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Technical report structure

This report, approximately 20 pages in length, explains the technical significance of your internship work. It is, moreover, more focused on the technology and the methods used to develop the product or solve the problem your internship involved. You need to be more specific about the technical nature of the problem you solved than you were in the management report. The conclusion is about the value/usefulness of the work done to date in answering this question or solving this problem. You may include recommendations for future research or testing.

Abstract (250 words)

  • The technical situation (such as high volume of certain high cost, lengthy tests performed). Volume processing, cost, speed, and reliability are the issues that matter. The vocabulary should be technically precise.
  • What your company is doing to address this specific problem (one to two sentences)
  • The stage or portion of the work were you asked to participate in
  • The outcome at present (results)
  • Conclusion (and recommendations, if appropriate) and future steps

Discussion (20 pages total)

  • A more detailed explanation of the technical problem the industry or firm faces. What are the technical deficiencies of the tests now available? For example, how many false positives occur? How many false negatives? Under what conditions do they fail? Are there difficulties in measurement, administration, temperature control, feedstock or materials accessibility, production quality, inspection, etc? What are the measures for these features? In other words, spell out the technical challenge in more detail here. Students sometimes have difficulty with this section because the company doesn’t want proprietary information disclosed.
  • One- or two-paragraph overview of the technical approach used in your work (names of standard tests, materials, etc.)
  • Your experience and accomplishments in the project
    • What was your role? What methods did you use? Did you develop the methods you used (say, for testing wafers)? Or was that handed to you and you followed it in a specific role, perhaps in the role of a quality control person?
    • Who performed other work or collaborated with you? For example, who documented the molecular activity in florescence detection kits that you analyzed? Cite any source that you say is“well known.” For example, if you wrote,“Several well-known studies have documented the subsidence in southeast Houston,”you should use an in-line reference that lists at least two of these studies. The full references would go in your references or bibliography at the end of the report.
    • What criteria did you apply? Explain how and why criteria were applied. How, for example, does selecting wafers move the company closer to making a decision?
    • What did you find out as a result of the work you did? What do these results mean? For example, tell how much of a problem it is that the device can’t detect a single nanoparticle between the two electrodes.
    • How much of the work did you accomplish? How much had to be left unfinished? Do you have any recommendations about finishing it?
    • What do you have to say about this process or project? Is it effective? Are there gaps or questions to be answered? What technical challenges remain? Answer the question,“SO WHAT?”about this technology in an objective (not a biased or company-prescribed) way.

