed…. This technique cam also by applies to the analysis or gold bills
Conclusions Structure is vital Write clearly Good clear simple illustrations Spellcheck and proofread Reference all material used or quoted
Reference How to write a good report by Alan Lee