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ENGR 195: Foundations in Engineering Leadership

Engineering Librarian

Paula C Johnson's picture
Paula C Johnson
Main Library A403

Technical reports

"A technical report (also scientific report) is a document that describes the process, progress, or results of technical or scientific research or the state of a technical or scientific research problem. It might also include recommendations and conclusions of the research. Unlike other scientific literature, such as scientific journals and the proceedings of some academic conferences, technical reports rarely undergo comprehensive independent peer review before publication. They may be considered grey literature. Where there is a review process, it is often limited to within the originating organization. Similarly, there are no formal publishing procedures for such reports, except where established locally." - from Wikipedia

 Three categories of technical reports are:

  • Academic -  reports are sometimes available on the departmental website
  • U.S. Government - received federal funding and are publicly available
  • Corporate - produced by corporate research and development.  Are usually available on the organization/corporation webstie

Some examples of technical reports are NASA Technical Memorandum or Jet Propulsion Laboratory Technical Reports.
Includes 200 million pages of science information and R&D results for 36+ U.S. government agencies

TRAIL (Technical Report Archive and Image Library)
Historical U.S. government technical reports collection. The data provided are from direct measurements.
Gateway to national and international scientific databases. You can search resources from 17 countries.

Technical Reports - Tips

** Make sure you understand the assignment your teacher has given you. Follow the directions to the tee. Ask questions if something isn't clear.**

The purpose of a technical report is to communicate information that an engineer has gained through a process of technical or experimental work.

Technical reports present facts and conclusions about designs, experiments, and other projects.

The basic style of the technical report is to convey information in an objective, fact-based manner. This style ensures technical information and processes are relayed from you to readers in a clear, efficient way. The most important information in technical reports is the steps you followed and/or the events that occurred. You do not include your opinions in a technical report.

Image showing the 4 main sections of a scientific report, including the introduction, methods, results, and discussion. The images narrows like a funnel (indicating it becomes narrower in scope) from the introduction to the methods and results sections and then broadens for the discussion section.