Winter Quarter 2019

Perspectives in Assistive Technology


David L. Jaffe, MS
Lathrop Library, Classroom 282
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4:30pm to 5:50pm

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Report Writing Tips


  • Refer to Mid-term report format for suggested section titles
  • Organize the report to "tell the story"
  • Strive for readability rather than bulk (large number of pages)
  • Be concise
  • Use 1.5 line spacing
  • Choose 11 or 12 point sans-serif font
  • Do not use any font colors other than black
  • Use one column of text
  • Employ reasonable margins
  • Do not use "justified" paragraph formatting
  • Refer to 2017 example final report

Cover Page:

  • Include team members' photos and names, team name, project name, course name, year, mid-term or final report
  • List team member's names in the order they appear in the photo
  • Exclude a page number
  • Use a larger font

Table of Contents:

  • Exclude a page number

Figures and Tables:

  • Scan, rather than take photos of sketches
  • Use the Design Group copier to scan sketches
  • Use the Design Group copier or Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to add contrast and remove background from sketches - here are instructions
  • Use this information and software applications to process scanned drawings and images
  • Re-draw sketches that can't be made legible
  • Include "call-outs" to point to and describe important features in figures and tables
  • Figures (photos and sketches) and tables (charts and graphs) should be inserted in the body of the report, not in a separate section at the end
  • Embedding figures and tables within the body of the report is ok
  • Flow text around figures and tables
  • Scale figures and tables as appropriate for the page
  • Insert figures and tables near where they are referred to in report body


  • Refer to Caption Tips for instructions on how to insert figure and tables and create captions
  • Each figure and table should have a descriptive caption beginning with: "Table 1", "Figure 3" to refer to them in the body of the report
  • It is ok to "bundle" related figures with designations: "Figure 1a", "Figure 1b", etc
  • Captions should be brief and not include narrative text


  • Insert a blank line between paragraphs
  • Break up long paragraphs
  • Break up concentrations of text with figures or photos
  • Start a new section on a new page rather than on the very bottom of the current page
  • Avoid having an isolated single line of text from a paragraph at the bottom of the page


  • Adopt a professional and scientific tone
  • Avoid hype
  • Define what is meant by "innovative" or "innovation" or other "marketing" words
  • Avoid colloquialisms such as "doable", "awesome", "fantastic", "pain-point", "lock-down", "on the other hand", "a lot of", etc
  • Include justifications for all your decisions
  • Include reasons for your judgments
  • Include references for all quotable material
  • Strive to be concise by merging sentences
  • Avoid repetition, duplication, and redundancy
  • Avoid repetition, duplication, and redundancy
  • Delete "in order to" if removing it does not change the the sentence's meaning
  • Use past tense when referring to completed activities
  • Avoid cliches like the plague smiley face
  • Compare your project prototype to existing products


  • Single space reference items
  • Insert blank line between references
  • Examples of adding references in the body of the report
    • ... end of sentence. [7]
    • ... end of sentence. [7, 8, 9]
  • Example of listing url references in the Bibliography
    • [7]    Reference
    • References can use any format, but must remain consistent throughout Bibliography
  • Employ this method for listing url references in the Bibliography
    • Include both the webpage title and url
    • Make the url "clickable"
        [7]    Perspectives in Assistive Technology Homepage


  • Insert calculations, analyses, and supporting figures, photos, tables, and Bill of Materials here


  • Have someone outside your team proofread your report
  • Include corrections to your mid-term report in your end-of-term report
  • Email your report in Word and/or pdf format

Updated 08/14/2018

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