Report WritingThe laboratory reports are to be written as an individual effort. The reports are to be prepared using a word processor and submitted on A4 paper. You can submit hand-drawn graphs on graph paper but it is preferred that you use suitable software to prepare graphs and illustrations. You may submit hand prepared sample calculations to include in an appendix.Remember to staple the sheets together and attach a cover sheet which clearly identifies the report with your name, student ID and date of submission. Include the name of the course convenor for the course on your campus and the name of the demonstrator on the assignment submission sheet.
Reports that are submitted late will be penalised unless an application for an extension of time has been granted by the course convenor.
Report format and structure
The laboratory report should include the following sections.
Title page: The title page should include the experiment number and title; your name, your student ID, names of other students in your group, date of experiment , date of submission of report.
Summary: Present a concise summary of the experiment; what you did, what you found out, the significance of your findings (ie extract the essential finding from your RESULTS and CONCLUSIONS and present them in an informative, condensed manner.)
Introduction: This can be quite short, about half a page at most. It should provide some background information about the topic area and present the relevance of the experiment to some aspect of engineering materials and practice.
Theory: Outline the relevant theory and formulae. This may be adapted from the laboratory manual or from your textbook or other source. Remember to reference your sources correctly.
Aim: Give a clear statement of the aim(s) of the experiment. This can be taken from the laboratory manual.
Procedure: Follow the procedure as set out in the laboratory manual. However, you must write this in the past tense as you are now reporting on the work you did.
Results: Present your results as noted in the laboratory instructions. Usually this can be done with appropriate tables and graphs based on your recorded data plus some associated explanatory comments. Show the results of your calculations but detailed calculations can be presented in an appendix.
Discussion: Discuss your findings. For example, compare your results with the theory and/or with literature values for any material properties you determined; account for any differences; comment on the experimental procedures, accuracy of your measurements, sources of error in your experimental work, the significance of your findings to engineering practice. Demonstrate that you understand the theory behind the experiment you conducted and the meaning of your results within the context of the aims of the experiment. Also show that you understand laboratory procedures, measurement accuracy and sources of errors in practical work.
Conclusions: Give a succinct statement of the conclusions you reached from your RESULTS and DISCUSSION. Do NOT include further discussion in this section to justify your conclusions. That should already be evident in the previous section.
References: You must list all references used. At a minimum this would include the laboratory manual and the textbook. You may also need to include the lecture notes, any handbooks you consulted for property values, journal articles or web sites. Use the author-date system of referencing and include the title of the article or book, journal details (if relevant), publisher details, page numbers. Be selective in the web sites you use.
Appendices: Include sample calculations, extensive data tables, computer printouts and complex illustrations or graphics in the appendices.
Attachments: Attach the data sheets.
Figures and Tables: All tables, graphs and other illustrations must be numbered and have a title. For tables place the number and title above the table. For graphs and other illustrations place the number and title below the figure.
Ensure that graphs are plotted neatly and clearly. It is recommended that you use a spreadsheet or suitable graphing software to plot your results. Axes must be labelled and the appropriate units included.