Documentation is an important and often overlooked aspect of engineering. One final report has to be completed within this project.
The common language of engineering is de facto English. Therefore, the final report of the work is preferred to be written in English. Any form of word processing software is allowed for writing the reports, nevertheless the use of LaTeX with Tgif or any other vector drawing software such as inkscape (for block diagrams) is strongly encouraged by the IIS staff.
The final report has to be presented at the end of the project in digital form. This report is only accepted if the keys for the student working room have been properly returned. Note that this task description is part of your report and has to be attached to your final report.
Your report should explain what you did, should be easy to follow, contain sufficient details to enable another person to replicate your results, and convince the reader of your work. Sections of the report should answer the following questions in order:
- Explain the Problem: Which problem are we trying to solve in this work. Why is it important to solve this problem.
- Tell us what has been done in this field before: There is a substantial amount of research being done throughout the world. In almost all cases there would be some related work that tackled the same or a similar problem. Give a summary of what has been done, and What results were achieved.
- Why are the available solutions not sufficient: If there is still a problem, it means that solutions offered in related work were simply not good enough. Explain what is missing in the related work, and lead into your idea that will make it better.
- What do we need to know to understand the problem and the solution: Lay the foundation on how to solve the problem. Give the necessary theoretical background, explain key measures that will be used throughout your work.
- What alternatives did you consider for the solution: For most problems, there will be more than one possible solution. List these possibilities, help the reader follow your thought process.
- How did you decide which solution was better: There will be reasons why you preferred one solution over the other. Explain how you judged them, what motivated you to choose one over the other.
- Give us details of what you did: Finally this is the part where you explain your work. Try to use a classic introduction, development, conclusion cycle for this explanation as well.
- What results did you achieve, how does it compare to previous solutions: The results are there to convince the reader of the merits of your solution when compared to other solutions. It is important to also explain how the various results were obtained, to allow critical readers to verify your claims if needed.
Depending on your topic, the above mentioned questions could be arranged in several sections.
- Start writing your final report during the work, if you start towards the last few weeks, you will forget many details.
- Build the general structure (Chapters, sections) first, and work on the sections for which you already have material.
- Introduction (and Conclusion) are more easy to finish last, do not get stuck at the beginning trying to write a good introduction.
- Assume that a fellow student with the level of knowledge prior to starting the work will be reading the report.