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PDP 4 – Writing academic Reports. Academic assignments In higher education, assignments are submitted in several formats –Essay –Presentation –Dissertation.

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Presentation on theme: "PDP 4 – Writing academic Reports. Academic assignments In higher education, assignments are submitted in several formats –Essay –Presentation –Dissertation."— Presentation transcript:

1 PDP 4 – Writing academic Reports

2 Academic assignments In higher education, assignments are submitted in several formats –Essay –Presentation –Dissertation –Project –Portfolio –Report In IT related subjects, the most commonly used format is the report

3 Academic reports Reports are technical documents used to document an activity such as writing a program, building a website or a database They should be written so the information in them is as easily accessible as possible Unlike essays which are one discursive block of text, reports should be divided into sections and subsections Where a report is more than a few pages long, it should be clearly indexed

4 Report indexing A standard indexing system is used in technical report writing 2. Testing 2.1 User testing Eye-tracking In conjunction with a table of contents, this system helps readers find the information they want quickly and effectively

5 Report table of contents 1.Introduction………………………………………………………..3 2.Testing……………………………………………………… User testing……………………………………………………… Eye tracking……………………………………………………… Mouse tracking……………………………………………………… Code verification………………………………………………………..14

6 Report graphics Graphics are used to convey complex visual information They break up the text of a report Graphics should not be too large or too small. Detail should be clearly visible They should be labelled incrementally as figures (e.g. figure 1, figure 2, etc.) and given a clear and meaningful title. Some graphics benefit from having a border around them Use programs like SnagIT and Visio to produce professional looking graphics see examples

7 Report tables Tables are used to communicate complex textual information They should be kept simple They should be labelled incrementally as tables (e.g. table 1, table 2, etc.) and given a clear and meaningful title see examples

8 Report fonts Report fonts should be chosen for readability Sans-serif fonts (e.g. Arial Tahoma, Verdana) are always easier to read Use: 14pt bold for level 1 headings 13pt bold for level 2 headings 12pt bold for level 3 headings 12pt for normal text 10pt for table contents and table and graphic labels see examples

9 Report spacing and margins Reports should be neatly laid out with sufficient and consistent spacing between elements. This makes them easier to read Use a single line break between paragraphs Use a double line breaks between sections and between text and graphics or text and tables Never indent paragraphs. This is only done in hand- written documents Have standard margins on your reports. Do not change the default setting in Word Line-spacing should be set to 1.5 or 2.0 see examples

10 Report sections The sections a report requires depends on the assignment However, as a rule, all reports should have the following sections/elements –Cover sheet Provides details of the assignment; the table of contents tells the reader exactly what is in the document –Table of contents Informs the reader exactly what is in the document –Introduction Sets the scene for the project and provides background information –Main body Contains the main information in the report –Conclusion Summarizes the main points covered and stresses what you have achieved –References Provides details of any reading/research you have done in the course of the project

11 Report planning Your academic reports will account for at least 40% of your marks while on the FdIT Thus, care and attention needs to be paid to making them as presentable and readable as possible This process begins with careful planning Read the assignment you have been asked to complete carefully and make a note of the requirements set out The requirements of the assignment will provide the basis for the structure of the report

12 Report drafting and editing All academic documents should go through a drafting and editing process Create an outline of your report before that details the section organisation Then write a first draft of each section Check your first draft for completeness and then add any other detail or content you need Then edit your report Editing should involve careful checking of spelling, grammar and formatting (Use the spell-checker!)

13 Further reading

14 PDP 4 – Activities Now do: PDP 4 – writing academic reports


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