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Homework and Report Writing. Chapter 2 – pgs. 47-66 Freshman Engineering Clinic Dr. Hong Zhang *Adopted from Freshman Clinic Notes. Homework. Problem Analysis. Combination of art and science Science Knowledge of math, chemistry, physics and engineering principles

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Homework and report writing

Homework andReport Writing

Chapter 2 – pgs. 47-66

Freshman Engineering Clinic

Dr. Hong Zhang

*Adopted from Freshman Clinic Notes

Problem analysis
Problem Analysis

  • Combination of art and science

  • Science

    • Knowledge of math, chemistry, physics and engineering principles

    • Correctly apply to solve the problem

  • Art

    • Judgment, experience, common sense

    • Reduce real-world problem to a form that can be solved using science principles

Engineering method
Engineering Method

  • Recognize and understand problem

  • Accumulate data and verify accuracy

  • Select appropriate theory or principle

  • Make necessary assumptions

  • Solve the problem

  • Verify and check results

Problem presentation
Problem Presentation

  • Must solve and present problems in a logical and orderly way

  • Problem statement

  • Diagram

  • Theory

  • Assumptions

  • Solution steps

  • Identify results and check accuracy

Standards to follow
Standards to Follow

  • Engineering paper

  • Heading – include name, date, sheet number

  • Use pencil

  • Write NEATLY

  • Check spelling

  • Clearly separate problems

Standards to follow cont
Standards to Follow (cont.)

  • Diagrams should be clear and understandable

  • Include units on quantities (ex. Force in lb.)

  • See also Freshman Clinic Handbook pgs. 9 and 10

  • If use computer, make sure the format of your file is readable without special software.

Type of reports
Type of Reports

  • Lab reports

  • Term reports

  • Project reports

  • Research articles

Goal of reports
Goal of Reports

  • Present data

  • Explain results

  • Express ideas

  • Disseminate knowledge

  • Persuade people

Typical components
Typical Components

  • Title Page

  • Abstract

  • Introduction

  • Methods and Materials (or Equipment)

  • Experimental Procedure

  • Results and Discussion

  • Conclusion

  • References

  • Appendices

Title page
Title Page

  • Name of the experiment

    • Good: Effect on memory with caffeine and sleep deprivation

    • Bad: Lab #1

  • Full names of lab partners

  • Date and location

  • Submittal information (course name, number and instructor).


  • Summarize

    • Purpose of the experiment

    • Key results

    • Significance

    • Major conclusions

  • Sometime includes a brief reference to theory or methodology.

  • One paragraph of 100-200 words

  • Often written last


  • States the objective and scope

  • Provides background

  • Explain relevance and importance

  • Preview the content

  • The “WHY” part of the paper


  • The scientific principles that applied to the experiment and are relevant to the analysis and interpretation of results.

  • Include equations used in calculating results.

  • “Theoretically HOW” Part

Methods equipment procedure
Methods, Equipment, Procedure

  • Source (company name and location) of all materials used

  • Model and manufacturer for all specialized laboratory equipment

  • Methods of the experiment

  • Procedures of the experiment

  • “Practically HOW” part

Results and discussion
Results and Discussion

  • Present the findings

  • Interprets the significance

  • All results should be explained, analyzed, and interpreted

  • DO NOT just show the raw data

Analysis and interpretation
Analysis and Interpretation

  • What do the results indicate?

  • What is the significance of the results?

  • How does observed results compare with expected results?

  • How does your results compare with existing knowledge?

  • “WHAT” part

Error analysis
Error Analysis

  • Is there any error?

  • Was it avoidable?

  • Was it a result of equipment, method or theory?

  • How to eliminate or reduce it?

Graphs and tables
Graphs and Tables

  • Use graphs, figures, and tables to help explain methods and results

  • Always explain and analyze in the text

  • Put caption and reference number on each of graphs and tables

  • No “orphan” graphs and tables

Verb tense
Verb Tense

  • Present tense: Theory and permanent equipment

    • “The purpose of this report is..."

    • “The acceleration of gravity is…”

    • “The thermometer measures…”

  • Past tense: Experiment

    • “The objective of the experiment was…”


  • Summarize the significance and implications of the findings.

  • Be consistent with the stated objectives and with the results.

  • Discuss possible improvements and future works.

  • Future work should be positive, relevant, constructive, useful, and practical.


  • Included if information from outside sources is included in the report.

  • Any material or information taken from another source must be specifically cited (footnoted) in the text

  • appear at the end of the document in endnote format.

  • NOT a reading list of books and articles on the subject.


  • Raw data, calculations, graphs, pictures or tables that have not been included in the report itself.

  • Put each kind of item in a separate appendix.

  • Each Appendix should have a letter designation (Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.) and a descriptive title.

    • Title example: "Laboratory Data for Coffee Concentration as a Function of Grinding Time."

  • Each appendix should be referred to at least once in the body of the report