Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering UW logo
E&CE Work Term Report Guidelines

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Apr'95; Revised Dec'97,Jan'99,Feb'99,Apr'00,Mar'05,Dec'05,Apr'06,Aug'06,Jan'07,Mar'08,Aug'08,Jan'09,Apr'09,Jul'09,Nov'09,Jan'10,Sep'10,Jan'11,Apr'11,Apr'12,Sep'12,May'13,Aug'15


1.0 Introduction, Report Topic, Confidential and Self-study Work Reports, Employer Marked Work Reports, Report Structure and Format, Technical Communication, Technical Content, References, Appendix A: Marking Form, Appendix B: Frequently Asked Questions, Appendix C: Check List.


Effective Fall 2012 term
Employer-marked reports will be assigned the grades of either "Satisfactory" or "Unacceptable" only.
Effective Spring 2011 term
paragraph text 11-point times-roman font.
Single line spacing for front and back matter, except for Contributions and Summary sections which are 1.5 line spacing.
Effective Fall 2009 term
The report body (not including the one page Conclusions section and one page Recommendations section) should be 10 to 15 pages for all reports.
Effective Spring 2007 term
The wording of the letter of submittal must indicate which course the work term report is being submitted for. See sample letter of submittal below.
Single sided printing only.
Effective Spring 2006 term
Conclusions and Recommendations sections are the last two sections of the report body.
Section headings are either 12 or 14 point times-roman bold font with 2 to 3 line spacing between sections.
Each page should have a 1.5" left margin and 1" margins right,top,bottom with full justification paragraphs.
Effective Winter 2006 term
1.5 line spacing in the body
At least one of your references must be a non-Internet source.
Check listing marking has been discontinued.


1. Introduction

This document describes the Electrical and Computer Engineering Departmental Policy and Grading Information for the evaluation of Work Term Reports submitted for credit by Electrical Engineering students and Computer Engineering Students.

The Co-Operative Education and Career Services Department produces a booklet [1] which describes various co-op related regulations. It includes a chapter on work term report guidelines, an appendix on regulations and a supplement for the Faculty of Engineering specific rules. This document is intended to augment that material with various departmental regulations and guidelines.

The goal of a work term report is to assist the student in developing his/her technical communication skills. With that goal in mind, the work term report is to be judged on both technical matters and communication skills. Each report must obtain a passing grade in each component. The sections below describe these two components.

1.1. Report Topic

When selecting a work term report topic, write the purpose and scope sentence/paragraph for your report's Introduction and Summary sections. If it implies a set of conclusions which imply a set of recommendations, that will communicate the expected/required level of engineering analysis, insight, and judgement, then the report topic should work well. In most cases, you want to approach the report as if you are a consulting engineer who has been retained by a client to investigate some issue/problem and supply a set of engineering recommendations to resolve that issue/problem for the client.

It is important when selecting a work term report topic to keep in mind the report will be marked based on which academic terms you have completed. As you progress through the program the technical content and technical communication expectation increase. In your first report, qualitative analysis may be acceptable. By your third report, quantitative analysis is required. In addition, the report topic must be within E&CE topics.

1.2. Confidential and Self-study Work Reports

All students are expected to submit work term reports which describe a technical topic related to their work on a work term. This report should not be a company document, with some added sections to turn it into an acceptable work report. It should be a report, written specifically to satisfy the requirements of the work term report component of the B.A.Sc. degree. Whenever possible it should be cleansed of any company confidential information.

We recommend that you discuss your work-term report with your coop employer during the second month of your work term. Since coop employers hire students from different programs, you may have to explain to them the E&CE work term report guidelines and marking procedures. This will avoid situations where your employer indicates at the last minute that the report can not go outside the company. E&CE work term report markers will not sign a non-disclosure form related to your work term report or material contained in it. The only accommodation for a report marked confidential is the report will travel in an envelop marked confidential and only be read by one marker.

In exceptional circumstances, you are allowed to submit at most one self-study work term report, out of the four required, as part of your undergraduate degree program. A self-study report has all the same requirements as a regular work term report except for the Contributions section where you indicate it is not related to your coop work term job.

Confidential reports can not be considered for awards or receive a grade of outstanding.

1.3 Employer Marked Work Reports

Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering work term reports are marked by the E&CE department. In exceptional cases, the E&CE department may allow at most one of a student's four work term reports to be marked by someone outside of the department which the E&CE work term report coordinator has approved. This is a time consuming process and in many cases results in the report not being marked in time and the student being assigned a failing grade for that work term report course.

