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Supporting Material

In Arranging Material and Structuring the Project Report we say that a project report consists of a main body plus other supporting material that surround and support the body. There are well established conventions governing the purpose and format of these supporting structures which we describe here. The structures include, in order of appearance in the project report:

  • the title page,
  • the abstract,
  • the acknowledgements,
  • a table of contents,
  • a table of figures.

Then comes the main body of the report, and this is followed possibly by:

  • a glossary,
  • a list of abbreviations,
  • one or more appendices,

and finally

  • the references and bibliography.

Each of the elements listed above should begin on a new page. All pages should be numbered, with page 1 being the first page of the Introduction. The pages preceding the Introduction should be given Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, etc).

The Title Page

The title page should be the first page of the report and should normally include:

  • the title of the project report,
  • the name of the author,
  • the name of the project supervisor and moderator,
  • the qualification for which the project report is a part,
  • the name of the school and institution, e.g. School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University,
  • the date of completion of the project report.

The title itself should be short, yet should aim to describe the contents of the project report as accurately as possible.

The Abstract

This is a summary of the report. It must be less than 300 words long. It should give enough information to allow a potential reader to decide whether or not the report will be of interest to them. It should briefly describe the main ideas of the report, including the aims and conclusions. It should be both self-contained and self-explanatory, and it should not say anything not mentioned in the rest of the report (for this reason it is usually written last).

Acknowledgements

This optional section should be used to record indebtedness for the use of facilities or help from particular sources. You should mention any organisations or people who have helped you while you have been carrying out the project.

The Table of Contents and Table of Figures

The table of contents gives the reader a view of the detailed structure of the report, by giving section and subsection headings and associated pages.

If your project report contains many figures or it refers to the same figure many times you should consider listing them along with their page numbers in a table of figures.

The Glossary and Table of Abbreviations

If you use any abbreviations, obscure terms or esoteric acronyms in the project report then their meaning should be explained where they first occur. If you go on to use any of them extensively then it is helpful to list them all in a table at the end so that readers can quickly remind themselves of their meaning.

The Appendices

Appendices are where you present material which you want to include in the report, but which would seriously obstruct the flow of ideas if put anywhere in the main body. This could be extensive technical details or mathematical proofs, derivations of formulae, etc. required to support a point your are making in the report. Other documents you have written, such as user manuals, technical manuals or formal specifications should go here too.

Appendices should be headed by letters in alphabetical order, i.e. Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.

supporting_material.txt · Last modified: 2011/11/14 13:01 by scmfcl