How to write an effective technical report Prof Tr

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Published on February 12, 2008

Author: Teobaldo

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How to Write an Effective Technical Report? :  How to Write an Effective Technical Report? Professor Honghi Tran January 26, 2006 Seminar Outline:  Seminar Outline Report structure What constitutes a good technical report Some common problems What’s a Technical Report? :  What’s a Technical Report? A written technical account of something heard, seen, done, studied, etc. Summary of an event (trial, mill visit) A thesis, journal paper, technical review Conveys specific technical information from you to readers Specific subject Technical Tailored to readers Typical Report Structure:  Typical Report Structure Title Summary (Abstract, Executive Summary) Introduction (Background) Objective Methodology (Approach) Results and Discussion Conclusions Implications References (key ones only) Acknowledgements Appendices Title:  Title A “shortest possible” phrase that describes what the report is about Defines the scope of the report Example: Investigation of the Effect of SO2 Concentration on Fireside Deposit Accumulation on Tube Surfaces in Recovery Boilers (17 words) Title:  Title A “shortest possible” phrase that describes what the report is about Defines the scope of the report Example: Effect of SO2 on Deposit Accumulation in Recovery Boilers (9 words) Summary:  Summary Placed at the beginning of the report (or at the end) One or a few paragraphs summarizing the main points of the report Written for Busy people who want to know only the main points Curious people who decide whether or not it’s worth reading further Stick to Title and Objective Introduction/Background:  Introduction/Background WHY Introduce readers to the subject or work you are about to report Provide background information on the subject Stick to keywords in the Title Why is it so important? Why hasn’t it been done before? Must lead Objective Example 1:  Example 1 Introduction must include: Recovery boilers Deposit accumulation WHY worry about the effect of SO2? Effect of SO2 on Deposit Accumulation in Recovery Boilers Example 2:  Example 2 Introduction must include: Biological wastewater treatment Bioflocculation Transient conditions WHY need to understand? Understanding Bioflocculation Under Transient Conditions in Biological Wastewater Treatment Objective:  Objective WHAT Brief statements of WHAT you want to achieve or obtain from your work Methodology/Approach:  Methodology/Approach HOW Methods/tools used to achieve Objective Procedure (experimental, trial, etc.) Instruments Equations, models If not obvious, explain why such a method/approach was chosen Results and Discussion:  Results and Discussion Break into smaller sections Discuss the first result in detail; discuss subsequent results only briefly but focus more on the difference Be critical Do the results make sense? Are they consistent with previous findings? If not, why not? Example:  Example 0 5 10 15 20 25 0 100 200 300 400 500 SO2 Conc. (ppm) Deposition (g/cm2) Condition B Condition A Slide15:  Results are NEVER wrong; your interpretations may be! Stick to Title and Objective Do not include irrelevant results Must know what are: Facts Assumptions Speculations Conclusions:  Conclusions Not the same as Summary or Abstract Things that you can conclude based on the results of your own work List the most important one first Stick to Title and Objective Avoid drawing conclusions based on assumptions Assume A=B, since B=C, therefore A=C Implications:  Implications What do the findings mean in practice? How do they help solve the problems? What constitutes an effective technical report?:  What constitutes an effective technical report? Convey the message Easy to read Clear and concise Logical order Easy to Read:  Easy to Read Use short sentences Use simple words show instead of demonstrate, illustrate, depict, etc. have instead of possess great instead of profound, brilliant, terrific, etc. Avoid using too many whiches, thats, comas, parentheses in one sentence Easy to Read:  Easy to Read Avoid using “emotional” adverbs very, extremely, superbly, definitely, etc It is very well known that SO2 causes … Define/explain keywords the first time they appear in the report The removal of TRS (Total Reduced Sulfur compounds) ….. Avoid repetitions What’s wrong with this paragraph?:  In kraft pulp mills, non-condensable gases (NCG) are produced from digesters, evaporators, turpentine systems, stripers, brown stock washers and liquor storage tanks. NCG contain large amounts of methane (CH4) and reduced sulphur compounds (TRS), mainly H2S, CH3SH, CH3SCH3 and CH3SSCH3. Not only they are highly malodorous, but also toxic, corrosive and potentially explosive. Due to their hazardous properties, NCG must be collected and treated properly before they can be released to the atmosphere. The most common method of NCG treatment is to burn the gases in a combustion system available at the mill, such as a lime kiln, a power boiler, a recovery boiler, or a dedicated incinerator. Combustion eliminates CH4 and oxidizes TRS into odorless SO2. The practice, however, often results in high SO2 emissions from the boiler and kiln stacks, high sulphur losses from the mill, and low lime availability. In some mills, burning NCG has been attributed to excessive ring formation in lime kilns and to accelerated corrosion in bark boilers. In attempts to minimize problems associated with high