Raymer's Generic Technical Report Format

As it says in Raymer's Rules , the ability to write a clear and accurate technical report is essential for success in a technical career. The following is a pretty good format for a report on technical work, and will help to guide you in writing one. Right-click here ("save target as") to download Raymer's Generic Technical Report Format as a Microsoft Word document file complete with Title Page, Headings, Table of Contents, List of Figures, and References.

Number of 

1         Title Page - Title/Author/Organization/Date  (make it pretty!)

1/4-1     Executive Summary        
          (Must be able to stand alone!  Many will only see this.) 
             - What was done
             - Why/how
             - Key Results               
                (Use pictures, so upper management can understand it!)
             - DO NOT "cut & paste" executive summary from body of report-
                 restate it freshly!
(If the report is for a contract (or a class), make it VERY clear up here 
that the contracted/assigned work was all completed.  Don't make them hunt to 
see if you did the job. This isn't a novel - no extra points for a surprise ending!)

1/2-1     Introduction                   
           (Must be written as if the Executive Summary is NOT there!)     
              - What was done/when
              - Who/for whom
              - Value of results (use)

1/2-4     Background             
             - More detail on why, what else going on affects what you 
                 will show 
             - Define context, set the stage, and get them interested!
1/2-2     Statement of Problem
             - Succinct definition of problem
             - Obviously follows from material in the background section
             - Specifically defines and limits the  "scope" of the effort.

1-10      Approach 
             - Clear & repeatable description of how you tackled the problem.
             - Enough information for a knowledgeable person to reproduce 
                 the results you are about to present.

2-10      Results 
             - Actual findings, significant output of tests & analysis
             - Must be readable, not pages of computer output
             - Include problems encountered, believability of results,  
                 accuracy estimates.
             - Picture =   1,000  words!

1/2-2      Summary & Conclusions
             - Restate problem, approach, & results (fresh text, not cut-and-paste)
             - Conclusions you drew (& why)
             - Utility of results
             - Subjects for further study
             - Emphasize what you want them to remember in 6 months  


             -Rest of the tables/graphs
             -Computer Listings

updated 11-07
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