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Formal Report Writing

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									 Formal Report Writing

When?
Why?
How?
  When Do We Write Reports

When do we make Formal Reports
  Divide into groups of ~5-6 people
  Write down on a large sheet of paper
  You have 15 Minutes.


Will discuss after you have
 finished.
  Some Examples

Physics
  University: Lab Report, Dissertation, Experimental
   Report, Literature Review.
  Career: Paper, Review of Subject, Lecture, Text
   Book, Request for Funding, Request Promotion, etc.


Outside World:
  Business, Government, School
  Write a report on project, proposal, etc.
  Similar to Physics
  Why Give a Report?

Why Give a Report?
  Divide into groups of ~5-6 people
  Write down on a large sheet of paper
  You have 15 Minutes.


Will discuss after you have
 finished.
  Why Give a Report?

To inform the reader
  about an experiment, a project a proposal


To convince the reader
  Make an argument, proposal, etc.


To impress the reader.
  What a smart fellow this is…..
  A Physics Report

A Physics Report or paper has a very specific
 structure.

Similar to most Scientific Reports.

A formal report should be typewritten
  Modern Translation: Computer Produced
  Phys 131 (Word for Windows)
  Report – A personal opinion…

Microsoft Word for Windows is not ideal for
 Physics (or Scientific Reports).
  Difficult editing of equations
  No easy referencing facility for citations, figures,
   tables, …
 Report – General Structure

Abstract
Introduction
Body (Report Specific)
Conclusion
References
 Report – Experimental Body

Body
 Theory
   Why make a measurement?
 Apparatus
   How measurement is made
 What was done
   Complete Description of Method
 Results obtained
 Discussion of results
  Report – Theory Body

Subset of experimental result
 Theory
    Why make a measurement?
  What was done
    Complete Description of calculation
  Results obtained
  Discussion of results
  Report – Dissertation Body

Similar Structure
Not reporting new results.
A review of past work


  Theory and Experimental Review
     What was examined
  Discussion of Review
 Reminder – Report Structure

Abstract
Introduction
Body (Report Specific)
Conclusion
References
  Title Page

Title of Report
Author of Report
  Address, Contact Information
Date of Report
  Abstract

Executive Summary
One paragraph summary of what the paper
 contains. Short and concise, similar to
 conclusion.

Convince people to read report.
  Introduction

Prepare Reader for the rest of Report.
Motivate the Report
  Background material
  Existing Knowledge
  Expectations
  May have some mathematical content and theory
   content.
  Reference earlier work


Say what you are going to say.
  Theory Section

Describe the background of any theoretical
 ideas and their implications.
  Essentially Background Material.
Reference any work used.
Can be included in the Introduction.
  Generally depends on length
  Apparatus

This explains the equipment you used

Diagrams / photos
May be detailed or may be brief
  Right Length)


Opening section of the report
  Method

Description of Procedure followed

Written in hindsight.
  I.e. don’t write every incorrect step.
  Outline clearly steps required to get result.


Can be interlaced with results (if distinct).
  Results

This presents the results obtained

graphs are better than tables
sometimes tables are good (put in appendix)
graphs should be close to text
label graphs
graphs should show ‘error bars’
 (uncertainties)
  Discussion of Results

Compare with Newspaper Editorials vs. News

This examines the results and extracts the
 final numerical (or otherwise) results

Refers to graphs
May have calculations
Suggests future work that could be done
  Conclusions

This summarises the key results
 and puts them in context

It should refer to the goals outlined in the
 Introduction.

Say what you said.
Not repetitive without point.
Highlight the major results.
  References

This lists earlier work (in journals,
 books, WWW, etc) that is being relied
 on or quoted

Essential
Good practice
Prevents accusations of plagiarism
 Bibliography

This lists earlier work (in journals,
 books, WWW, etc) that you have
 used or that the reader may want to
 investigate

Not directly referenced, or too general to
 referred to directly.
helps examiners too
 General Style


This depends on you and the intended
 audience (and maybe the publisher)

usually avoid contractions (isn’t, can’t)
write proper sentences and paragraphs
use spell checkers!
      References Style

    This depends on you (and maybe the
     publisher)

    Harvard style (don’t use often)

                            ‘….so we can conclude that our data
                            agree with Teletubby theory (Po 95) to
                            five standard deviations.’

References
Po 95 Po et al, Life in Teletubbyland, BBC TV Journal, June 1995
   References Style (2)

 Preferred Style

 Number style

                          ‘….so we can conclude that our data
                          agree with Teletubby theory [15] to
                          five standard deviations.’

References
[15] Po et al, Life in Teletubbyland, BBC TV Journal, June 1995
  Reference Information

Book:
  Author Names, Title (Italics) , Publisher, year,
   page numbers.


Journals:
  Author Names, Journal Name, Volume Number,
   page numbers (year).


WWW:
  Author Name, Web address.
  Microscum How-to

References
  Best to use Endnotes.
  Menus: Insert -> Footnote
  Choose Endnote, select options
  Choose end of document, and 1, 2, 3, …
  Type in information at the prompt at end of
   document
  This gives correct numbering and reorders
   automatically.
  Repeated References

If you are reusing a reference that already
 exists
  Select from Menu
  Insert -> Cross Reference
  Select Reference Type: End Note
  Insert reference to Endnote Number
  You will get a list of end notes.
  Choose appropriate reference.
  CV’s

Careers Office best place to go
  http://careers-main.lancs.ac.uk/


CVs are a specialized form of writing
  I have only prepared an academic CV
  Business is different
  Each job is different
  http://careers-main.lancs.ac.uk/findcv.htm
   Web Pages
 Engineering at University of Toronto
  http://www.ecf.utoronto.ca/~writing/handbook-lab.html
 http://www.newi.ac.uk/buckleyc/wslr2.htm

								
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