SO2 concentrations in combustion gases, many mills installed NCG scrubbers to remove the TRS from the NCG before burning. Scrubbing is normally attained in packed columns or spray columns, in which, a caustic solution or white liquor is used as a scrubbing medium. The TRS removal efficiency of NCG scrubbers varies widely from mill to mill, depending on the scrubber design and operating conditions, the NCG streams, the concentration and composition of the TRS, and the strength and flow rate of the white liquor. The polar reduced sulphur gases, H2S and CH3SH, may be readily removed from the NCG by reacting with NaOH in the white liquor, while the non polar gases, CH3SCH3 and CH3SSCH3, may not. The overall TRS removal efficiency is typically about 65%, varying from as low as 40% to as high as 99%). In recent years, the environmental regulations on TRS and SO2 emissions from kraft pulp mills have become increasingly stringent. Maximizing the TRS removal efficiency of NCG scrubbers is of great importance for mills to be in compliance with regulatory permits, as well as to reduce sulphur losses and to minimize problems caused by SO2 in lime kilns and boilers. The objectives of this research project are i) to obtain fundamental data on compositions and concentrations of TRS in various NCG streams and on solubilities of individual sulphur compounds in caustic solutions, and ii) to examine the possible chemical reactions between TRS and white liquor, and how they may affect the TRS removal efficiency of NCG scrubbers. What’s wrong with this paragraph? How about these paragraphs?:  In kraft pulp mills, non-condensable gases (NCG) are produced from digesters, evaporators, turpentine systems, stripers, brown stock washers and liquor storage tanks. NCG contain large amounts of methane (CH4) and reduced sulphur compounds (TRS), mainly H2S, CH3SH, CH3SCH3 and CH3SSCH3. Not only they are highly malodorous, but also toxic, corrosive and potentially explosive. Due to their hazardous properties, NCG must be collected and treated properly before they can be released to the atmosphere. The most common method of NCG treatment is to burn the gases in a combustion system available at the mill, such as a lime kiln, a power boiler, a recovery boiler, or a dedicated incinerator. Combustion eliminates CH4 and oxidizes TRS into odorless SO2. The practice, however, often results in high SO2 emissions from the boiler and kiln stacks, high sulphur losses from the mill, and low lime availability. In some mills, burning NCG has been attributed to excessive ring formation in lime kilns and to accelerated corrosion in bark boilers. In attempts to minimize problems associated with high SO2 concentrations in combustion gases, many mills installed NCG scrubbers to remove the TRS from the NCG before burning. Scrubbing is normally attained in packed columns or spray columns, in which, a caustic solution or white liquor is used as a scrubbing medium. The TRS removal efficiency of NCG scrubbers varies widely from mill to mill, depending on the scrubber design and operating conditions, the NCG streams, the concentration and composition of the TRS, and the strength and flow rate of the white liquor. The polar reduced sulphur gases, H2S and CH3SH, may be readily removed from the NCG by reacting with NaOH in the white liquor, while the non polar gases, CH3SCH3 and CH3SSCH3, may not. The overall TRS removal efficiency is typically about 65%, varying from as low as 40% to as high as 99%). In recent years, the environmental regulations on TRS and SO2 emissions from kraft pulp mills have become increasingly stringent. Maximizing the TRS removal efficiency of NCG scrubbers is of great importance for mills to be in compliance with regulatory permits, ……………………… How about these paragraphs? Easy to Read:  Easy to Read Short paragraphs Good linkage between paragraphs Smooth transition Clear and Concise:  Clear and Concise Consistent with Title and Objective Use figures, tables, photos Down to the point Logical Order:  Logical Order Discuss results shown in a figure Usually start from left to right; from low value to high value Describe things as they happen A falling object: from high elevation to low elev. A heating process: from low temp. to high temp. Chemical reaction: from reactants to products, from time=0 to time=t Logical Order:  Logical Order Keep the same order throughout a paragraph The fouling tendency of an entrained particle is strongly dependent on gas temperature, particle size, and particle composition. The particle size is ……… Some Common Problems:  Some Common Problems Chart Type:  Chart Type X-Y Charts Y = (x1, x2, …) Line Charts Avoid using them Bar Charts/Pie Charts Use when x is not a value Avoid 3D format What’s wrong with this graph?:  What’s wrong with this graph? Better, but not good:  Better, but not good Good:  Good Effect of SO2 on Deposition :  Effect of SO2 on Deposition What’s wrong with this graph? Figure Distortion:  Figure Distortion A Really Bad Example!:  A Really Bad Example! What’s wrong with this table?:  What’s wrong with this table? Better Table:  Better Table What’s wrong with this graph?:  What’s wrong with this graph? Summary:  Summary Follow the report structure Stick to Title and Objective Short, concise, and in a logic order Use simple words Pay attention to figures, tables, photos, significant number Remember: Your report is written for other people to read Help readers to quickly absorb the information you want to convey

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