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Using A Generic Checklist For Teaching And Grading Format, Composition, And Production Qualities

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1242.1 - 7.1242.11

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Paper Authors

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Sheldon Jeter

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 1566


Sheldon M. Jeter

Georgia Institute of Technology


An itemized checklist on the format, composition, and production qualities expected in experimental engineering reports is presented and described. The checklist can be used as an instructional tool, a working reference, and a grading instrument. Methods to implement its use are also described, and a quantitative evaluation of its effectiveness in teaching is presented.


As most laboratory instructors will attest from direct experience, many or even most contemporary engineering undergraduates appear to have had limited instruction in the standard format, composition, and production qualities expected in laboratory reports. Indeed, since undergraduates encounter little primary practical or research literature, they will have had limited experience in even reading reports with the structure, quality, and clarity that should be expected from engineering professionals. For examples, students are largely unaware of the importance of a neat and orderly page design with uniform margins, descriptive headings, and distinc tive paragraphs. Equally or possibly evenly more important are well designed and executed exhibits, particularly equations, tables, and graphs. The laboratory instructor faces a challenging task in presenting both the general concepts of report writing and the details and techniques that are needed to allow the concepts to be implemented. Furthermore, the instructor is strongly challenged to effectively motivate the students to apply these concepts in detail. Indeed, for many students the engineering laboratory course appears to be their initial experience with a task in which detailed quality control of any type is emphasized.

This experience of this laboratory instructor has prompted the development of a generic checklist of the concepts and details relevant to efficient and effective format and production qualities report writing. The checklist is first an instructional tool used to inform the student of the expected practice in academic experimental reports. It is next a guideline and reference for the student during report preparation. It is then a checklist for the student to use when reviewing

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Jeter, S. (2002, June), Using A Generic Checklist For Teaching And Grading Format, Composition, And Production Qualities Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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