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The fourth-year design course is a major project in engineering analysis, design, development and research carried out by small teams of students. A project proposal, several interim reports, an oral presentation, a technical demonstration, and a comprehensive final report are required.
The project proposal is the first written requirement of the fourth-year design project. This proposal must outline what you're planning on doing, how you're planning to do it, and why you're doing it. This report should be written so that it can be understood by non-engineering types, such as a non-technical manager or supervisor.
Like most presentation components of the fourth-year design project, the proposal is often poorly implemented. A good proposal is often hard to prepare, and requires a significant amount of time to be spent on thinking about the project. The proposal can be re-used later in the documentation phase as a guideline for progress reports, oral presentations, and the final report.
This introduction to project proposals, with emphasis on the fourth-year design project, is as follows:
The progress report is the second written requirement of the fourth-year design project. This report presents the status of your work and should make reference to your proposal, show clearly how much progress has been made, make a prediction as to how the rest of the project is likely to develop, and state any variation from the project proposal that now seems necessary.
This introduction to progress reports, with emphasis on the fourth-year design project, is as follows:
The oral presentation component of the fourth-year design project is often underestimated and poorly implemented. While no official marks may be allocated towards the presentations, your performance will be taken into consideration when your final grade is assigned. A good presentation will boost your grade if your final report is lacking, and a bad presentation will bring down even the best of reports.
This introduction to oral presentations, with emphasis on the fourth-year design project, is as follows:
The final report is the most important component of the fourth-year design project. The quality of your work will be judged by your report, so you should put a great deal of effort into writing, revising, and re-writing. This report is worth 60% in a heavily weighted full-credit course - and you should treat it as such.
The final report may contain sections taken from your proposal and progress report but must be a complete, self-contained document. A poor report can destroy the effectiveness of an otherwise excellent project. To allow for any revisions it is therefore essential that you submit a final draft to your report for review by your supervisor, by the date specified. This will enable you to revise the draft in line with your supervisor's criticisms and comments, and thus to produce a much improved final report.
This introduction to final reports, with emphasis on the fourth-year design project, is as follows:
Final Report Suggestions
Based on the notes I used when grading final reports from the '99/'00 project, RoboTag, I've compiled a list of suggestions that you should thoroughly read and understand before you submit your final report.