The process starts by the student contacting their undergrad program advisor (Electrical Engineering students contact Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Advisor <eeuga@ecemail.uwaterloo.ca>, while Computer Engineering students contact Computer Engineering Undergraduate Advisor <ceuga@ecemail.uwaterloo.ca> ) supplying the following marker information: company name, name, title, position within the company, contact information, PEO registration number, along with the name and contact information for their CECS field coordinator. The student will also supply their undergrad program advisor with: title of their report, date they submitted the work term report to their employer, number of pages in the report front matter, number of pages in the report body, number of pages in the report back matter. The student's program undergraduate advisor will contact the marker and CECS field coordinator to confirm the information. Once all the information has been confirmed, the student's program undergraduate advisor will supply it to the E&CE work term report coordinator for approval. If the marker is approved, then the student's program undergraduate advisor will supply the marker: the E&CE work term report guidelines, marking form, marking instructions, and a request that the marker inform us in writing on company letter head: the date they received your work term report, he/she marked it in accordance with the supplied instructions, title of the report, number of pages in the report front matter, number of pages in the report body, number of pages in the report back matter, their PEO registration number and signature. Once the marker has marked the report, they would forward the completed marking form to your program undergraduate advisor along with a signed statement (including PEO registration number) on company letter head that the report was marked according the specified guidelines.

The student's program undergraduate advisor would keep a copy of: ( the email from the student, first memo to your marker, first memo from your marker, second memo to your marker, second memo from your marker, marking form ) in the student's undergraduate file prior to forwarding a copy of the marking form to CECS and the E&CE work term coordinator. The work term report mark would be folded in with the other work term report grades when the grades are submitted at the end of the term.

2. Report Structure and Format

Three things go into a good work term (technical) report:

  1. structure and format
  2. technical communication skills
  3. technical/engineering analysis and content
There are many valid technical report formats used across the industry. For uniformity across the reports marked by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, students are to follow the structure and format specified in this guide.

The report is made up of three parts: front matter, main body, back matter. The report is to use 11 point times-roman font for paragraph text with 1.5 line spacing in the report body. Single line spacing for front and back matter, except for Contributions and Summary sections which are 1.5 line spacing. Section headings are either 12 or 14 point times-roman bold font with 2 to 3 line spacing between sections. Each page should have a 1.5" left margin and 1" margins right,top,bottom with full justification paragraphs. The report body and appendices should use section numbers. The front matter is to be written for a nontechnical reader, with no section numbers or references cited in it. The Glossary and References are not to have section numbers. The report body (not including the one page Conclusions section and one page Recommendations section) should be 10 to 15 pages. Only reports using single sided printing will be accepted.

The front matter of the report should include the following in the specified order:

Front Cover
(not required if clear plastic) The Front Cover must contain: university name, faculty name, department name, title of report, "self-study" if a self-study report, student's name, student's previous academic term, and "confidential-1" if a confidential report.
For example



UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO
Faculty of Engineering
      Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering      


title_of_your_report

self-study





Prepared by
your_name
previous_academic_term
confidential-level



Title Page
It must contain the following information: university name, faculty name, department name, title of report, "self-study" if a self-study report, name and location of employer, student's name, student's id number, student's nexus userid, previous academic term, completion date of report, and "confidential-1" if a confidential report.
For example



UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO
Faculty of Engineering
      Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering      


title_of_your_report

self-study


name_of_your_coop_employer
location_of_your_coop_employer


Prepared by
your_name
ID   your_student_id_number
userid   your_uwaterloo_userid
previous_academic_term
completion_date_of_report
confidential-level



Letter of Submittal
It should be in standard business letter format and addressed to the E&CE chair. It must contain the following:
  1. "confidential-1" if a confidential report
  2. "self-study" if a self-study report
  3. report title
  4. course the report is being submitted for
  5. academic term completed
  6. name of employer
  7. department(s) worked for
  8. employer/department activity
  9. purpose of report
  10. assistance acknowledgement
  11. state who the report was written for
  12. declaration statement of the form I hereby confirm that I have received no further help other than what is mentioned above in writing this report. I also confirm this report has not been previously submitted for academic credit at this or any other academic institution.
  13. student's name
  14. student's id number
  15. student's signature
For example

999 Some Cres.
SomeCity, SomeProvince
R4V 1S5

September 7, 2001

chair_of_E&CE, chair
Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario
N2L 3G1

Dear Sir (or Madam):

This report, entitled "The Biological and Health Effects of Chlorine in our Water Supply", was prepared as my 1B Work Report for Dynamic Engineering Consultants. This report is in fulfillment of the course WKRPT 001. The purpose of this report is to evaluate the benefits and negative consequences of chlorine content in public water supplies. It is a self-study and confidential-1 report.

Dynamic Engineering Consultants provide customers with top-of-the-line engineering consulting on a large number of topics, ranging from environmental impact to municipal design in Southwestern Ontario.

The Environmental Consulting section, in which I was employed, is managed by Jennifer Wong and is primarily involved with providing clients with consultation on large projects which may have adverse environmental effects.

