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A number of students congregate in a lab

Where have we been? Where are we going?

This week, you have learned how to display the results of your work using text, graphs and tables.

You have learned how to make effective graphs which are easy to interpret, how to display data clearly using tables and how to write text that describes your results so that the reader can appreciate what they have shown. You will also be aware of data, units and the effective use of significant figures.

The Results section is all about facts; from this section, the reader will now know what the work is, how you did it and what it produced. But they will not yet know what it means, how it fits into previous research or any of its limitations. This is what you will cover in the next section; the Discussion.

In your Discussion, you will put the work into context, discuss accuracy and limitations and use conjecture to try to explain your results.

Once you have done this, you can put the whole report together and also complete two short, but crucial sections, the conclusions and the abstract. These last two may be the only parts of your report that a busy reader or boss may actually read.

Next week, we’ll look at the Discussion and the Conclusion. If you would like to get a head start, you can head over to Week 5 now.

Discussion

How have you found this week of the course? Is there a 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

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