Milestone and Final Report Format and Structure
Make sure your submission meets the following requirements.
1. Use formatting guidelines described on iLearn.
2. The length of your report depends on whether you are doing a management (i.e. analysis) or a IS/Networking/Security/Web Engineering (i.e. development) project. The table below suggests typical lengths for each situation, but note that these should be treated as indicative only: Your report needs to be long enough to describe in detail the work that you have done, but not so long that it discourages someone from reading it.
Milestone report is expected to be 10 to 12 pages in length. Final reports are expected to be 20 to 30 pages in length:
Management Projects @30+ pages IS/Networking/Security/Web Engineering Projects @20 pages The shorter report length requirement for the latter projects is a consequence of the requirement for these projects also to deliver a working piece of software, which is to be demonstrated to the supervisor's satisfaction at the conclusion of the project.
3. The document should have a separate title page, and begin with an abstract or summary of 150-200 words in length that is able to stand alone as a concise and comprehensive description of the research problem, your project's objectives, significance, approach (methodology) and outcomes.
4. The body of the document should consist of a series of numbered sections and subsections; the exact nature and content of these will depend on the specifics of your project, as will the proportion of the available space accorded to each. Typically, you would have an introductory section that outlines the problem you are aiming to solve, and provides a road-map of the remainder of the document; this would then be followed by a background section that describes related work; then a number of sections which describe the work you have carried out, followed by a conclusion section which summarises what has been achieved, and what future work might be pursued.
5. Finally, you should have a consistently formatted reference list or bibliography that contains full details of all materials cited in your paper. Ensure that you follow appropriate conventions here.
Please ensure that your final report is submitted with a file-name that has the following format: • ‹FamilyName_Givenname›_FinalReport.pdf
Assessment of Reports
Report marks represent not only the written content of your report, but also the project work that underlies it. Note that for management projects, the report should be more than a literature review, and should provide some real analytical content. For IS/network/security/web engineering projects, a working demonstration of the constructed software may be a component of the marking. Please take note of the following requirements:
• A listing of your code should be provided as an appendix to your final report. If there is some reason why this is not feasible or practicable, you should discuss this with the unit convener no later than one week before the final report is due.
• You should arrange a time to demonstrate the software you have developed to your supervisor, so that he or she can take account of this when marking your work. This demonstration should preferably happen during the last week of semester, or in extreme cases during the week following the last week in semester, when the reports are being marked.
It is not necessary to demonstrate your software during your final presentation, although you may do so if you wish. The final report will be assessed by your supervisor according to the following rubric:
Levels of Attainment
Assessment Attributes: Unsatisfactory (U), Functional (F), Proficient (P), Advanced (A)
Comprehensiveness of Abstract
U: Incomplete, in that it does not provide a brief statement of all three of the problem, approach and outcomes; or, all three are expressed, but the description is muddled and generally unclear. F: Conveys the problem, the approach, and outcomes, but a little less clearly than might be expected, or at an inappropriate level of detail. P: Stands as a surrogate for the full report: a clear summary of the problem, approach and outcomes; but may require some rewording to make it accessible to a nonspecialist. A: An excellent summary of the work carried out, clearly stating the problem, the approach taken, and the outcomes, in a manner that is accessible to a technical but non-specialist audience.
Clarity of Problem Statement U: The introduction to the report does not clearly state the problem the project set out to solve. F: The introduction does state the problem to be solved, but it takes a little effort to disentangle. P: The introduction states the problem clearly, and its significance is clear. A: The introduction provides an exceptionally clear and well-motivated problem statement, presented in a way that makes the reader eager to learn about the details of how the problem was solved.
Review of Related Work
U: Patchy or badly organised review of related work; unclear exactly why the work cited is relevant to the problem addressed. F: The material covered seems comprehensive and relevant, and some attempt has been made at clustering the materials reviewed in a thematic manner. P: Thematic organisation of the review, demonstrating a considered extraction of key ideas from sources and how they impact on the problem at hand. A: Thoughtful analysis of the material that goes beyond the themes identified explicitly by the sources, concisely drawing out the key points to set the stage for the work that follows; leaves no doubt about what's been done already and what hasn't.
Description of Work Carried Out
U: Hard to work out what was done; the description of the work carried out seems disorganised or incomplete. F: The report indicates what work was carried out in reasonable detail. P: The report indicates clearly indicates the work that was carried out at a level of detail that allows replication of the results, avoiding vague and imprecise abstractions. A: The report clearly describes the work carried out, at an appropriate level of detail for a report of this length, and delivers a sense of maturity in the way in which the work was carried out.
Clarity of Outcomes
U: Unclear what was achieved in the project. F: The report indicates the outcomes of the work, if a little unclearly. P: The report clearly indicates the outcomes of the work carried out. A: The report clearly describes the outcomes of the work, indicates how these relate to the originally stated outcomes, and realistically appraises the scope for future work.
Overall Quality of Writing
U: Very poor; problems with coherent presentation of ideas. F: Understandable, but with some problems in grammar, style and spelling. P: Grammar and style of an acceptable standard; could be safely given to an external party with only minor editing. A: High quality prose; well written; could comfortably be made available via a corporate website.
Appropriate Use of Referencing Conventions
U: The information in the bibliography is incomplete, or there is a lack of consistency in formatting. F: The information in the bibliography is formatted consistently, but with a few missing details. P & A: All references are complete and consistently formatted.