Report Guidelines

Report Guidelines - Perry Arnsfield 1 Report Guidelines...

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Perry Arnsfield Report Guidelines 1 When writing a technical report, there are some sections that are absolutely necessary regardless of the research thesis. These include an executive summary, introduction, conclusion, and appendix. The executive summary, introduction, conclusion sections should be clear and strong because they are typically the first sections to be read. The Appendix is necessary because the reader may periodically refer to it for technical clarification of the material. General Guidelines There are also some fundamental writing guidelines that are important to follow to meet the professional standards of your audience, be it senior management or university professors. According to David R. Caprette of Rice University, all sections of your paper should follow these guidelines: Use normal prose including articles ("a", "the," etc.). Stay focused on the research topic of the paper. Present your points in logical order. Use present tense to report well accepted facts - for example, 'the grass is green'. Use past tense to describe specific results - for example, 'When weed killer was applied, the grass was brown'. Avoid informal wording, don't address the reader directly, and don't use jargon, slang terms, or superlatives. Avoid use of superfluous pictures - include only those figures necessary in presenting results. Never include raw data or intermediate calculations in a research paper (use the appendix). Do not present the same data more than once. Proofread your report. Professor Caprette also addresses how to properly use and notate figures and tables throughout the report and in the appendix. they are as follows: Please do not confuse figures with tables - there is a difference. Text should complement any figures or tables, not repeat the same information. Either place figures and tables within the text of a section, or include them in the back of the report (Appendix) - do one or the other. If you place figures and tables at the end of the report, make sure they are clearly distinguished from any raw data. Regardless of placement, each figure must be numbered consecutively and complete with caption (caption goes under the figure). Regardless of placement, each table must be titled, numbered consecutively and complete with heading (title with description goes above the table). Each figure and table must be sufficiently complete that it could stand on its own, separate from text.
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Perry Arnsfield Report Guidelines 2 A strong executive summary is written with the audience firmly in mind. Executives are generally interested in bottom-line deliverables, not details, and your summary should reflect that. Executive Summary Address the purpose of the study.
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