I would like to thank Ms. Jennifer Wong for providing me with valuable advice and resources, including documentation and leads to informative web sites. I also wish to thank Mr. Ken Smith for proofreading my report and improving its appearance. I hereby confirm that I have received no further help other than what is mentioned above in writing this report. I also confirm this report has not been previously submitted for academic credit at this or any other academic institution.

Sincerely,

(Signature)

Allan A. Student
ID 12345678


Contributions section
It is a two to three page section written in first person which clearly identifies the student's contribution to the work. The primary purpose of this section is to permit the reader to evaluate the student's involvement in the work and the student's understanding of how their work relates to the team's goals. It is not the intent to mark the level of contribution. This section includes the following information:
  1. The size of the team working on the entire project
  2. The team's main goal(s)
  3. Student's task(s)
  4. How the work term job relates to the work described in the work term report. (Note this does not preclude self study in exceptional circumstances.)
  5. How this work fits into the company's broader scheme of things.
The following is a suggested format

paragraph one
The team I worked with was relatively small/large... It consisted of...people.
paragraph two
The team's main goal(s) were....
paragraph three
My task(s) were....or... My task(s) consisted of....
paragraph four
The relationship between this report and my job...
Here is your opportunity to illustrate the understanding and experience you acquired during your work term. A good work report will show evidence that you gained experience in critical analysis, good organization, clarity, and conciseness during your work experience. You could tell the reader how writing a report on your work term experience enables you to practice your skills of presentation, argument, evaluation, and calculation, and provides a permanent record of your work term. Or you could say how your work related to your academic knowledge.
paragraph five
In the broader scheme of things, ...
This is where you explain how your project or piece of the project fitted into your coop employer's goals or present projects. For example, how the piece of software you wrote fits into the company's product line.

Summary
It is an executive summary which communicates: the purpose and scope of the report, the major points in the report, highlights of the conclusions, and highlights of the recommendations.
Keep in mind the front matter is to be written for a nontechnical reader. The following is a suggested format which normally results in wording for a nontechnical reader.

paragraph one
The main purpose of the report is ... .
The scope of the report is ... .
paragraph two
The major points documented/covered in this report are ...
paragraph three
The major conclusions in this report are ...
paragraph four
The major recommendations in this report are ...

Table of Contents
It should appear on a separate page and contain entries for each report body section, subsection, ..., as well as, all the front matter and back matter (excluding the Table of Contents itself).
For example


Table of Contents

                                                                  Page      
      Contributions .............................................. iii
      Summary ....................................................  vi
      List of Figures ............................................ viii
      List of Tables .............................................  ix
      1.0 Introduction ...........................................   1
      2.0 Issues Investigated ....................................   2
          2.1 Fluid Flow Issues ..................................   2
          2.2 Pipe Surface Issues ................................   4
          2.3 Turbulent Flow Issues ..............................   6
      3.0 Measurement Environment ................................   8
          3.1 Fluid Flow Measurement Set Up ......................   8
          3.2 Surface Measurement Set Up .........................  10
          3.3 Turbulence Measurement Set Up ......................  12
      4.0 Measurement Results ....................................  14
      5.0 Conclusions ............................................  16
      6.0 Recommendations ........................................  17
      Glossary ...................................................  18
      References .................................................  19
      Appendix A - Fluid Flow Measurement Fundamentals ...........  20
      Appendix B - Surface Measurement Fundamentals ..............  24
      Appendix C - Turbulence Measurement Fundamentals ...........  27
      

vii


List of Figures
It should appear on a separate page and contain entries for all figures in the main body of the report.
For example


List of Figures

      Figure                                                      Page      
      1. Fluid Flow Measurement Set Up ...........................  8
      2. Surface Measurement Set Up .............................. 10
      3. Turbulence Measurement Set Up ........................... 12
      

viii


List of Tables
It should appear on a separate page and contain entries for all tables in the main body of the report.
For example


List of Tables

      Table                                                       Page      
      1. Fluid Flow Results ...................................... 15
      2. Surface Measurement Data ................................ 16
      3. Turbulence Measurement Data ............................. 17
      

ix


The front matter page numbers should be lower case roman numerals centered at the bottom of the page with the title page as page one. However, page numbers should not appear on either the title page or letter of submittal. The page numbering should restart at start of report body and be arabic numbers.