Tips on polishing the report

  • Use“find”and“replace”to locate words that your fingers mistyped and that the spelling checker recognized as a correct word. Lots of us have many common typos—hthe for“the”or“noe”for“one.”Check especially for“ then ”(the adverb of time) when you meant“ than ”(to indicate a comparison;“taller than he was”) and the following:
    • coal“ seem ”where you meant“coal seam
    • where ”where you meant“ were
  • Use“few”or“fewer”(comparative) with COUNTABLES. For example, resources can be counted. Say“few resources.”Use“less”with UNCOUNTABLES. For example, visibility or leadership can’t be counted. Write“less visibility”or“less leadership.”
  • In business style, use a singular pronoun to refer to a company (for example,“This cost will reduce ABC’s barriers to entry and improve its rate of acceptance . . . .”). Use a plural only when you are referring to a company’s management:“Cisco fought back against AJAX Corp. They voted to reject AJAX’s hostile bid.”
  • Make sure the introduction and the summary are perfect. In the following example the word“be”is needlessly duplicated:“. . . revenue would be potentially be pure profit. . . .”
  • When you have two clauses in a sentence and intend to show contrast between them with the word“however,”you must put a semicolon BEFORE the word“however”and a comma after it. Use the find command to locate instances of“however”that join clauses.
    • For example: In FY 2004/05, the agency achieved a total water savings that was 15.4 percent below the targeted amount of 16,016 AFY; however, the water savings achieved through landscaping initiatives exceeded the target by 22.4 percent.
    When“however”functions merely as an adverb, a comma on both sides is enough:“Martial law, however, disrupted the refining of petroleum in the region.”Here“however”means“nonetheless.”
  • Introduce figures, insert them, then discuss them. Don’t put in any figures you don’t discuss. Introduce the figure before it occurs in the text. If you capitalize“Figure”in the figure title (which goes below the figure), capitalize it in the discussion. Your reader is thinking,“Tell me what I’m going to see and then tell me how to interpret what you’ve shown in the figure.”
  • If you want to be recognized for your accomplishments, you need to document your own responsibilities and achievements. The most important action you performed should be presented in the business report. Don’t disappear in the report. The manager needs to be able to tell which steps in the project YOU completed and which have been left to be performed by others.
  • The bibliography should be in the same font as the rest of the paper, but in smaller point size.
  • Separate parts of a reference end with periods. There’s a period at the end of each part in all major citation styles. Do look one up and learn the basic types.
    • American Psychological Association (APA) style has four parts, each ending with a period: Last name, F. (date). Title of book. Publication information.
    • If the author is not an individual, use the association name or if no source can be identified, use a blank underscored space: ________. (Date). Title of source. Publication city, ST: Publisher.
  • A document doesn’t carry your tone of voice, gestures, or pauses. A sentence that can be understood when spoken may sound awkward when read silently. The writer should change“All costs we either recently obtained quotes on or are past operational costs inflated to reflect today’s prices”to“The costs below are based either on quotes recently obtained or on past operational costs inflated to reflect today’s prices.”(You probably had to read that first version more than once to make sense of it; the difficulty you encountered illustrates this kind of problem.)
  • If your project did not produce a positive opportunity for the company, you may write about the conditions under which it might do so in the future. For example, say that although the project is not feasible now, under other conditions (lower interest rate, lower tax rate, increased volume of sales, etc.) the opportunity should be considered.
  • Make sure sentences have both a subject and a predicate and that adverbs do not create ambiguous readings. The following sentence from an internship draft would be correctly understood if the writer spoke it with a pause following“after”:“Shortly after the well was plugged between the 2nd and 3rd coal seams.”However, a reader would be entitled to think the writer had begun with a dependent clause when no comma follows“after,”as you would if you started to read the following:“Shortly after the semester began, two students left the program.”If the writer puts a comma between“after”and“the well,”the reader will understand correctly on the first reading.
  • Also, put a comma after“first”or“second”or any other ordinal number that might be misread if the reader thought it modified the noun that followed it. Don’t write“Second measurements were taken”if you mean that after a first step that didn’t involve measurements, you took measurements for the first time. Write,“Second, measurements were taken.”Do not use“firstly”or“secondly.”That form is no longer acceptable in technical documents. Use“first”and“second.”
  • Write out the meaning of symbols the first time you use them. Write out Fahrenheit the first time with (F) in parentheses. Afterward, just use F to indicate Fahrenheit.
  • A smooth, fast start puts the agent in the subject position and the action in the verb.
    • Original: “Firstly, it is the hope of the company that the satisfaction of the energy needs of the field can result from methane reserves from the coals within the lease area.”
    • Fast start: “The company expects the lease area’s methane reserves to supply fuel for the field.”

Look for answers to other questions of usage and style in a resource such as Management Communication: A Guide , by Deborah C. Andrews and William Andrews (2003).

Questions & Answers

who was the first nanotechnologist
Lizzy Reply
technologist's thinker father is Richard Feynman but the literature first user scientist Nario Tagunichi.
Norio Taniguchi
I need help
anyone have book of Abdel Salam Hamdy Makhlouf book in pdf Fundamentals of Nanoparticles: Classifications, Synthesis
Naeem Reply
what happen with The nano material on The deep space.?
pedro Reply
It could change the whole space science.
the characteristics of nano materials can be studied by solving which equation?
sibaram Reply
plz answer fast
synthesis of nano materials by chemical reaction taking place in aqueous solvents under high temperature and pressure is call?
hydrothermal synthesis
how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
STM - Scanning Tunneling Microscope.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Becoming a professional scholar. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10871/1.2
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