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ME304: Engineering Communication

Unit 5: Writing a Laboratory Report   In this unit you shall use the data and experience gained in Exercise 8.6 of the Saylor Foundation’s ME301: Measurement & Experimentation Laboratory as the basis of a laboratory report.  In that exercise, you gathered and analyzed data to describe the dynamics of a thermometer.  In this unit, you shall organize that information into a report with a threefold purpose: to communicate your data and experiences to peers, to propose improvements to procedure, and to summarize the dynamics of a specific thermometer. You may consider your audience to include both peers and experienced mechanical engineers.
       
This unit is your opportunity to improve your understanding of the details learned in other units.  Actually performing the exercise outlined here will force you to consider details of technical writing and document preparation that you would not consider if just reading about the process.  The Unit 5 Quiz provides examples of that level of mastery.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take you 23 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 5.1: 12 hours ☐    Subunit 5.1.1: 9 hours

☐    Subunit 5.1.2: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 5.3: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 5.4: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 5.5: 5 hours

☐    End of Unit Self-Assessment: 1 hour

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Organize tasks for large document preparation. - Follow established guidelines for content and format of a laboratory report. - Employ systematic proofreading and revision methods.

5.1 Preparation of Report Body   5.1.1 Procedures, Results and Discussion, and Appendices   - Reading: Pennsylvania State University: Leonhard Center’s “Laboratory Reports”

Link: Pennsylvania State University: Leonhard Center’s “[Laboratory
Reports](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ME304-1.6.pdf)”
(PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Follow the instructions in the link to prepare
sections for procedures, results and discussion, and appendices. You
may wish to refer to the example laboratory reports contained on the
webpage.  You should carefully consider what data you choose to
place in appendices as opposed to in the results section.  
    
 It is often preferred to begin the writing process with the body of
the report as opposed to introductory or concluding material.  The
text of this section of the body of your report should contain
750-1250 words.  You may also refer to the resources in 2.4.5 and
4.1.6 for advice.  
    
 Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the
kind permission of Michael Alley, and can be viewed in its original
form [here](http://writing.engr.psu.edu/workbooks/laboratory.html).  Please
note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced
in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright
holder. 

5.1.2 Introduction and Conclusions   Instructions: Refer to the readings in sections 2.4.2, 2.4.2, and 5.1.1 for review.  Prepare introduction and conclusion sections for the report you are writing for Unit 5, each containing 250-500 words.

5.2 Preparation of Abstract   Instructions: Refer to the readings in sections 2.4.2 and 5.1.1 for review.  Carefully hone an abstract containing 150-200 words.

5.3 Proofreading and Revision   - Reading: Texas A&M; Writing Center’s “Revising and Proofreading”

Link: Texas A&M Writing Center’s “[Revising and
Proofreading](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ME304-5.3.pdf)”
(PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Follow the checklist given on the webpage to
proofread and revise the document prepared in sections 5.1 and
5.2.  
    
 Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).  It is
attributed to the Texas A&M Writing Center and can be viewed in its
original form
[here](http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/2005/how-to/revising-editing/revising-and-proofreading/).

5.4 Accompanying Memorandum and Cover Letter   Instructions: Refer to sections 4.1.1 and 4.1.2 for review.  Prepare both documents addressed to a peer planning to repeat your experiments in the near future.  In the cover letter you may make reference to key aspects of your conclusions that may be important to someone repeating your experiment.

5.5 Accompanying Slide Preparation   Instructions: Refer to the reading in section 4.3.3 for review.  Prepare five slides summarizing your laboratory report and following the “assertion-evidence” design style as closely as possible. 

Unit 5 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “ME304: Unit 5 Quiz”

Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “[ME304: Unit 5
Quiz](http://school.saylor.org/mod/quiz/view.php?id=915)” (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment.  
    
 You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in
order to access this exam.  If you do not yet have an account, you
will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the
link.