The main body of the report should clearly introduce and discuss the engineering analysis done, with conclusions drawn and recommendations made at the appropriate points in the report body. The sectioning should effectively guide the reader through the report. Complex details should be relegated to figures, tables, glossary, appendices, or cited references. Low-level explanations should be clear, concise, and direct. Paragraph and sentence structures should be appropriate for a student in the specified academic term. Standard techniques should be used to refer to mathematics, figures, tables, code fragments, appendices, glossaries, references, etc. All acronyms and jargon should be defined when they first appear in the report body and in the glossary. Spelling and grammar should be correct, consistent, and appropriate for a student in the specified academic term. The report should be formatted in a consistent and visually pleasing way which adheres to these guidelines. All material from other sources is properly cited. There should be a minimum of three references cited (in IEEE format) in the report body with at least one of them a non-Internet source. The body must include Conclusions and Recommendations sections at the end of it.

The Conclusions section should clearly state what conclusions were drawn from the engineering analysis in the body of the report. They should be short (half a page to one page long), to the point, and only state conclusions actually mentioned in the body of the report.
The following is a suggested opening phrase

From the analysis in the report body, it was concluded that ...
followed by clear statements of the actual engineering conclusions and not a summary of the report. This results in a Conclusions section which communicates the required information.
Conclusions should be brief, but complete and understandable. You may use lists, but easy-to-read sentences are best. Each paragraph should deal with only one aspect of the study. Conclusions may only be drawn if they are supported fully by the analyses described in the body of your report or the references cited in the report body. Three or more conclusions are expected.

The Recommendations section should clearly state what the recommendations (allocation of capital, human resources and/or future improvements) to your employer or management are to address the issues and conclusions in your report.
The following is a suggested opening phrase

Based on the analysis and conclusions in this report, it is recommended that ...
followed by clear statements of what actions you are recommending to management results in a Recommendations section which communicates the required information.
Two or more recommendations are expected.

Proper technical writing practices are to be followed:

The back matter of the report must include a References section and optionally glossaries and/or appendices.

The References section must contain at least three references, a minimum of one must be a non-Internet source. Each reference must be referred to (cited) in the body of the report. This list of references must be in the standard IEEE format (as described in [2] or [3]) and include sufficient material for a reader to contact the publisher and obtain a copy of the referenced material. In addition, it must clearly identify the source of all quotations, paraphrases, and technical data used in the report. A report which fails to identify such sources shall be viewed as unacceptable and the student may be charged with plagiarism. In short, anything that is not yours must be referenced. References that are not accessible by the marker (such as Personal Communications, restricted access web sites, etc.) are not acceptable. As an alternative, if a reference is not easily accessible by the marker, you may include a copy of it as an appendix, provided it is about 15 pages or less. References must be ordered (numbered) in the sequence first cited in the report body.

The Glossary section should define and explain all acronyms and special technical terms used in the report. The Glossary section must come before the References section.

3. Technical Communication

There are three components to the technical communication of a report: Structure and Flow, Detailed Presentation, and Writing and Formatting.

3.1. Structure and Flow

The topic is clearly introduced and discussed, with conclusions drawn and recommendations made at the appropriate points in the report body. The topic, major conclusions and recommendations are restated in the Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations sections. Sectioning effectively guides the reader through the report. Complex details are relegated to figures, tables, glossaries, appendices, or cited references.

3.2. Detailed Presentation

Low-level explanations are clear, concise, and direct. Paragraph and sentence structures are appropriate to a university student at the specified level. Standard techniques are used to refer to mathematics, figures, tables, code fragments, appendices, glossaries, references, etc. Acronyms and jargon are defined.

3.3. Writing and Formatting

Spelling and grammar are correct, consistent, and appropriate to a student in the specified academic term. The report is formatted in a consistent and visually pleasing way which adheres to the E&CE guidelines. Material from other sources is properly cited.

4. Technical Content

The topic has sufficient scope and depth to justify a report. The writing displays evidence of sound engineering judgement, analysis, and insight appropriate to a university student at the specified level. The technical details appear to be correct, and form a coherent whole.

If the report is on an engineering design, the customer requirements and design specifications are appendix material but may be summarized in the report body. The body of the report should document the engineering process of transforming the customer requirements into the functional specifications followed by the engineering process to transform the functional specifications into the design specifications. That is, the body of the report is on the engineering of the product/artifact not a marketing/product document of the finished product/artifact.

It is expected that a report should include a clear definition of the problem at hand with the criteria for evaluating a possible solution. Quantitative criteria are preferred in engineering. The report should also include the discussion and analysis of at least two possible solutions based on the criteria. Conclusions and recommendations are made within the discussion and analysis.

In general, a report with a comparison by itself is not acceptable. A comparison may be acceptable if it is done as part of the student's own analysis of each possible solution. Comparisons are generally not acceptable for third and fourth year reports.

Remember to cite the source of all material used in your report not just things you quoted. The introduction of your report should cite each of the references you used for background reading. If you use a figure, diagram, data, or a table, even in modified form, you must cite the source of it. Failure to do so may result in a plagiarism case.

Remember, a report content must not be related or similar to another document that you or somebody else received academic credit for. This includes work term reports, fourth year design reports, or any other document. Violation of this may result in a plagiarism case.

