ETME360 Lab Report Format Guidelines

Lab reports are formal technical reports and should conform to high standards of technical written communication. Technical details must be accurate and complete, and engineering terminology must be used correctly throughout the report. Correct spelling and grammar are nearly as important as technical content. Reports containing errors in spelling, punctuation & grammar reflect a lack of attention to detail, an absence of proofreading, and do not meet the high standards desired: Reports containing poor language mechanics will receive significant grade penalties.

All Students are required to utilize Electronic Submission of Lab Reports: Submit your lab reports electronically as PDF-format documents via the ETME 360 Desire to Learn (D2L) site. ONLY PDF format is acceptable: (Don't submit *.doc, *.xls, or other formats.) The D2L time stamp will be used to determine time/date of report submission - get reports submitted by the deadline to obtain credit! Only ONE document should be submitted, do not submit portions of a report as multiple files. In other words, COMBINE ALL ELEMENTS of your report PRIOR to saving as PDF and submitting. Hand-generated material such as sample calculations or data sheets should be scanned or photographed in high-resolution format, and included into the submitted document as a large, legible image file.

Note: Plagiarism is a serious offense, and can be grounds for academic suspension. Plagiarism detection software will be utilized in reviewing reports. Do your own work and do not submit the work of others. BE SURE TO CITE any documents or sources from which you draw information. Also, in the case of multiple authors, be sure to identify each author's contribution with a footnote to ensure that credit is given where due!

       Use standard margin conventions, typically 1" all around. Equations and other information used in the solution of a problem that are not your own should be clearly cited per appropriate reference, including name, book or journal, page, table number, etc. Compile your reports with the following elements, in order:

a. Cover Sheet. All lab reports must have a cover sheet that includes the participating student’s names, the course number, lab section number, exercise number, title and date of submission. Photos or background images are un-necessary on the cover sheet.

b. Memorandum. This is a typed one-page technical memo that briefly describes the work performed and the results obtained.  Memorandums are to be written as stand-alone documents; that is, the memorandum must be understandable to the reader without requiring use of the subsequent report sections, external references, schematics, etc. Compile the memo on white 8.5" x 11" page format. (Sample Memo.)

c. Results. These are the graphical or tabular results of the experiment. Use enough words so that all information is easily understandable to the reader. Tables & Figures are preferred means of communicating results. Tables or Figures should have meaningful headings, and units must be included for all numerical values. Any graphs should be computer-generated. Tables should be prepared using EXCEL or similar software, using plain white background and a legible contrasting color font. (Graphing Requirements.)

d. Sample Calculations. ONE sample calculation should be given ONCE in full detail: Whether a calculation method is used once or more than once, only a single representative sequence of calculation steps should be shown, culminating in a well-identified answer complete with units. The solution should be underlined or highlighted. The solution of the calculation should also appear with any other similar results in the "Results" section (see above.) The method used to obtain the results from the data should be justified: Again, references should be cited if appropriate. Notation used should be clearly defined. The use of computer-generated text is strongly encouraged, and the “Mathcad” program is especially well-suited for this purpose. Scanned hand-written calculations on white paper or engineering paper are acceptable if neatly prepared.

e. Data Sheet(s). The original data sheet that was used to record data during the laboratory is a "legal document" and should be scanned,un-altered, and included as the last page of the (group's) report. Data sheets should also include the participating student’s names, the course number, lab section number, exercise number, title of experiment, and - importantly - the serial numbers or identification of major apparatus used.