Ever have the grand idea to bake a super-amazing birthday cake for your significant other, then realize that you have no idea how to bake?
If your baking skills are anything like mine, you probably struggled a bit and worried that your cake would taste more like the cardboard box the cake mix came in than a tasty chocolate cake.
What does this have to do with writing a project report?
Let me explain. Writing a report is like following a cake recipe. Like any recipe, a report requires you to include specific ingredients. Add too much of this or not enough of that, and your report (and your cake) will fall flat.
With that being said, let’s put on our thinking caps (or your chef’s hat if you prefer) and get to work on a project report.
What Is a Project Report?
A project report is a detailed explanation of the project you’ve completed (generally in a science, engineering, or business-related course.)
It will usually include the following sections:
- Signed declaration indicating you’ve completed your own work
- Table of contents
- Review of the literature
- Results and discussion
- Conclusions and recommendations
(More about what to include in these sections below.)
Of course, your professor might require slightly different components or headings, so make sure to read your assignment guidelines carefully.
With a better understanding of the components of a project report, you can move on to writing your own report.
How Do You Write a Project Report?
Sometimes simply starting is the most difficult part of the task, but if you take it step by step, the task suddenly seems less daunting.
It’s like baking.
Pretend you’ve only ever “baked” a microwave cake. Then you’re suddenly asked to bake a Kransekake for your brother’s wedding. Your reaction probably isn’t to jump right in and bake the cake, right?
Chances are, you might stare blankly at the recipe for a good long while just trying to sort it out. Once you gather your ingredients and start working, though, you can put together a decent cake.
How do you put together a decent project report? Let’s start at the beginning. (Makes sense, right?)
Design and implement your project
Designing and implementing your project are like the ingredients to your cake. Without these, it’s impossible to create a finished product (in this case, a report).
I’m assuming you have already completed these steps. (If not, I suggest you get to work—and fast!)
Review the literature
Next, you’ll need to review the literature. This is like reviewing recipes to see what other chefs have done.
In this case, you’re reviewing journals to see what other scholars have written about your subject. I’m going to assume that you’ve read the literature already too. If you haven’t done that yet, you’re going to need to do a fair amount of research.
Here are two resources to help you get started: 5 Best Resources to Help With Writing a Research Paper and 3 Types of Essay Support That Prove You Know Your Stuff.
Outline your ideas
Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients and reviewed the experts’ work, it’s time to start mixing the ingredients and create something that resembles a project report.
Start by reviewing your information, and sketch out an outline. Jot down a few notes to focus your thoughts about the goals of the project, its implementation, and its results.
Not quite sure what to write? Here are a few suggestions to help you draft an outline:
- Summarize your project in one or two sentences.
- What did you hope to accomplish by implementing your project?
- How did you implement the project? (Did you conduct a survey, create a program, or build something?)
- What were the results? (Even if they weren’t what you expected, take note of it.)
- Ask yourself, “What now?” (Now that your project is complete, what do you think should be done? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?)
Fill in the details to draft your report
You’ve taken the time to read your recipe (the assignment guidelines). You’ve mixed your ingredients (by making an outline). Now you can bake your finished project proposal to perfection.
Suggestions to Help Develop Each Section of Your Project Report
An abstract is essentially a summary of your paper. Thus, keep in mind that the goal is to include only the key points. Summarize the project in no more than a brief paragraph by explaining the following:
- The project
- Its goals
- How the project was implemented
- The results of the project
To get a good idea of how your abstract should look, read 10 Good Abstract Examples That Will Kickstart Your Brain.
Don’t tell your writers every detail about how you developed and implemented your project. Don’t tell your readers every step you need to take in order to improve your project. Save these details for the results and discussion section of the paper.
The introduction contains the basics of your project (similar to the abstract). But it should also include background information, such as information about how and why you developed the project.
Review of the literature
This section requires you to present a current discussion of your topic based on what the experts are saying.