If a report does not contain sufficient engineering analysis, it will be rejected with an unacceptable grade. Remember, technical content and engineering analysis expectations increase with the level of the report.

References

[1]
Olaf Naese, Ed. Co-Op Student Manual, Co-Operative Education and Career Services, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, 1993.
[2]
IEEE Power Engineering Society, Publication Guide, IEEE Power Engineering Society, IEEE, Piscataway, New York, 1994.
[3]
IEEE Computer Society Press, CS Style Guide, IEEE Computer Society Press, Piscataway, New York, 1997, This material is available from: IEEE Computer Society Style Guide

Appendix A: Marking Form

A work report examines a student's abilities to display sound engineering judgement on a topic of analysis or design and to produce a written report which is clear, concise, and convincing. Constructive comments by evaluators are given to guide the student towards improved skills in communicating engineering ideas.

The lower part of the E&CE work term report marking form contains 4 sets of radio buttons of the form: yes, mostly, marginally, slightly, no. One set for each of:

Structure and Flow:
The topic is clearly introduced and discussed, with conclusions drawn and recommendations made at the appropriate points in the report body. The topic, major conclusions and recommendations are restated in the Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations sections. Sectioning effectively guides the reader through the report. Complex details are relegated to figures, tables, glossaries, appendices, or cited references.
Detailed Presentation:
Low-level explanations are clear, concise, and direct. Paragraph and sentence structures are appropriate to a university student at the specified level. Standard techniques are used to refer to mathematics, figures, tables, code fragments, appendices, glossaries, references, etc. Acronyms and jargon are defined.
Writing and Formatting:
Spelling and grammar are correct, consistent, and appropriate to a student in the specified academic term. The report is formatted in a consistent and visually pleasing way which adheres to the E&CE guidelines. Material from other sources is properly cited.
Technical Content:
The topic has sufficient scope and depth to justify a report. The writing displays evidence of sound engineering judgement, analysis, and insight appropriate to a university student at the specified level. The technical details appear to be correct, and form a coherent whole.

This is followed by a Critical Feedback section where the technical content marker can supply written comments and suggestions.

The radio buttons are mapped as follows
buttonscore
yes4
mostly3
marginally2
slightly1
no0

The final grade for the report is calculated in two steps: technical content and technical communication. The technical communication score is found by summing up the Structure and Flow, Detailed Presentation, and Writing and Formatting scores.

technical
communicationcontent
01234
0 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable
1 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable
2 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable
3 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable
4 Unacceptable Unacceptable Resubmit Resubmit Resubmit
5 Unacceptable Unacceptable Resubmit Resubmit Resubmit
6 Unacceptable Resubmit Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory
7 Unacceptable Resubmit Satisfactory Satisfactory Very_Good
8 Unacceptable Resubmit Satisfactory Very_Good Very_Good
9 Unacceptable Resubmit Satisfactory Very_Good Excellent
10 Unacceptable Resubmit Satisfactory Very_Good Excellent
11 Unacceptable Resubmit Satisfactory Excellent Excellent
12 Unacceptable Satisfactory Very_Good Excellent Outstanding

A report which is graded resubmit by the technical content marker, can be rewritten and resubmitted by the last day of lectures in that term. The marker can indicate if part or all of the report must be rewritten and resubmitted. Reports may only be resubmitted once. The final grade algorithm for these resubmitted reports is

technical
communicationcontent
01234
0 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable
1 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable
2 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable
3 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable
4 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable
5 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable
6 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Satisfactory Satisfactory
7 Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable Satisfactory Satisfactory
8 Unacceptable Unacceptable Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory
9 Unacceptable Unacceptable Satisfactory Satisfactory Very_Good
10 Unacceptable Unacceptable Satisfactory Satisfactory Very_Good
11 Unacceptable Unacceptable Satisfactory Very_Good Very_Good
12 Unacceptable Unacceptable Satisfactory Very_Good Very_Good

The actual mark submitted and appearing on the transcript
grademark
Outstanding95
Excellent89
Very Good75
Satisfactory65
Unacceptable38

