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PoE 2012 - Lab Report Style Guide
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ENGR2210        22 January 2012

Lab Report Style Guide


There is no required format for lab reports.  In general, a good lab report should document what you did to complete the lab.  It should be both well written (e.g., free of grammatical errors and of spelling mistakes) and concise.  It should include a brief narrative description of what you actually did (e.g., the procedure that you followed, any difficulties you encountered along with steps you took to remedy them).  Source code and a schematic should also be included.  Finally, your report should include a brief reflection on your experience in doing the lab.

Including Source Code

Your report should include a listing of the commented source code along with a brief description of what the code does as it executes and how it works.

Including Circuit Diagrams

Your report should include a schematic for your circuit along with a brief explanation of any specific decisions you made.


Each lab group should submit a single joint report that has been prepared collaboratively, with contributions from all members of the group.  Labs may be submitted on paper, or electronically.  If submitted electronically, labs must be submitted as PDF files and sent as an email attachment to the instructor.  The email subject line should be something like “[PoE] Lab 2 Report for James and Polina“.


You are encouraged to use both first-person pronouns and the active voice in your reports. For example, you should say “we built the circuit in a solderless breadboard as shown in Fig. 1.2 in the lab handout” rather than “the circuit was built as shown in Fig. 1.2 in the lab handout”.  You should never mix the active and passive voices in the same sentence, which many people consider to be a grammatical error. For example, you should not say “Using the schematic provided in Fig. 1.2 of the lab handout, the circuit was built”, which effectively mixes the active and passive voices.  Figures should be floating bodies with proper captions that include a number and you should refer to them in the text by that number rather than by adjectives that describe where the figure is relative to where the text appears that describes it. For example, rather than saying the circuit is shown below you should say something like the circuit is shown in Figure X. Relatively short code listings can be treated as displays/block quotes or as floating bodies, whichever you prefer. Longer code listings should be included in appendices at the end of your report.