Note that this isn’t a section devoted to literature like Moby Dick or Lord of the Rings. This is literature based on professional journals like the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology.
The literature review section should include an overview of your topic, including any recent discoveries or challenges to previously held beliefs.
Depending on your assignment requirements, you’ll also want to pay close attention to publication dates of the literature you’re referencing. Don’t cite a 1998 article about new wind technologies and present the information as a current breakthrough.
Obviously, anything developed in 1998 won’t be considered “new” in the world of technology. (You might, on the other hand, still use the article if you want to compare technologies of 1998 to technologies of today.)
Results and discussion
In this section, explain the results of your project and include a discussion of how you implemented your project.
As you discuss the results, also tell readers what you can infer from the results. (Keep in mind that the results may or may not be what you hypothesized.)
For instance, if you built a battery to store energy created from wind turbines, but the battery only stored energy for two hours instead of 12, explain not only that this occurred but what you can infer from these results.
The results and discussion section should also include any relevant charts or graphs.
Conclusions and recommendations
End your report with a section that highlights the significance of your project and wraps up ideas by recommending the next steps.
For example, let’s say you’re writing about a battery to store energy from a wind turbine. You might discuss what changes need to be made to the battery to help create a longer storage time.
Make Sure Your Report Isn’t Half-Baked
“Nevermind Them, Let Me Eat Cake!” by peasap, Flickr.com (CC BY 2.0)/cropped
Still not sure whether your project report is baked to perfection or merely half-baked?
Here are some additional resources to help.
If you’d like to compare your report to a few example project reports, read this chemistry lab report and a project report titled Hydraulic Performance of Culvert with Different Fishways.
You might also want to check out these annotated examples of project reports.
And if you want to make sure your project report has all the right finishing touches, here are some general writing resources:
Our editors at Kibin can help too. They might not necessarily be expert bakers, but they’re expert editors who can help make sure your paper is delish!
Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.
Course Title: Essay Project
Part A: Course Overview
Course Title: Essay Project
Credit Points: 12
345H Media and Communication
|Sem 2 2015, |
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017
Course Coordinator: Dr Bonny Cassidy
Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3792
Course Coordinator Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities
You should undertake COMM2652 Creative Writing: Project at the same time as this course as it contains areas of knowledge and skills which are implemented together in practice. These are co-requisite courses.
Pre & Co requisites
Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisite/s and agree to concurrently enrol in co-requisite courses before enrolling in a course.
For your information the RMIT Course Requisites policy can be found at: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=twx09y07zi1c
Essay Project is a co-requisite course to Creative Writing Project. It will hone your research and essay writing skills in relation to your major project. You will read and critically synthesise a range of texts in a discursive manner to situate your work within a relevant cultural and intellectual framework. The essay project could manifest itself in a variety of ways, including an exegetical essay, an industry focused analysis, a set of theoretical annotations, or an academic literary studies paper. The focus of this course is to harness and demonstrate intellectual rigour and a focused research endeavour that provides insights to your work as a creative writer.
Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development
In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:
- Critically respond to and communicate ideas as a creative writer in a global context, analysing and reflecting on your own and others’ writing.
- Demonstrate creativity, critical thinking and innovation when identifying and solving problems in diverse contexts within the discipline of creative writing.
Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:
- Apply your skills as an independent researcher and critical thinker.
- Examine your creative writing projects through a critical, reflective and/or theoretical lens.
- Reflect on your ability to position your craft professionally and critically within your field.
- Create and produce an essay that demonstrates your ability to appropriately contextualise your creative writing within academic, industry and/or professional frameworks.
Overview of Learning Activities
You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as studios, project work, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, individual and group activities.
Overview of Learning Resources
RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.
A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.
The University Library has extensive resources for Creative Writing students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies http://rmit.libguides.com/writing
The Library provides guides on academic referencing: http://www.rmit.edu.au/library/referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.
Overview of Assessment
You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include essays, reports, reflective papers, creative projects and presentations, individually and in groups. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning.
Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.
If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: Assessment and exams.