Work Term Report FAQ
Note: full guidelines for a report are in the Co-op handbook, pp 41-46. This is a Sample Work Term Report.
I. What's the deadline for the current term?
II. How do I submit a report?
III. What's the point of a report?
IV. What's the report supposed to look like?
V. How do I format bibliograply entries for newsgroups? Web Pages?
VI. What else should I know?
Workterm reports are due on the second Friday of the academic semester following the workterm, i.e. the second Friday after the start of classes.
Usually dropping it off in the CS office on paper is best. However, you can check with the department Co-op Academic Coordinator about an electronic submission.
A work term report should allow you to practice formal writing. It is supposed to be structured like a real world report so that later on you'll have something to refer to when needing to do a software evaluation, user manual, etc.
1. A cover (binding). Can be a duotang or plastic.
2. Letter of submittal. Formal business letter (include academic coorinator's name and address, and your name, address, outline the report's subject, acknowledge people who helped, etc.).
3. Title page. Your name, student number, and report title.
4. Table of contents. List each section of the report and page numbers. You should have a separate list for figures or tables (if applicable).
5. Executive summary. Justify the report's existence and briefly outline each major point of the report. Then state your conclusion in one sentence.
6. Main Body of the report.
6.1. Introduction. Background on the report, introduction to special terms (eg ISAM, VSAM, FDDI, ESDN) that you will be using throughout.
6.2. Analysis. The body of the report that includes your discussion of alternatives, presents your arguments, etc.
6.3. Conclusions. Your analysis should be a buttress for your conclusions.
6.4. Recommendations. Not always necessary, but may be needed if you're writing an evaluation, or similar.
7. Appendices. Includes things like data, or code.
8. Bibliography. List any books, magazines, journals, FAQs you have used. This can be a good starting path for readers who're interested in learning more about the subject.
For newsgroups: give the article's author; newsgroup name; article title
For web pages: web page author; URL; section(s)
The following are both important:
a) spelling: An inability to spell correctly makes you look unprofessional to the reader. Any results or recommendations from you are automatically suspect, since you are obviously not careful. Although typographical errors may occur, they should be a rare exception, not the norm. Make sure that you have run a spell check. Make sure you or someone you know has proofread the report to ensure no wrong words, e.g., "form" for "from", have crept in.
b) Grammar. Same holds as for (a). While sentence structure and things like passive/active voice are often a matter of personal style, certain errors are very obvious and irritating (and common).
"alot" WRONG --> "a lot" RIGHT.
Every time you use "its"/"it's" check this rule:
- "its" is a possessive that shows ownership, like "his" and "hers";
- "it's" is a contraction meaning "it is"
- If you can substitute "it is" then use "it's".