Appendix B: Frequently Asked Questions

How to tell if a report topic will be acceptable
Write the purpose and scope sentence/paragraph for your report's Introduction and Summary sections. If it implies a set of conclusions which imply a set of recommendations, that will communicate the expected/required level of engineering analysis, insight, and judgement, then you are fine. If it does not, then you need a new topic. In most cases, you want to approach the report as if you are a consulting engineer who has been retained by a client to investigate some issue/problem and supply a set of engineering recommendations to resolve that issue/problem for the client.
Referencing URLs?
Follow the link for the IEEE Computer Society Style Guide in the References section of these guidelines.
Reference for figure or table?
Your figure title/caption would look like
Figure x: figure title [1]
where in the reference section [1] would point to the source for the figure. A table is done in a similar fashion.
Report reading like a manual?
A manual tells you what something does or how to use some software/hardware. Such documents are not acceptable since they do not contain the required engineering analysis, insight, and judgement.
Do we use footnotes or endnotes to quote exact quotes and imported data?
Neither in the report body. See References in these guidelines. Footnotes may be used in appendices.
References are only for exact quotes and imported data or figures?
No. References are much more than that. In fact, in technical reports, a reference is rarely for a direct quote. A reference is normally used to indicate where a given piece of IP (intellectual property) came from or where a reader might find additional information on a given topic. That is, a reference says, this idea or data came from that source, or refer to that reference for additional information on this subject.
How many figures/tables are consider too many/few?
There is no exact number for this as it is context dependent on the engineering material presented in the report body. However, zero tables or figures normally indicates insufficient engineering analysis, insight, and judgement. You need sufficient tables and/or figures to support the engineering analysis and the flow of the report body text. If there are too many tables and/or figures, which are not key to understanding what the report body is saying, then these extra figures and/or tables should be placed in an appendix.
What to do about confidential work term reports?
See Confidential Work Reports section. All E&CE work term reports are marked by E&CE markers. If your employer is not comfortable with a confidential-1 work term report, then you will want to exercise your at most one self-study work term report as part of your B.A.Sc. program option. Keep in mind, the report you write for the company is to meet their requirements. The report you write for the E&CE department is to meet the academic requirements of your B.A.Sc. program.
See contribution section for a self-study work term report and how to approach a self-study work term report.
Can I submit a work term report before it is required in the program?
no.
How are late work term reports handled?
See E&P rule 17. If a work term report is received after the due date, it will be assigned a grade of 38 for the current term. There are two cases:
  1. This occurred prior to fall 2009 term.
    The late report will be marked as a supplemental exam in the following term. This does not impact your term average, but does increase your cumulative failed course count by one and results in a CNDF (Conditional Promotion) assuming you have a 60% or better average and no more than two failed courses in that term. If the cumulative failed course count exceeds two, your academic decision changes to MNP (May Not Proceed) per E&P rule 7 and you are stopped until it is reduced to less than 2.
    Keep in mind the 38 remains on your transcript. When the course is cleared a Supp Satisfied appears beside the original grade indicating the failure has been cleared. When all the failed courses in that term are cleared, the academic decision will change to PROG (Promotion Granted) independent of the term average. As such, if you fail a work term report, the grade of 38 appears/stays on your transcript and your academic decision can be no better than PROG.
  2. This occurred after the spring 2009 term.
    You must enroll in the wkrpt course in some future term when the report will be marked and the grade recorded. Keep in mind the report must be cleared prior to a specified term (see Can I submit a work term report before it is required in the program for details).
What goes in the contribution section for a self-study work term report?
A self-study work term report is like a regular work term report except for:
  1. In the Letter of Submittal you need to clearly state it is a self-study work term report. The letter needs to address all the other points mentioned in the report Structure and Format section.
  2. In the Contribution Section, where it discusses relationship between report and student's job, you clearly state there is no relationship, as it is a self-study work term report. As above, the contribution section needs to address all the other points mentioned in the report Structure and Format section.
Keep in mind, a self-study work term report is always associated with an actual coop work term and coop employer. This is always possible for your second, third, and fourth work term reports as you have six work terms but there are only four required work term reports. You have a work term report due after your first, third, fourth, and fifth work terms. The only exception to this requirement is covered in What if I do not get a coop job for my first work term.
See also How to approach a self-study work term report.
What must be included in a design work term report?
In an engineering design, there would be two or more possible designs, from which the better one is selected via engineering analysis against the customer requirements. What that analysis looks like varies drastically between design organisation/methods.
Should the Letter of Submittal have the header Letter of Submittal on it?
no
Should the back matter page numbering continue on from the report body page numbering?
In general yes. For manuals and large reports, appendices may have their own page numbering, e.g. Appendix A may start with page A-1. However, for short reports like a work term report, this would be rare.
Should figures/tables in appendix appear in List of Figures/Tables?
If the appendix is large, it may have its own List of Figures/Tables. However, for work term reports, that would be rare. As such, for a work term report, figures/tables in the back matter may appear in the report's List of Figures/Tables but they should follow the numbering A-1 for the first one in appendix A and so on.
Can one decide not to submit a work term report in a given term and hand it later in their program?
In general no, as it would result in a failed course on your record and/or a May-Not-Proceed academic decision.
Should the report main body have numbered sections and subsections?
yes
Should the report back matter have numbered sections and subsections?
References, Glossary, ... no. However, appendices should have a letter and subsections. e.g. if Appendix A has subsections, they would be numbered A.1, A.2, A.3 ... .
Should the report front matter have numbered sections and subsections?
