MASE 489

Port and Harbor Engineering

Prepared by TAMUG Writing Lab

Dr. Millers General Report Guidelines:


– Abstract
– Background or Introduction
        • Explain the problem or issue to be studied
– Literature Review
– Methodology
        • Research methods or data collected
– Results or Findings
– Discussion
        • Explain the implications
– Conclusion
– References
– Appendices
        • Detailed calculations
        • Amplifying material not required in the main report

this order is flexible, the sections can be combined.
– Some journals combine introduction and literature review
– Others have the results and discussion combined

Headings and Subheadings:
• Headings and subheadings guide readers’ attention
• Can be used to keep track of various parts of project:
        – For example: “Making Components,” “Assembling Components,” and “Testing
• They should be:
        – Specific and helpful
        – Used to break up text and “chunk” information
        – Used to guide readers’ attention

Language and Vocabulary:
• Reports should be easily accessible
        – Be straightforward and concise
        – Use simple terms, not jargon and technical terms
        – Keep sentences short and simple (20 words max)
        – Be specific and not general
• Use concrete numbers and metaphors or similes

Source Documentation:
• Cite sources whenever you are quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing work that is not your own
        – Quoting directly is discouraged except for short passages or when required for         important emphasis.
• Sources include:
        – Books
        – Journal, magazine, or newspaper articles
                • Peer reviewed journals are preferred for scholarly work
                • Pay attention for point of view or bias
        – Interviews
        – Conference Proceedings
        – Lectures


For more general help and guidelines for writing use the links below

The Engineering Handbook

Essential Skills for Academic Writers