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Some advices on your 4th semester synopsis

Some advices on your 4th semester synopsis report + exam

By Anders Børjesson,

Some you you might have heard this before, but …

Start reading the curriculum section 15 “Elective educational elements”.

This is the document we use to grade you!

Then read the guide 

And a few example synopsis reports 


Table of contents

The table of content should be readable - not just generated by some word processor.

App. 2 levels of heading is usually enough, otherwise the same page will appear to many times in the table of contents.

Read your table of contents!

Learning goals

In the beginning of the report you must have a short section about your learning goals: What you intend to learn.

Program code

It is advisable to show fragments of program code in the report. The code fragments should be explained in the text.

Program code should NOT have a black background: It’s is hard to read specially from paper print.

Program code should be shown using syntax highlighting (colors etc), as you normally see the code in your IDE.

The full program code should be uploaded to GitHub or a similar place. A link to the GitHub repository must be provided in the report.


The (preliminary) conclusion must answer the questions from the problem definition.

The conclusion should give no new information - you just sum up the information from the body of the report

The conclusion could look like:

  1. What is X?
    X is ….., as seen in section A
  2. 2. How to use X?
    X is used …., as seen in section B
  3. 3. When to use X?
    I will answer this question at the exam


After the conclusion you write a section on you reflections.

You can reflect on your learning goals: Did you actually learn what you intended to lear - or did you learn something else.

You can also reflect on your problem definition: Where the questions relevant

You can reflect on your activities: Where they relevant: Did they provide answers to your questions from the problem definition

You can reflect on your planning: Was it hard/easy to plan? Did you have to adjust the plan? Why?

You can reflect on anything you did (or didn’t do)!

List of references

The report must include a list of references: Books, articles, web pages, etc.

Each reference should (if possible) include:

A URL alone is unique, but it is not enough for the list of reference - as an ISBN is not enough.

Visual impression

I usually print the reports in color. This means that your report must look good on paper.

Print your report, and put in on a big table where you can see all the pages side-by-side.

Do all the pages look nice?

Do the pages look similar? No changes in font or font size, etc.?

Are figures and program examples readable?

Do you have too few (or to many) figures and program examples?

Make sure pages have page numbers and a relevant header. A single line header is usually enough.

Sans Serif fonts are generally easier to read than Serif fonts. 

Number of pages

The synopsis can be no more than 10 standard pages plus any programs and a running system.   A standard page contains 2,400 characters including spaces and footnotes. Front pages, tables of contents, literature lists and appendices are not included in the total number of standard pages. Appendices are not subject to assessment.

Quote from the curriculum, section 15,

In the front page you should state the number of characters including spaces.

If you have a lot of pages (like have the conclusion in page 18) you must have a lot of blank lines in the report. Remove some of these blank lines.

Or you have used a huge font: Font size 11 is usually OK.

Handing in

Handing in must be done in Wiseflow 

Check (a few days before the hand-in date) that you can log in to Wiseflow and that you see the relevant flow.

Some students had problems logging in or seeing the flow. You don’t want this kind of problems minutes before Wiseflow closes!


A single mark will be given based on a general assessment of the written product and the oral performance with the synopsis weighing 20%.

Quote from the curriculum, section 15,

This means that that 80% of your grade comes from the exam!


The student is to make a presentation of the synopsis, no more than 10 minutes.

Quote from the curriculum, section 15,

The presentation is most important. This is where you start earning the 80% of your grade.

You have a lot of time to prepare the presentation, so we expect a good and well prepared presentation.

The presentation generally has two parts

Before you start the presentation you should tell the supervisor + censor if you want them to ask questions during your presentation - or wait until after the presentation.


Slides (PowerPoint) can be used for the presentation. Slides generally speed up the presentation and you can used slides as “skeleton” of your presentation.

Print the slides, and hand them out before you start your presentation. This gives your supervisor a chance to see if you have an OK presentation before you even start the presentation - and it is easier for the supervisor to ask questions after the presentation.


You should try your presentation (maybe several times).

Stand up, speak up loud.

Try the presentation in the examination room a few days before the exam. Then you know how to connect your computer to the projector, where you want to stand, etc.

Get an audience for your rehearsal - some other 4th semester students probably. The audience should give you feedback on your presentation.

Individual examination

The presentation will be followed by an individual examination period of 20 minutes, including evaluation and awarding of grade.

Quote from the curriculum, section 15,

During the examination your supervisor (and maybe the censor) will ask questions about your report and presentation.

We ask questions because we don’t know the answer, and we hope you can tell us.