no
What level of technical detail should be in the front matter?
The Summary front matter section should be written so that an executive can quickly read it and capture all the main points. There should be no question in the reader's mind, whether a technical person or business person, when reading the front matter of the report, what the report is about, what was concluded, and what is being recommended to management. Keep in mind the it was concluded phrase is a much stronger/clearer phrase than the proved to be phrase and the it is recommended phrase is a much stronger phrase than the it is suggested phrase. As such, you should use the phrases it was concluded and it is recommended.
How does one cite a reference in the Glossary?
Since the Glossary is not part of the report body, use footnotes to cite the source for definitions used in the Glossary.
How does one cite a reference in an appendix?
Since an appendix is not part of the report body use footnotes to cite a reference if there are only one or two per appendix. If there are a number of references in an appendix, the appendix should have its own References subsection with references numbered according to the appendix, eg in Appendix A they would be numbered A.1, A.2, A.3, ... .
Can my work term report be related to my fourth year design project?
No. A reading of the various declaration statements for the Fourth Year Design Project reports and the declaration statement for the work term report make it clear you can not submit reports for academic credit in two courses for the same work. As such, careful separation of the two (work term report and Fourth Year Design Project reports) is extremely important. Basically, the work report should not be related to the fourth year design project!
How to approach a self-study work term report
If you end up exercising your option to write one self study work term report as part of your BASc CompEng/ElecEng degree program, you pick a topic area you would like to research, do the research and write an engineering analysis centric report. The easiest way is to assume you are a consultant retained by a client to investigate a solution to some problem they have. In the process of doing your engineering analysis you will investigate two or more possible solutions and develop some measure of goodness which you will apply to each potential solution. The goodness numbers coming from these goodness measurements will point to a set of engineering conclusions. Given these engineering conclusions and your client's business setup, you will come up with some engineering recommendations for your client.
What if I do not get a coop job for my first work term?
If you started the program after Aug'09, this is not a problem as you can defer your first work term report until after your next coop work term. However, if you started the program prior to Sep'09, you are required to submit a work term report after your first coop were term, independent of whether you actually had a coop job, you will need to write a self-study work term report. Refer to How to approach a self-study work term report? for pointers on writing a self-study work term report. The major difference in this case is, how to handle the contribution section. The other differences are associated with the
How to track the marking of your work term report?
There are two ways to track the marking of your work term report:
  1. Log into the Work Reports Online application and select E&CE Work Term Reports Online. It will prompt you for your userid, which is the same as your nexus userid, and password, which is your studentid, if you have not changed it. It is highly recommended that once you log in the first time, change your password from the default password. Now select Your Info and the application will supply you the status on your reports. Once a report has been marked the marker's name and the various dates will appear. Note, if you click in the triangle in any of the Work Reports or Mark Form Status column headers, the application will sort the rows according to that column.
  2. The Work Reports Online database application sends email when specific database transactions happen. You may expect your report to have its marking completed in about five weeks from the date of the email informing you that your report is assigned to a marker. However, since servers go down and email gets dropped, this is the secondary notice mechanism.
How to appeal a work term report grade?
If you disagree with the marking of your work term report, you first meet with the marker to discuss the marking. If after that you still believe there is a problem, you supply the Work Term Report Coordinator a written statement outlining the issues along with the report plus marking forms. He/she will either review it themselves or assign it to another to review it, but come to a conclusion whether the mark should go up, down, or stay the same. If you still disagree with the mark, then after grades are officially released, you can go to the first year engineering office and submit a formal grade appeal, per policy 70 Student Grievance Policy which has a clear time line.
How to find out the contact information of your markers?
Log into the Work Reports Online application and select E&CE Work Term Reports Online. It will prompt you for your userid, which is the same as you nexus userid, and password, which is your studentid, if you have not changed it. It is highly recommended that once you log in the first time, change your password from the default password. Now select Your Info. The marker's name will appear beside the report (after it has been marked) or for the technical marker's contact information select See Marking Form and look in the marker section for the marker's name, uwuserid, office number and phone number.
See also How to track the marking of your work term report?.
What if two students are working for the same company on the same project?
The real issue here is whether we have two independent works or not. It is normally better to identify two separate engineering issues within the project so two independent reports can be generated. For sizable projects, this usually can be done. Keep in mind, it is easier to write a report on a focused engineering issue than a wide issue. So take the wide issue and break it into parts.
The two reports must be distinct even if they are on the same project.
Who marks the report?
Reports are generally marked by a graduate student who did their undergraduate degree here in either Electrical or Computer Engineering, has good technical writing skills, and knows what to expect at each of the levels in our program. However, some reports are marked by lab instructors or faculty members.
Which academic term should be listed on work term report receipt?
The academic term listed on the work term report receipt is the most recent academic term which you have successfully completed which may be different from the coop work term the work term report is associated with. The coop work term is what appears on the cover/title page and letter of submittal. The academic term listed on the work term report receipt is used for the Academic Term field in the Work Reports Online database and appears in the marking form.
How to clear a failed work term report?
You can either correct the failing report or write a new report on a different topic. The report would be submitted before seven days after the first official day of lectures in a future term.

