ME 3260 Lab Report Preparation Guidelines Instructor: Bi Zhang Spring 2010 Past experience shows that even the best students often do not present a well-written, clear lab report which is a significant input towards their final grades in this course. The weighting factor of the lab reports is 39%, greater than that of the exams. It is very important to make an extra effort to document your report in a meaningful format. How to Write a Report All engineers must report their work, usually in writing. Skilled writers impress their readers favorably. Follow the three rules given below for your reports. a) Imagine your audience. Address your reports to a fellow student that has a background similar to yours, but is not in ME 3260. Your reader relies on you for clear explanations. b) Be thorough and brief. Include all the required sections (discussed below) and informative figures, tables, equations, etc. Write a first draft, then edit carefully for redundancy, wordiness, clutter, etc. c) Organize for readability. The question "Is the reader ready for this material?" guides the structure of the report. Overly detailed material, such as calculations, belongs in the appendix. Report Preparation Guidelines Cover Page Provide report title, course number and name, author's name, instructor's name, and date (see sample cover page). Abstract (less than ¾ of a page)Must be in paragraph format Do NOT rewrite the objectives from the lab handouts Focus on highlights only. Bring the crux of the topic and the solution to attention. An abstract is a very critical part of a report. This section should state the objectives of the lab and outline the methodology and the important conclusions resulting from the lab. This should be accomplished using a very minimum of words. Many people read only the abstract to determine whether or not the report should be read in detail. Do not slight the work you have done by presenting an inadequate abstract. Table of Contents Nomenclature Introduction (one page minimum)a. Provide background information that is essential to your lab; any irrelevant information should not be included. The Background information is written in the present tense. b. Acknowledge the existing knowledge supporting your work; use reference citations;
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