Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students

writing guidelines for engineering studentsEngineering, science and technical reports/papers provide information to make well-informed decisions. However, they are slightly different to reports on social sciences subjects such as marketing, economics and business. An effective engineering or technical report should incorporate efficient use of concise, clear and plain language, accurate and reliable facts, clear aims and objectives, and the ability to present complete picture of the problem. Moreover, a well presented report should use a logical structure whilst providing background research and recommendations to solve the problem.

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Most engineering reports are based on the design and problem solving in accordance with the engineering industry best practice.  It is also important to make sure that the final report has a professional appearance. Technical reports can be written by either university students or industrial professionals. Engineering and science students are required to develop specific technical writing skills to achieve the highest possible grade in their college/university reports, papers and dissertations.

Most universities do provide information on how to write a perfect report, research paper or dissertations. However, in general there are few important parameters that all students should be aware of. These include proposal of the course of action as indicated by the research study, detailed list of recommendations, logical presentation of conclusions, cost analysis (if needed), calculations (optional), appendices, coherent discussion of various solutions to the problem under consideration, and a permanent record of findings.

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Engineering reports and dissertations completed by former students are difficult to retrieve from the internet or public libraries because they may contain confidential data concerning any organization. However, it is possible to obtain such papers and dissertation by directly contacting the authors.  So what do engineering papers really look like? In real world, there are some common procedures that students can follow.

Possible Structure of Your Engineering Report/Dissertation

  1. Abstract/Executive Summary: This provides a brief summary of your research scope, objectives, aim, methodology employed, and major findings. Information provided in each chapter should be briefly discussed under this chapter
  2. Introduction: This chapter presents the problem, and the background to research. It should also shed light on what might follow
  3. Literature Review: This presents a comprehensive review of the existing literature to identify and discuss various solutions to the problem being discussed.
  4. Methodology: All data collection and data analysis methods and techniques employed by the author are presented under this section
  5. Findings and Analysis: The key findings of your research are presented in this chapter with focus on highlighting noticeable trends through the use of graphs, calculations and software (optional)
  6. Discussion and Conclusions: Author’s personal opinion, views, deduction, advice and recommendations are provided in light of the supporting evidence.
  7. References: A list of all academic reference resources cited in the paper.
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