Module SOE2156 Thermofluid Engineering

Writing up laboratory reports

Individual formal reports are required, written and illustrated to good standards.

Reports should be structured. They will have section headings, which will

almost always be:-

a Name date tutor

b Title of experiment

c Objective (a one or two sentence statement of the aim of the expt)

d Apparatus (a concise description of the equipment used accompanied

by a well drawn and labelled diagram(s) of the key features). Write in the

style. “The apparatus consisted of a flow loop as shown in Figure 1.

Pressure tappings were situated at the points 1,2 and 3 etc etc”

e Experimental procedure. Describe what you did and what measurements

you took. eg “The valve was initially adjusted to give a flow rate reading of

10 on the Rotameter etc etc”.

f Results Here you present data in tabular and graphical form. All Tables

and Figures will be titled and linked to your text. Always quote units of

quantities measured and calculated. This section will also contain sample

calculation procedures – but only one of each. Just tabulate the other

results. Remember that all diagrams, graphs, photographs etc are called

“Figures” in technical writing.

g Discussion Here you will discuss and evaluate the results and discuss

experimental errors. Are the results as expected? Do they agree with

theory? Are they of the expected magnitude? You will always need to

compare your results with some other source – hence the need for a

reference section.

i Conclusions Just one or two sentences summarising the findings.

j References List the books, manuals, papers that you consulted.

eg J.P.Holman “Heat Transfer”, 7th ed, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1992.

Always, always, always give units where appropriate and take special

care when converting from one set of units to another. This is a common

source of error.

Make sure your reports are submitted on time.

We do not want to see any evidence of “copying”, though of course we do expect results from the students within a group to be similar.

It’s always a good idea to do the first bit of the draft write up while you are

in the lab.

Tony Wragg November 2005