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Building Blocks of a Report

Below the different building blocks of a report are listed. Each entry is indicated by its English and Dutch names, followed by a short explanation:

  1. Title Page (Titelpagina). This is the first page of your report. The main component of this page is the title. Try to find a title that clearly describes the work you have done and be as precise as possible. The title that your supervisor gave to your project when you started, might not be the best title, as your results were unknown at that time. Note that it is the convention in English to capitalize all words in the title except for articles and prepositions, whereas in Dutch only the first word in the title should be capitalized. Other things to be mentioned on the title page are: your own name, the project type (240-hours, D1, Master's, etc.), the specification of our group (University of Twente, Department of Electrical Engineering, Laboratory for Signals & Systems -- Network Theory), the names of your supervisor or the names of the members of the graduation committee (provide also their affiliation if they do not belong to Network Theory), the date on which you have completed your report, and the period in which you have been working. The title page should also contain a report number that you can obtain from our secretary. Put the prefix `EL-S&S' in front of this number. Example: ``Report number: EL-S&S-115N95''. The secretary keeps the originals of your report after reproduction and can retrieve these originals by means of the number when more copies are necessary in the future. Think of the window that the cover has: at least the title, your name, and the report number should be visible through this window. You can also make two title pages: a short one meant for the window and a long one with all the elements mentioned above.
  2. Abstract (Samenvatting). On a separate page you summarize the main points of the report. People that became interested in your report after reading the title, should be able to judge from the abstract whether the report is really interesting for them. So, you briefly formulate the problem that you have investigated, the solution that you have chosen, the results that you have achieved, and your conclusions. Normally, the abstract shouldn't occupy more than one third of a page.
  3. Table of Contents (Inhoudsopgave). Here you list the chapters (1, 2, etc. followed by the name of the chapter), sections within chapters (e.g. 1.1, 2.4, etc. + name) and subsections within sections (e.g. 1.1.1 + name) and the page numbers where they start. Do not forget to list the appendices (A, B, etc. + name) and other entities like the preface and bibliography (the so-called ``unnumbered chapters''). If you use a good text processor (e.g. LaTeX), it is possible to generate the table of contents automatically. Note: do not include the abstract and the table of contents itself in the table of contents.
  4. Preface (Voorwoord). This is an optional part of your report. If you want, you can mention here something on the context of your project (e.g. if it is part of a larger cooperation between the group and a certain company). This is also the place where you can thank those people that have helped you during your project. Remember that it is the task of your supervisor to help you; you do not need to thank her/him for that. If thanking is the only purpose of the preface, it is better to call the building block Acknowledgments (Dankwoord).
  5. The Chapters. The number of chapters you need and their contents strongly depend on your project. Roughly the following chapters should be present:
  6. The Appendices. Appendices are useful for those things that you consider important, but that do not fit in the main presentation of your work. There could be several reasons for using appendices: the material is too long and has too many details (e.g. the specification of something), you have formulated a theorem, the proof of which is too long for the main text, you want to include a user manual for the software that you have written (strongly recommended!), you want to present the schematics of a hardware design, etc.

    Appendices tend to occupy many pages. Think carefully on what you want to include. For example, complete listings of the source code that you have written are seldom interesting for all members of your committee. Unless you are asked to do otherwise, the best thing to do is to give a copy to your supervisor only.

  7. Bibliography (Literatuur). Each entry in the bibliography has a label. Any reference from the main text to the entry should use this label. It can be a numeric label or a label derived from the author's name and the year of publication. It is the habit to enclose this label in square brackets. In the bibliography, you provide the details of each entry sorted by label. These details differ depending on the type of bibliographic entry: Below is a fragment of text with bibliographic references:
    Lee's theoretical results on the scheduling of synchronous data-flow graphs [1, 2] have found practical applications in Gabriel [3].
    In the bibliography, you will find:
    E.A. Lee and D.G. Messerschmitt. Synchronous data flow. Proceedings of the IEEE, 75(9):1235--1245, September 1987.
    E.A. Lee and D.G. Messerschmitt. Static scheduling of synchronous data flow programs for digital signal processing. IEEE Transactions on Computers, C-36(1):24--35, January 1987.
    E.A. Lee, W.H. Ho, E.E. Goei, J.C. Bier, and S. Bhattacharyya. Gabriel: A design environment for DSP. IEEE Transactions on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, 37(11):1751--1762, November 1989.

    Instead of using the labels [1], [2], and [3], you could as well have used [Lee87a], [Lee87b] and [Lee89] respectively both in the text and the bibliography. Many citation styles, different from the two just mentioned, also exist. You can, of course, use them as well once you have verified that the style of your choice is generally accepted.

    Do not list any entries to which you do not refer from the text. If you really want to list this type of entries, make a separate list (without labels) called ``Consulted Works (Geraadpleegde literatuur)''.

next up previous
Next: General Remarks on Up: Hints on Report Previous: Introduction

Sabih Gerez
Thu Sep 10 17:20:12 METDST 1998