University of Strathclyde



It was identified that there was no formal approach used to instruct students in report writing within the undergraduate classes of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Classes were identified where guidance could be included. Online lessons were developed to be presented on MyPlace alongside assignments requiring technical reports.

The basis for the structure of any technical report was standardised to reflect the dissertation guidelines for the Departments 4th Year Individual Project.

Guidance was given in the following areas:

  • Formatting
  • Writing Style
  • Word Count
  • Headings & Content.
  • Referencing (Sage Vancouver)
  • Figures
  • Plagiarism (links to the Student Guide on Good Academic Practice and the Avoidance of Plagiarism and guidance on Turnitin)
  • Online Submission

Classes in first, second and third year were identified and online activities concerning specific assignments were developed. An online lesson was also developed to take 4th Year individual project students through the guidance for dissertation and technical paper submission.

The Faculty librarian, Sally Bell, was involved in discussions.


Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering 

Faculty of Engineering

Contact Details

Dr Barbara A. Keating




The aim is to provide adequate report writing guidance to the student throughout their years of undergraduate study. Also to expose the students to all of the necessary elements required to produce a dissertation to the required standard prior to submission of this towards the end of their degree programme.


Standardisation of report writing framework within the Department.

Clear guidance for students on what is required from a written assignment.

Lessons Learnt

Start from 4th Year individual project or dissertation guidance and work back down through the years.


Identification of a departmental standard. Identifying key classes. Support from other academic staff.


No issues of scalability.

Suggestions for Transferability

There should be a Departmental standard for report writing used throughout any Undergraduate programme. Once this has been established, identify key classes where guidance for the writing of specific assignments can be provided or enhanced. By identifying one core class in each year of any programme, report writing will be enhanced overall.


Example: Report Writing Online Activity Content.pdf

Report writing content of online lesson concerning a technical report. (Please note this is just the content as the page layout of the online lesson cannot be preserved in a pdf).