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Final Project Report Writing – Structure and Content

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1 Final Project Report Writing – Structure and Content

2 What is a report? Formal documentation of project work or research
Written in a concise style, giving specific details Many report types, but usually a similar structure: Divided into separate sections with numbered headings and sub-headings Normally involves tables, charts, graphs, diagrams and appendices Often includes recommendation(s) for action

3 Tailoring to an Audience
The style and content of a report should be appropriate to readers for whom it is written Who will read the report? What is their level of expertise? How much do they already know about the topic? What do they need to know? e.g. if written for a client, the report should be tailored to the client’s requirements, not generic

4 Final Project Report Structure
The exact structure will depend on the particular nature of your project The following is a generic framework: Main body Introduction Literature review Methodology Analysis Design Implementation and testing Critical evaluation & conclusion Further work (for the future) References Appendices Title page Acknowledgements Abstract Table of Contents List of figures & tables Glossary & Abbreviations

5 Title Page The title of the project
Should be short and descriptive indicating what your work is about Please avoid “cute” titles and private acronyms The full name and student id of the author The degree title e.g. B.Sc. (Hons) in Computer Science The name of the University The name of the Faculty The month and year in which the project was submitted

6 Examples of past project titles:
Dynamic Requirements Engineering and Management Software (DREAMS) Secure Multifunctional Smart Cards An Online Purchasing System for BISUK LTD Implementing a Hardware Virtualisation Environment within the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, a Centre of health Protection Agency Academic Staff’s Appointment System Zimbabwe Family Society Data Management System

7 Examples of past project titles:
Desk Browser Unified Communications: Web Collaboration Tool Cygnet Call Reporting System Online Booking System Software for Spectrum View Designed and Implementation of a Website with Backbone Database for a Local Football Team

8 Acknowledgements Optional
You may wish to thank particular people who supported and helped you You may wish to indicate how they helped e.g. proofreading, giving feedback/comments

9 Abstract It should: Consist of an outline of the project, aimed at someone unfamiliar with your work Summarise: the problem tackled the methods used high level summary of outcomes your main conclusions Normally written in the past tense as it describes what has been achieved Not exceed one page Although the first item to be read, it is often the last one to be written

10 Table of Contents List the various parts of the report, including
Numbered chapters Numbered sections and sub-sections List of numbered figures and numbered tables List of appendices References Specify first page number of each chapter, section and sub-section, not a range

11 Introduction Provides the context of the work
(including information on your client, if appropriate) Purpose, scope, main aims and objectives of your project Description of the problem Justification for undertaking this project Project organisation Summary of the content of the remaining sections of your report

12 Literature Review Overview of the most important writing on the subject, discussing other researchers’ main findings Specify where you have used references Identifying the position of your project in the subject area Comparing related work to what you intend to develop

13 Research Ethics London Metropolitan University Code of Good Research Practice ( London Metropolitan University has to ensure that the research that is carried out conforms with the law and best current practice. The guidelines in the code cover issues on proper conduct of research and on the standards expected.

14 Research Ethics Code Professional Standards Honesty
“The University expects those engaged in research to act with the highest standards of integrity whether they are employees of the University, research students or researchers, and irrespective of the source from which their posts or research is funded.” Honesty “Researchers should be honest in respect of their own actions in research and in their responses to the actions of other researchers. This applies to the whole range of research work, including experimental design, generating and analysing data, applying for funding, publishing results, and acknowledging the direct and indirect contribution of colleagues, collaborators and others.” “Plagiarism, deception or the fabrication or falsification of results will be regarded as a serious disciplinary offence.”

15 Methodology Short descriptions of:
Approaches Method(s) Tools and techniques These must be relevant to your project and not addressed in general terms Identify reasons for your choice

16 Requirements Analysis
An account of functional and non-functional requirements for your system based on Analysis of information obtained through various methods Literature Survey Interviews Questionnaires Guidelines These requirements will be integrated into your design document

17 Design Describe the design process you undertook Should include:
Main design goals based on your analysis Design techniques used to model your application e.g. ERD, Sequence diagrams UML, DFD, etc.

18 Implementation and Testing
An account of the software implementation process Should include: Main issues in development Specific screen shots of interest Source code snippets of interest User manual and full source code should normally be presented in an appendix

19 Testing An account of error testing and debugging
An account of usability testing performed A description of any changes implemented as a consequence of test results Description and justification of particular testing techniques employed Summary of your main results

20 Critical Evaluation & Conclusion
Critical appraisal of your work is very important You might consider such questions as: How much of the initial plan has been fulfilled? To what extent have the original aims and objectives been met? If you were to start this task again what would you do differently, and why? What do you see as possible future developments? Offer a conclusion Was the outcome as expected? What has been learned from your project?

21 Personal Reflection As part of the Personal Development Plan (PDP), there should be a self-evaluation chapter/section You might consider such questions as: What did you gain personally by doing the project? e.g. understanding of specific concepts What skills were learned or enhanced? e.g. technical skills, analysis/design skills How could you use these skills in the future? e.g. for career development, future research

22 References Covered separately
Special session from library representative

23 Appendices May include any supporting material which is not essential for the main body of the report These could be: Questionnaire designed for use Completed questionnaires received Details of interviews with end-users User evaluation of the system you developed Software listings User manual/guide Test plans and results Project plans Tables of raw data Glossaries

24 Report Guidelines Plan your report structure
Employ a professional writing style Draft report chapters Review drafts and act on feedback from supervisor Apply report formatting Use plain English: do not overuse jargon or acronyms Give a table of abbreviations if many are used Avoid use of humour or slang – not appropriate Label every figure and table (number and title) Use a consistent system of referencing (Harvard style is recommended) Submit detailed information in an appendix

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