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Preparation of Final Year Project Reports

SECTION 1: PRACTICAL NOTES

Submission of FY Projects

You are required to submit two copies of your project on paper and one copy in electronic form.

  1. An electronic copy of your project (in PDF format) must be submitted using this form. Be sure to print out the web page that contains your receipt and keep a copy for your records.
  2. Two ring-bound copies of your project and the online submission receipt must be submitted to the Computer Science Reception in the O’Reilly Institute (Room ORI G8). In the case of students taking the Integrated Computer Science Programme and BAI (CD and D Streams), the project reports must be submitted by 4pm on May 5th 2017. In the case of students taking B.A. (Mod.)Computer Science and Buisness, the project reports must be submitted by 4pm on April 21st 2017. For B.A.(Mod.) CSL students, the deadline for submission is 4pm on April 4th, 2017. There will be a sign in sheet at the reception to sign in your projects.
  3. The project also needs to include a sign Declaration Form which can be down from Declaration.

Your project report should be printed (single sided) on good quality A4 paper. Collect report cover paper from the Computer Science Reception in the O'Reilly Institute:

  • Blue covers for Integrated Computer Science Programme, BA (Mod.) CSLL, BA Business&Computing, MSISS & BAI.
Using the appropriate Word template listed below, fill out your details and print onto the cover sheet.

Project reports should be ring-bound. If you wish to have the final year project report bound in-house , please contact Mr Tom Irwin (Room ORI LG41). The charge for this service is €3 per copy.

To view previous years' projects, please contact Mr Tom Irwin.

Report Layout

The report should contain the following components:

  • Title or Cover Page.
    1. Download the relevant Word Template:
    2. Fill in your project name, your own name and supervisor name
    3. Print onto the relevant colour cover sheet and use same color as back sheet also (BLUE).
  • Acknowledgements(optional)
  •  

  • Abstract: a short summary of the project (optional but very useful)
  • Table of Contents
  • Chapters
  • Appendices

    Appendices can be included for very detailed information which is not necessary for a good understanding of what the project is about.

  • Electronic Sources and Resources

    Any code or other electronic resources produced as part of the project should be submitted on CD/DVD (2 copies) and this should be mentioned in the table of contents. Do not use a sticky label to label the CD/DVD. Instead write your name and the year (as gently as possible) using a permanent felt tip pen. You will be provided with plastic envelopes to house the CD/DVD when you collect the project covers. Simply sellotape the envelope to the inside back cover of the report.

    If a project involves the production of a web/ftp-site, then the report should contain the appropriate URL.

    If you want to use Latex you might find these LaTex style and shell files useful.

  • SECTION 2: AN AID TO WRITING UP

    Please bear in mind that these are only suggestions to aid you with writing up your project.

    You might also find it helpful to look at the powerpoint slides for the presentation on how to write a report.

    Introduction

    The Project Report is the principal means by which the work carried out will be assessed and therefore great care should be taken in its preparation. Aim to be clear and concise. It should be possible to say everything that is worth saying in under 50 pages. The Report should be pitched at a level which would make it comprehensible to your colleagues in the class i.e. the reader should be viewed as having a general knowledge of Computer Science, but is not necessarily a specialist in the particular field addressed in the project.

    Preparing for write-up

    • Do some critical thinking and write down the aim of your project in one sentence. This sentence or statements serves as a declaration of your belief and the main portion of your report will consist of arguments to support and defend this belief.
    • Make a tentative outline which will help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other.
    • Include in your outline an Introduction, a Body and a Conclusion.
    • Introduction: state your project and the purpose of your report clearly. State how you plan to approach the topic. Explain briefly the major points you plan to cover and why readers should be interested in the topic
    • Body: present the arguments to support your statement above.
    • Conclusion: restate your project and summarize your arguments. Explain why you have come to a particular conclusion.

    Again, please remember the above is by way of suggestion and is not intended to be followed to the letter.