Appendix C: Electrical and Computer Engineering Work Term Report Check List

The following must be present in the report:
  • Front Cover includes (not required if cover is clear plastic):
    • university, faculty and department names
    • title of report
    • "self-study" if self-study report
    • student name and previous academic term
    • "confidential-1" if confidential report
  • Title Page includes:
    • university, faculty and department names
    • title of report
    • "self-study" if self-study report
    • name and location of employer
    • student name, id, nexus userid
    • previous academic term
    • completion date of the report
    • "confidential-1" if confidential report
  • Letter of Submittal to E&CE chair
    • single spacing in standard business letter format
    includes:
    • confidential-1 if confidential
    • report title, report number
    • academic term completed
    • name of employer
    • department(s) worked for
    • employer/department activity
    • purpose of report
    • assistance acknowledgement
    • state who report was written for
    • declaration statement
    • student name, id, and signature
  • Contribution section (2-3 pages) includes:
    • size of team working on entire project
    • team's goals
    • student's task(s)
    • relationship between report and student's job
    • how this work fits into broader scheme of things
  • Summary section (1 page) includes:
    • purpose and scope of report
    • major points in the report
    • highlights of the conclusions
    • highlights of the recommendations
  • Conclusions section supplies a clear/concise statement of the what conclusions were drawn from the engineering analysis in report body. Only states conclusions actually mentioned in the report body.
  • Recommendations section supplies a clear/concise statement of the recommendations to management/client such as future improvements and allocation of capital (HR and/or $$) to address the report's conclusions
  • 1.5" left margin, 1" right,top,bottom margins
  • full justified pargraphs with 11 point time-roman font
  • report body 1.5 spacing
  • front and back matter single line spacing, except for Contributions and Summary 1.5 spacing
  • section headings 12 to 14 point time-roman bold font
  • 2 or 3 line spacing between sections
  • no section or subsection numbering in front matter
  • no references cited in front matter
  • front matter sections correctly ordered
  • front matter page numbers lower case roman
  • restart page numbering at start of report body
  • report body and appendices use section and subsection numbering
  • no section numbers in Glossary or References
  • Table of Contents includes entries for each report body section, subsection, ..., as well as, the front matter (Contributions, Summary, Conclusions, Recommendations, List of Figures, List of Tables) and the back matter (Glossary, References, Appendices)
  • List of Figures on a separate page
  • List of Figures contains correct entries for all figures in report body
  • List of Tables on a separate page
  • List of Tables contains correct entries for all tables in report body
  • Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Table entries are properly tab filled
  • all figures have a number and title/caption below the figure
  • consistent figure numbering in the report body
  • all figures taken from another source cite that source by reference number on the figure title line
  • all figures are correctly cited (referred to by number) in the report body text before they appear in the report body
  • all tables have a number and title/caption above the table
  • consistent table numbering in the report body
  • all tables taken from another source cite that source by reference number on the table title line
  • all tables are correctly cited (referred to by number) in the report body text before they appear in the report body
  • all figures and tables are readable
  • all appendices are cited (referred to by number or letter) in the report body text
  • the References section contains at least 3 different references all in IEEE format (see IEEE Computer Society references style guide), and at least one reference is a non-Internet source
  • each reference (in the Reference section) is cited in the report body
  • 10 to 15 page report body not including the 1 page Conclusions section and the 1 page Recommendations section

The following must not be present in the report:
  • change in technical writing style/quality between front matter and the report body
  • report body reads like a manual
  • significant portions of the report body belongs in an appendix
  • many acronyms used and Glossary of acronyms incomplete or missing
  • footnotes or endnotes are used for references, except for appendices
  • too few/many figures in report body
  • insufficient discussion of figures appearing in the report body
  • too few/many tables in report body
  • insufficient discussion of tables appearing in the report body

Front matter of your report should include, in the specified order:
  • Title Page
  • Letter of Submittal
  • Contributions
  • Summary
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables

W.M. Loucks PEng, G.H. Freeman PEng, J.A. Barby PEng, M. Dabbagh
Copyright Loucks, Freeman, Barby, Dabbagh. All Rights Reserved

updated by Work Term Report Coordinator

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Document: http://ece.uwaterloo.ca/~wtrc/WrkTrmRpt.html Last modified: 2015-Aug-02 17:49:48