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This content is taken from the The University of Sheffield's online course, Technical Report Writing for Engineers. Join the course to learn more.
Students discuss a report

Where have we been? Where are we going?

This week, we have learned that an Introduction section is all about setting the scene and preparing the reader for what is to follow. This includes setting up the background concepts or theory required to appreciate the work as well as clearly articulating the aims and objectives.

You have also developed two key skills this week that are often required to write introductory material:

  • How to reference any previously published material that your work builds upon.
  • How to properly embed equations into your document.

These skills can, of course, be applied in other parts of your report if required.

In a technical engineering report, there is a defined break between the background material that references other people’s work and the content for which you are taking ownership. This break normally occurs at the end of the introductory material, which could include a dedicated theory and/or literature review section.

Next week, we will look at how to start presenting the work that is yours. In a typical report, this is where you will explain what you did in your work to obtain your results. Next week, you’ll learn how to write a Procedure section and gain useful key skills to help with this, including how to embed figures and use the correct language.

If you want to get a head start, you can head over to Week 3 now.


How have you found this week of the course? Is there one key piece of advice that you will be taking away?

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This article is from the free online course:

Technical Report Writing for Engineers

The University of Sheffield