Department of Electrical
October 7, 2008
Characteristics of Technical
• The writing is an objective approach to the
• The purpose is spelled out in the first few
• The vocabulary is specialized.
• Sentences are highly specific and factual.
• Numbers and dimensions are frequent.
• Signs, symbols, and formulas are often used.
• Figures and tables are used extensively to
supplement the narrative.
Qualities of Good Reports
• Makes a good impression.
• Can be read selectively.
• Reads coherently from beginning to end.
• Anticipates readers' questions.
• Conveys an overall impression of authority,
thoroughness, and honesty.
• Is accurate: free from typographical errors,
grammatical slips, and misspelled words.
• Has a table of contents and substantive
Qualities of Good Reports -2
• Has the necessary front matter (summary and
introduction) to characterize the report and
disclose its purpose and scope.
• Has a body that provides essential information
logically, defines terms,and spells out acronyms.
• Explains criteria used to evaluate evidence.
• Presents conclusions and recommendations
arranged in descending order of importance.
Outline for a typical report
• Abstract or summary
• Basic Theory
• Data and results
• Have I clearly stated the purpose?
• Have I introduced the topic with a brief
overview of the problem or background?
• Have I discussed the scope of the paper
• Have I provided adequate background for
the reader to understand my paper?
• Have I provided substantive, complete and
• Have I included necessary visuals and
• Have I summarized my research and
• Have I made recommendations supported
• Have I included sources in the text?
• Have I listed the sources I cited?
• Have I included an appendix that contains
relevant information not directly necessary
for understanding the paper?
• Have I checked for grammar and spelling?
• Have I checked for punctuation?