Guidelines for Writing Essays and Reports

Essays and Reports:

These must include a title page containing the title of the essay, the Student's name and School, the Supervisor's name and the date of submission;

an abstract summarising the Essay;

a page listing the contents, tables and figures with their page numbers;

a list of references in an approved format (see below).

Where the maximum length of a report is specified in pages this includes all diagrams, reference lists etc. For projects with a significant computing element, program code listings can be submitted as an appendix and thereby not count towards these page limits. Do not include copious listings of computer generated data. Instead it may be useful to include a disk with the files on and an appendix listing the files and their contents. Pages, tables and figures must be clearly numbered.

Students are recommended to consult the Module Organiser individually to inspect some examples of good Essays and Project Reports from previous years.

Presentation

Reports and Essays should be printed and bound. Binding can be arranged, at a cost of 50p per copy, by contacting the Teaching Laboratory Technicians. One copy will be returned to the student after the oral examination.

Assessment

In assessing an essay or report, the Examiners will pay particular attention to clarity of presentation, evidence that the student has worked critically and independently on the Essay or Project, and adequacy of reference to original papers.

Remarks on the general submission of coursework apply also for essays and project reports. In particular plagiarism or unattributed copying of whole sections of material from elsewhere, will lead to rejection of the essay/report and may be construed as a willful attempt to mislead examiners. The student is referred to the school policy on the subject at Plagiarism. If text is to be taken verbatim from source material, it must appear in quotation marks and the source must be properly cited.

Referencing

Proper citing of original material is very important. It should be done in one or other of the following two styles. In each case, the first example applies to a paper in a journal, the second to a paper in the proceedings of a conference and the third to a book.

First Style

In the body of the Essay or Report:

"It can be shown [5] that the response of the system is linear. If inelastic effects are included however, the response becomes non-linear [6] but the solution of the resulting equations can be obtained by standard techniques [7]."

In the References:

5. Smith, A. B. and Jones, Colin, Ap. J., 573, 9876, (1993)

i.e. Author(s), Journal Abbreviation, volume number, page number, (year)

6. Leblanc, J.-M. In Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on the Same Topic, Rossi, A. and Schwarz, G. (eds.), Timbuctoo, 1995. High Price Publishing Co., Somecity, (2021).

i.e. Author(s). In Name of Conference, Editor(s) of proceedings, Place of Conference, date of conference. Name of Publisher, Place of publication, (date of publication)

7. Brown, A. B. Standard Mathematical Tricks, Old Texts Co., Anotherplace, 101st ed., (1895).

i.e. Author(s), Title of book, Publisher of book, Place of publication, edition of book, (date of publication).

Second Style

In the body of the Essay or Report:

"Smith and Jones (1993) have shown that the response of the system is linear. It has been proved by Leblanc (2021), however, that if inelastic effects are included, the response becomes non-linear. The solution of the resulting equations can, nevertheless, be obtained by the standard techniques given in Brown (1895)."

In the List of References:

Brown, A. B. (1895). Standard Mathematical Tricks, Old Texts Co., Anotherplace, 101st ed.

Leblanc, J-M. (2021). In Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on the Same Topic, Rossi, A and Schwarz, G, Timbuctoo, 1998. High Price Publishing Co., Somecity.

Smith, Ariadne and Jones, C. (1993) Ap. J. 573, 9876


Last modified: Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 11:03 AM