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Tips on Technical Report Writing

Dont waste words. Dont say obvious things. (Pollution is a


serious problem.) Dont say things your audience doesnt
need to know (long irrelevant explanations, detailed math).

Use spell-check and grammar-check!

Include proper citations of others work.


Tips on Technical Report Writing

Use the full term, then put the acronym in


parentheses
Eliminate fluff (e.g. Back in the year of 1973, A
man by the name of John Smith, Basically (this
is the written equivalent of like)
Avoid vague generalizations. (e.g. very expensive,
very difficult, very high temperature)
Common mistakes in technical writing
The key to good technical writing is to be unemotional
while writing. Sentences should be terse, and precise.
The intention should be to convey information
accurately and directly, not beat around the bush.
Common mistakes made during writing technical
manuscripts are as follows:
Avoid using the word I or We throughout the
document. The entire document should be written in
third person. Remember you are reporting, not
advertising or advocating.
The entire document should be in past tense. Do not
shift tense in the middle of the document a common
mistake.
Consider using a Nomenclature section at the start of
the document.
Do not assume that the reader will understand all the
jargon that you may be accustomed to. Replace
A live circuit can kill with An energized circuit can kill.
Always clarify abbreviations, the first time you use in
the main body of the paper. Avoid using abbreviations in
the abstract section.

Avoid needless words e.g red in colour, worst-case maximum possible error
Do not use colloquial English e.g. rest of the analysis is plain number
crunching
Understand the importance of the article in English, especially THE. See how
odd the sentence reads Main objective of paper is to develop a reduced model
of
When do you use that and which? Its not always clear however use that
whenever you know whom you are replacing with that. Use which, whenever
you are not sure who is being replaced by which. For instance, She applied the
same pressure to the pipe that she had been applying to other pipes and These
machines require mature technologies, which are difficult to obtain.
Do not start a sentence with So.
Do not start a sentence with But. Try However.
Do not start or end a sentence with To.

Try to avoid beginning a sentence with a word that has a
ing suffix. For example, Assuming a sentence is long, it can
be shortened sounds long winded.
a force of five Newtons was applied is wrong. It
should be a force of five newtons was applied. Similarly,
ten Amperes is wrong; ten amperes is correct.
Understand the difference between its and its.
the turbines colour was blue is incorrect. It should
be the turbine colour was blue or the colour of the
turbine was blue. Possession of inanimate object should
not be indicated by an apostrophe followed by s. the
resistance is unacceptable.
All equations must be numbered.
Be careful of self-contradiction the mileage from an old
vehicle is less than that of a new vehicle, but not much.
Avoid dangling superlatives Replace The voltage obtained
was much smaller. with A smaller voltage was obtained.
Do not be judgmental of your own work or others work. Let
the reader make up his/her own mind. For instance, here is a stupid
sentence a very simple technique to calculate the resistance of
the line is presented. Maybe to you it seems simple, but others
may disagree. Similarly, Ref [XX] presents a difficult technique to
measure
As far as possible avoid the use of phrases like an innovative in the title of
your manuscript or paper. Do not use it anywhere in the paper. Its judgmental.
Try to avoid using numbers to describe something, unless you are extremely
sure of those numbers. Avoid exaggerative statements like leads to losses
worth crores of rupees. Wherever you put numbers, provide references from
which you got that number.
Contact with a live 765 kV conductor will result in death sounds cocky. How
do you know for sure? Try Contact with a live 765 kV conductor may result in
death.
Avoid using the word obvious. For instance, it is obvious that such a high
resistance will lead to losses sounds arrogant. If it is so obvious, what is the need
to state it? In case, your reader does not find it obvious, you are insulting his/her
intelligence by stating that it is obvious.
Never use exclamation marks in technical writing.

Semi-colons and colons are powerful devices. Be careful how you use them.
Replace cant with cannot and wont with will not.
Do not start a sentence with This unless it is absolutely certain from the previous sentence,
what This refers to. Consider Bholu Ram gave his son a pen and a knife for his birthday. This
would help him later in life.
Bracket? Consider replacing with a comma, unless you are defining acronyms. For instance,
Only one rotor winding (d-axis) is assumed sounds better as Only one rotor winding, d-axis, is
assumed.
As far as possible write numbers in words in sentences Close to fifty thousand people
benefited from the installation of the transformers. However, it is a factor of 2 not a factor of
two.
Remember, a resistor is soldered, a resistance is measured, the value of the resistance is 470
ohms.
Remember in experiments you cannot measure zero or infinity. It can only be negligible small
or too large to be measured correctly.
Replace bus had a 10 MW load with bus had a load of 10 MW
The word data is plural. All the data were