The lab report must be a typed report. Use the equation editor in Microsoft Office for equations.
Only one report per group is required. Each group will have either three or four students.
For general principles on structure and style of lab report writing, click here for a 2004 write-up by Mike Campolongo. Note that the weights and point assignments used are examples and can be used as a guide, but the Instructor will assign weights according to the lab assignment.
The cover page will be formatted as a report cover page (centered vertically and horizontally except possibly footer data such as the date, titles larger fonts, etc.) and contain the following elements:
Project number (Lab number 1, lab number 2, etc.)
Course name, number and Section (Electronics I, ECE 09-311 Section 1)
Names of Group Members, and Team Name
Logos as appropriate
The Introduction should be the last part of the report that you write, because it is the first part of the report that is read and must accurately describe the remainder of the report.
An Abstract may precede the report. An Abstract is appropriate for very long reports. In a specified length, typically 50 or 100 words, an Abstract tells why the work was done, what was done, and the results. Emphasis is on the work and the results. No figures or tables may be included in an Abstract.
In a short report, this should be an Introduction. An Introduction should describe the reason that the report is written, provide a thumbnail of what was done to execute the effort, and a very brief summary of the results or conclusion. Emphasis is on the reasons the work was done and how it was done. Small figures or tables may be included if they shorten the Introduction. The Introduction should be from half a page to a page in length, and never more than two pages.
In a report over efforts of more than a week or two, the Introduction should be an Executive Summary. An Executive Summary has all the elements of the main report, and may contain figures or tables. Emphasis is on clarity, flow and brevity first, then the results and conclusions, then the reasons that the work was done, followed by the other elements. Write the Executive Summary as if it is the only part of the report that will be read by senior people – think the Dean.
The body of the report will have the following elements:
The objective of the experiment or laboratory.
Equipment used, including any software. Include any schematics and photographs here.
Theory behind the experiment, and the approach used in the experiment including how the theory is used in defining the approach.
The approach or procedure used in the experiment. Use the equation editor, not ASCII graphics for equations.
What you did.
What you saw.
What you measured.
Results and conclusions may be two sections in a longer report. If you have an Executive Summary, you will likely need two sections to do justice to both areas. Another guideline is that if multiple paragraphs are required for Results, some of which are not directly related to the final Conclusions, the Results should be in its own section.
This is the place to summarize measurements, include plots, and show oscilloscope curves
Refer to the procedure section but do not repeat it in detail.
Describe what you learned in the work or experiment.
Explain how the experiment achieved in terms of the objectives.
Include other discussion and conclusions as appropriate.
End with a summing up and, if appropriate, what you recommend doing next.
All items in the Appendix must be referred to in the body of the report. If you have material for the Appendix and you can't find an appropriate place in the body to refer to it, either the body is incomplete or this particular appendix material is surplus and should not be included. Appropriate items for the Appendix include
Data tables that are at a level of detail that is inappropriate for the body but are needed to validate the report conclusions.
Listings of software such as MATLAB or Mathcad that was used in the experiment.
Data sheets for unusual or peculiar hardware or computer utilities that are used in the experiment or its interpretation.
Mathematical analysis or derivations that are too detailed for the body of the report.
Lists of references or links to Internet sites or pages that support theory or data sheets to support discussions in the body of the report.
These allocations are an example for your guidance and will vary at the discretion of the Instructor or Grader.
Example of Grading Allocations:
Introduction: 10% to 15% -- a higher percentage will be used for an Executive Summary.
Body or Procedure: 20% to 25% -- higher for lab reports, less for narratives.
Results: 25% -- a high amount because this is the "payload" of the work done and the report. The work is done to get to the point that these are available.
Conclusion: 20% to 25% -- a higher percentage will be used if the conclusions require significant effort beyond simply looking at the Results.
Presentation: 15% -- this is clarity and flow, appropriate assignment of material to the Appendices and referencing of this material in the body of the report, figure captions, formatting of the report – tables should be on one page unless they are multiple-page tables, captions should be on the same page as the referenced figures and tables, etc.