susan smith nash, ph.d.


Technical English

Online Course

Technical Report, Part II

Write a technical report.  Details below.

Special Notes on Experimental Work

Be sure to explain your procedures, to present your results, and to interpret your results. Summarize your findings in meaningful ways, visualizing important data (e.g. in graphs) whenever possible.

If you are experimentally measuring the running time of a computer program, test your program on many randomly chosen inputs of a variety of sizes, including large inputs. Since the behavior of your program might vary significantly among inputs of the same size, for each input size, try several inputs of that size and report the sample mean and standard deviation for that size; do not simply try one input per size.

Be sure to explain your procedures in sufficient detail so that other researchers can verify and replicate your findings.

Common Mistakes to Avoid
Adhere carefully to the following guidelines:
In the introduction of your report, clearly identify a focused well-defined question. Answer this question in the rest of your report.
Analyze and interpret your data, and discuss the significance and limitations of your findings. Do not simply report your data.
Be sure that your technical report is complete in the sense that it has each of the following components: descriptive title, author name and affiliation, date, informative abstract, list of keywords, body, acknowledgments, and references.
In your abstract, specifically and concretely state your findings; do not vaguely describe what you set out to do. Your abstract should summarize, not introduce. Do not begin your abstract with the hackneyed phrase ``This paper.''

Technical Report Assignment:
You will play a supervisory role and will be given a collection of data that your employees have gathered about a specific project; you will analyze that data and prepare a progress report on the project for the company president. You will have several different sets of data to choose from; the scenario is that your division is working on a huge project, and the president of the company wants to know how the project is progressing. You will receive bits of information from each of the department managers in your division about how their individual elements of the project are progressing, and you will create a single progress report from that information.
You will consider the following questions:
Is each department on schedule?
Within each department, what elements are ahead of schedule?
Within each department, what problems are they having?
How can each department maximize production and solve their problems?
Is the overall project on schedule?
What overall elements are moving ahead of schedule?
What overall elements are problematic?
What can you do to maximize production and to solve problems?
What do you need for the company president or other organization employees to do to maximize production and to solve problems?
Finally, will this project be finished on time? Why or why not?

The objectives for this assignment are as follows:
To evaluate data provided by someone else;
To select the appropriate information based on given project specifications;
To recognize strengths and weaknesses within the given data;
To provide detailed descriptions of the problems and the solutions;
To write a clear document from fragmented sources;
To analyze audience;
To organize logically;
To format effectively (headings and subheadings);
To edit correctly (grammar and spelling).
Technical Report: Accounting Option
Technical Report: Communications Option
Technical Report: Education Option
Technical Report: Engineering Option

Technical English Menu

Home Page & Overview
Required Work
Audience Analysis
Writing for a Variety of Audiences
Planning your Task
Editing, Part II
Technical Report
Technical Report, Part II
Progress Report, Choice I
Progress Report, Choice 2
Progress Report, Choice 3
Progress Report, Choice 4
Other Resources