tech_report - ENGINEERING REPORT WRITING Electrical and...

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1 ENGINEERING REPORT WRITING Electrical and Computer Engineering Department University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 06269-2157 September 2001 Edition
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2 INTRODUCTION. As a practicing engineer, you must write reports, proposals, scientific papers, and electronic messages. Writing is perhaps the most important way in which you will convey your ideas to managers, other engineers, and customers. Your communication skills will therefore determine how successful you are as an engineer, perhaps even more so than your technical expertise! This booklet describes briefly how to write an effective engineering report. As you read this booklet, keep in mind that there is always more than one way to convey the same idea. In many situations, there is not necessarily a “right way” and a “wrong way.” However, there may be a preferred way. REPORT ORGANIZATION. Good report organization should promote readability and reflect the scientific method of attack, which proceeds with objective, method, results, and conclusions. It is logical to report a project in the sequence in which it is done, and many engineering reports are organized on this basis. Two improvements to the logical sequence are the addition of an abstract or summary and the insertion of headlines. These two features facilitate “scanning” of the report. Thus, a busy executive or engineer may quickly assess the major findings and conclusions of the report, and then easily find further details as required. In writing a full-length engineering report, you should start with a report outline, then proceed to a rough draft. The outline defines the organization of the report, and the rough draft serves to avoid omissions. Once the content is established, the rough draft is refined for clarity and conciseness. After proofreading and correction of minor mistakes, the finished product is produced. This entire writing process is most easily done using a word processor. “Spell checkers” are particularly useful in removing spelling or typographical mistakes. The outline for a general full-length engineering report contains the following items: 1. Title 2. Object 3. Summary or Abstract 4. Introduction 5. Theory and Analysis
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3 6. Apparatus / Materials 7. Experimental Procedures 8. Data and Results 9. Discussion 10. Conclusions and Recommendations 11. Acknowledgments 12. Bibliography 13. Appendix Usually, you can combine or omit some of these thirteen items without a loss of completeness. For example, the results and discussion sections may be combined. As another example, often the object is described in the introduction. The individual sections of the report will have headings, which are made to stand out with underlined, bold, italic, or large size print, and may be centered. The names of the sections may be more descriptive than the generic names listed above. Headings may be numbered, especially in longer reports, theses or books. Longer documents may also have subheadings within sections. A title page should be used with full identification including names
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This note was uploaded on 07/09/2011 for the course MAE 473 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at SUNY Buffalo.

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tech_report - ENGINEERING REPORT WRITING Electrical and...

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