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How to write a Technical Report?

UserOliver Smith time04 September,2019

An engineer’s life is anything but easy. From executing complicated practicals to implementing the right calculations, everything about engineering is overwhelming. And to add to the pressure, there is the need for writing technical reports.

Technical report writing is no easy feat. You have to make sure that it is written in a clear and concise manner. You have to translate the numbers, formulae and other engineering abstractions into an understandable written form. There’s no need to break into a sweat yet. Take a look at the steps mentioned below, and you will be able to write an engineering technical report in no time.

Technical Report Writing

What about the right technical report format?

There are unlimited variations when it comes to technical report writing format. However, certain elements are common in all formats. Professors usually look for these elements while assessing your paper.

Go through the steps, and you can even take a look at the technical report examples to nail your technical report like a pro. Let’s begin.

How to Write a Technical report?

From bachelor’s to doctoral, you can be asked to write a technical report for different programs. No matter what your purpose is, the following steps will certainly help you write the report with ease.

1. Writing the abstract

For a great technical report, the abstract should explain properly the unique exponent of the paper and a concise summary of the topic along with conclusions. It should be around 350 words. Include this as the first point.

2. List down the experimental details

Most of the technical reports revolve around different experimental works. In that case, you have to include a section that says ‘Experimental Details.’ You need to include the following information in this section.

1. Mention the equipment that you have used in the experiment along with its model number and name.

For example:

Instron universal testing machine Model 3200

2. Mention the testing conditions and environmental conditions. If required, refer to figures and diagrams for better reference.

3. State the parameters set for the test.

4. If you had to change the parameters of testing during the experiment, list them in a tabular format.

The technical report template is not similar to other forms of business report writing. You may find it challenging to craft a proper technical report in the beginning. Instead of panicking, talk to your professors for help.

3. Mention the results

After you have stated the equipment required for the experiment, it is time for you to list down the final results. This listing down is the most crucial part since the results will determine whether or not your professors will read the entire report. Figure 1 is an imaginary graph only for your explanation. Table 1 is the imaginary test matrix for the experiment.

4. Include the table of contents

As you must know, the table of contents tells the readers about what is included in the report. Highlight the significant sections of the report and include the page numbers as well. Professors appreciate if you include the second and third-level headings as well. You can even build the Table of Contents automatically in the report with the help of a feature ‘References’ present in your Word Document.

5. Include the List of Figures and Tables

This section comprises of related but two different lists. The List of Figures will have the listing of all the figures that you have included in the report. Consecutively mention the figures along with the captions and page numbers. The List of Tables will have the same format. Here is an image for you to understand better.

6. Acknowledge whoever contributed to your project

Just like any other paper, the technical report should also have the acknowledgment section.  Mention anyone’s name who has been involved in the project with you. Missing ‘Acknowledgement’ section indicates a severe breach of etiquette. Professors may also consider your report plagiarised.

7. Craft an impressive introduction

The introduction is what attracts the attention of your readers. Explain the importance of your topic right in this section. Keep the following tips in mind while writing the introduction of a technical report.

  • Do not state anything that is not important for the readers to know right in the beginning.
  • Include a section ‘Technical Background.’
  • If you don’t add this section, then mention the necessary concepts that you have used in the experiment.
  • Assume the technical level of your readers and write the report accordingly.
  • Do not assume that the readers know everything about the subject.

8. Discuss the experiments

The crux of your report is the experiment. Thus, your professors will examine this part of the report with the utmost precision. Discuss every detail of your research and experimentation in this part of the report. The tips for writing an accurate experimenting section are as follows.

  • You can mention the details in the form of paragraphs, lists, or a mere combination of both.
  • Include all the details in the description in such a way that someone could carry out the same experiment with those details.
  • It should be verifiable and repeatable.

9. Discuss the results and outcomes

It is the most substantial part of the technical report. You need to mention the final result of your experiment and discuss the procedure and principles that led to your final result. Some tips for presenting the results of your technical report are:

  • It is better if you write the results in tabular or graphical format.

You should mention the calculations required by you to fetch the results.

  • Mention the principles that you have applied for the experiment.
  • Avoid including raw data and intermediate results that are not central to your topic.
  • If required, you can include them in the appendix of your report.

10. Conclude the report along with recommendations

It is the short restatement of the crucial elements present in the report. Support your conclusions with relevant and strong recommendations. The end of your report should consist of results and a few of your experimental details as well. The tips for writing a compelling conclusion include:

  • Include everything that has been discussed in the report. You should not mention anything that you have not explained anywhere in the report.
  • Explain how useful your results and methodologies are.
  • Mention whatever restrictions or limits you have followed throughout the experiment.
  • Write the conclusion and recommendations in the form of running lists and descriptive paragraphs.

These steps will help you write a sound technical report and fetch a distinction in this paper. As you have gone through the blog, you do not have to write ‘how to cite a technical report?’ on Google. Do not forget to include the referencing at the end of your report. Attach the references to your work, formulae and discussions. Some elements do not need referencing. For example, consider the formula: F = ma. You don’t have to reference Newton for this. Cite the elements that you think your readers may not know- something that is not common.

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