As an engineer, I know writing an engineering report to communicate the results from the analysis made on a problem and the possible solutions for it can be daunting, it really intimidates. But no worries, here I’ll share these 9 phrases for you to write a killer engineering report next time.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This may work well for any other kind of report, you don’t need to be an engineer to use these phrases.
Before we get to the phrases, you need to know that engineering report writing is not like any other type of writing. It requires a very specific style, a distinctive tone and some specialized vocabulary. Let’s take a look at some of these aspects.
Engineering Report: Format and Style
Many scholars and academics will tell you to follow a typical structure including:
However, this can result in a very long, academic-style report which may not be a good idea for your specific audience, and I mean the person or people who is going to read your report. In my opinion, you should only use the structure above if you are required to do so.
A very long, academic-style report may not be a good idea for your specific audience.
From my experience, it is usually not worth the effort. Most of the people reading a report already know the problem and are only looking for the solutions. So, if you use the engineering report format presented above, it is likely they will only read the executive summary or the conclusions and recommendations.
Most of the time, engineering reports are very technical writings, and the people reading them are engineers. And we, engineers, like two things. Finding solutions by ourselves or having information given straight to the point, you don’t have to decorate anything. In other words, either you guide me to find the solution or you just give it to me so I don’t waste time.What I’m trying to say is that the engineering report format and style must be adapted to the reader, and that means you need to know who you are writing your technical report for beforehand.
Engineering Report: Tone and Vocabulary
The tone and vocabulary are closely related. In the end, the tone will depend in part on the vocabulary and expressions you use in your engineering report writing. And that is the reason why I wanted to share the 9 phrases you should use in an engineering report, to help you sound professional and achieve your goal of communicating better by writing.
Of course, the tone and vocabulary will also depend on the purpose of the report, whether it is just to inform, to persuade the reader to do something or to convince the reader of something.That said, let’s see the phrases I promised.
9 phrases for your engineering report
Shown or plotted in figure
The meaning of the phrase does not really change much whether you use one option or the other. The only difference is that plotted makes it very specific that there is something that was especially represented in the figure, like any kind of data or parameters. Using shown may be more generic, since you can show data, a graph or just a regular picture.Obviously, this phrase is a great one for introducing visual information that complements your writing.
Shown in table
This is a variation of the previous one. The main difference here is that you are presenting the reader with information you have organized in a table. This is normally used to summarize data in the results section of your report.
Parameters such as
Most if not all technical writing makes reference to certain parameters that are analyzed in order to find possible solutions. Therefore, using this phrase is the best way to introduce the reader with the main information you have analyzed.
Results indicate that
Whenever you are presenting results from an analysis you need to draw conclusions from those results. This phrase will help you introduce those conclusions to the reader in a very clear and concise way.
Was found that or was found to
Here we have two variations with basically the same intention. By using “was found that” you directly introduce a discovery made through the analysis. For example, “it was found that, as temperature increases, performance decreases”. As you see, you can replace the words temperature and performance with almost any other word that makes sense to your report.
Now, if you use the variation, it would look something like “temperature was found to make performance decrease”. In the end, it is exactly the same message.
In this design
This one sounds like very specific for design engineering. However, you can be reporting about any other kind of design, such as graphic design, for example. Moreover, you can also change design for the item your analysis is focusing on and that’s it. It is a great phrase to introduce the details that were observed and analyzed together with the objectives of those observations and analyses.
It can be observed or it is observed
Remember the observations mentioned in the previous phrase? Well, this is how you introduce them. Both variations do the same, only that the second one sounds more direct, like you actually saw it happening. For example, “In this design, it is observed that temperature makes performance decrease”. And yes, it is another way to say the same as in the example above.
Is required to
Here we have a good phrase to present the reader with the requirements or conditions needed for something else to happen. For example, “In this design, it is required to keep a low temperature to ensure a high performance”. See how powerful these phrases are? I’m sure you do.
Is expected to
Another way to express results. This time, you can make the reader understand that the results presented with this phrase do not necessarily happen 100% of the time. For example, “In this design, performance is expected to decrease as temperature increases”. Again, you can change the words to your convenience.
There you have it. Those are the 9 phrases you should use in an engineering report that I wanted to share with you. Remember you can adapt them to your specific needs. If you know an engineer or any other person who needs to write reports, please share this post. I’m sure it will help.
Do you know any other word, phrase or expression that should be used in an engineering report? Share them in the comments below. I’ll be glad to read them.