    The Project Report Chapter by Chapter

    Chapter 1 should contain a brief description of what the project is about together with a reader's guide to the report, chapter by chapter and should conform to what is discussed above re Introduction.

    In most cases, Chapter 2 should consist of a description of the background to the project, e.g. motivation, state-of-the-art. In some cases it may be necessary to split this review into two chapters. This information is absolutely essential since the project must be viewed in context and the relevance of the work must be clearly stated. It is not a technical exercise done in isolation.

    The main body of the Report should contain details of what you have done and how you have done it. Where appropriate, this section should be illustrated with diagrams and examples.

    The final chapter should be divided into two parts: namely, conclusions and future work.

    • The conclusions should be a critique of your work: it should examine what has been achieved in the project and relate this to the initial aim of the project. Any problems encountered in the course of the project should be mentioned here.
    • The section on future work should give some indication of how work done could be improved and developed. Do not be afraid to discuss disadvantages of your approach. Negative results are useful.

    Bibliography

    It is permissible to quote the work of other people and indeed it is good scholarship to do so, but you must credit the sources. If you do not do so, you may be guilty of plagiarism i.e. the unacknowledged appropriation of other peopleÂ’s work. Note also that the copyright laws forbid the verbatim quoting of large chunks of textbooks, papers, sales literature etc.; such information must be paraphrased.

    Systematic and complete reference to sources used and a classified list of all sources used must be included in the Report. The titles of journals preferably should not be abbreviated; if they are, abbreviations must comply with an internationally recognised system (the format may vary according to the precedents and customs of the subject area; consult your supervisor for guidance.)

    Style of English

    An impersonal style keeps the technical factors and ideas to the forefront of the discussion and you in the background. Try to be objective and quantitative in your conclusions. For example, it is not enough to say vaguely "because the compiler was unreliable the code produced was not adequate". It would be much better to say "because the XYZ compiler produced code which ran 2-3 times slower than PQR (see Table x,y), a fast enough scheduler could not be written using this algorithm". The second version is more likely to make the reader think the writer knows what he/she is talking about, since it is a lot more authoritative. Also, you will not be able to write the second version without a modicum of thought and effort. Examiners know this! You should have picked up this style already from writing Technical Lab. Reports in earlier years.

    Marking

    Essentially, marking will be based on the following criteria: the quality of your report, the technical merit of the project and the project execution.

    Technical merit attempts to assess the quality and depth of the intellectual effort you have put into the project.

    Project execution is concerned with assessing how much work you have put in. Try to make sure this reflects throughout your report, but your supervisor will have a word or two to say on this matter.

    Final Checklist

    Use a dictionary or thesaurus as needed. It is essential to use a spelling checker to check for spelling mistakes and “typos”, but remember that this is not a substitute for careful proof-reading of the text. There are at least two aims of proof-reading: (i) to find spelling errors, repeated words (“are are”) etc. and (ii) to find English and style errors. It is not easy to do both concurrently so it is a good idea to get someone else to read over the report.

    You may find the following checklist helpful:

     

    1. Is my project statement concise and clear?
    2. Did I follow the outline or did I miss anything?
    3. Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence?
    4. Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarising?
    5. Have I proved my arguments with strong supporting evidence?
    6. Have I made my intentions and points clear?
    7. Does each paragraph begin with a proper topic sentence?
    8. What have I used to support my arguments? (e.g. documented proof and or examples)
    9. Are there any unfinished sentences, unnecessary words or repetitions?
    10. Make sure ideas or paragraphs flow smoothly into the next.
    11. Check again for spelling or grammatical errors.
    12. Are all quotes accurate in source, spelling and punctuation?
    13. Are all citations accurate and in the correct format?
    14. Avoid use of contractions (e.g. use “cannot” instead of “can’t”, “do not” instead of “don’t”)
    15. Use third person as much as possible: avoid phrases such as “I think”, “I guess”, “I suppose”.
    16. Have I made my points clear and interesting but remained objective?
    17. Did I leave a sense of completion for my readers at the end of the Report?

    Last updated 26 April 2017 by .