Practical Work reports

The Practical Work component of the BE(Hons) also measures your ability to complete a formal written engineering report.

When is the report due?

There will a practical work report intake from Monday 9 March (8.30am) to Friday 13 March (11.59pm) 2020. Reports should be submitted on CANVAS by the due date. Please follow the CANVAS submission instructions provided.

All students who intend to graduate in September 2020 must have their practical work reports in for marking by the above mentioned due date.

All students who intend to commence a University of Auckland Postgraduate Programme in Semester Two 2020 must have their practical work reports in for marking by the above due date.

All other students who would like to submit their reports for marking are also welcome to submit their reports during the above mentioned due date.

If your report is not up to standard, you will be required to revise and resubmit according to the following guidelines:

  • Students who will not be completing their academic requirements at the end of Semester One 2020 will be asked to resubmit their report(s) in the next intake period (August 2020) 
  • Students who will be completing their academic requirements at the end of Semester One 2020 (or before) will be asked to submit their revised report(s) at an earlier date

What should my report include?

You should assess your experience as an intern fully. Think of your report as a document that presents the maximum insight into what it was like to work at the company, and how you contributed to all your tasks. A new intern who reads your report should have a major advantage if they were to do an identical work internship to yours.

Confidential information

You are not obliged to explain any final outcomes of the work performed, so your report should be able to achieve an ‘A’ grade without the need for revealing confidential information. However, we do recognise the increased difficulty of report writing where the work outcomes cannot be mentioned for context.

In the case of non-disclosure agreements, discuss this with your employer. There may be areas of your work that can be included in a general sense. If not, you can request that the marker signs a confidentiality agreement, provided that your employer finds this acceptable.

It is possible to fail the report due to not reporting enough of one’s internship experience. This varies according to the number of hours claimed for any one report. It is important that when writing the report, you attempt to cover the full extent of your experience with the sections detailed below. If a report is lacking in comprehension or content, the report will be considered incomplete.

Length and major sections

Markers assess hundreds of reports each year. They can easily spot when a student has attempted to cover the bare minimum and mistakenly substituted comprehensive content with mere summaries of work outcomes. As the student, there is no way of requesting an arbitrary page number requirement for the report, as each student’s writing capabilities vary in terms of comprehension, relevant detail and clarity, all of which contribute to whether the scope/content is relevant enough and adequate for the grade given.

You can report your experience in active voice, unlike most professional reports. Your report must not be more than 25 pages long. It should contain the following sections.

Title page

The title page contains your name, department, name and address of your employer, dates of the work period, date of report.

Summary

A brief summary (no more than 300 words) of the whole report; nature of organisation, type of work done, skills learned, conclusions drawn.

Acknowledgements

To thank the people who have assisted you in your work and made an impact on your overall work experience.

Table of Contents

Section headings and corresponding page numbers. List of figures, list of tables: figure/table numbers and titles, corresponding page numbers.

Introduction

This section should be an overview of the overall report, and include a brief introduction to the company, your role during the period which you've worked, the work you've undertaken and what you learned out of the entire experience.

Early sections: Company information

These appropriately titled sections could include information on:

  • Layout of workplace or plant
  • Staff organisation structure and number of employees engaged in various work
  • General comments on buildings, plant layout, technical facilities and amenities for staff

Middle section: Your work experience

Appropriate titles should be used for this section. You should provide a full description of the work you undertook and any other activities observed.

Reflective appraisal [COMPULSORY]

In this section you should critically appraise or evaluate your learning/knowledge gained within the practical work experience. This could include your impressions about the organisation and its performance. It would also be appropriate to comment on the skills you have developed and the lessons learnt in relation to professional engineering practice.

Please note that your reflective appraisal must be at least one page in length. 

Conclusions

Summary list of conclusions drawn, skills learned. Conclusions should be drawn on your entire work experience, and not any particular project(s) carried out.

Bibliography and/or appendices

If needed.

Common questions

What if the person signing off my work is not an engineer?
The person signing off your general hours/duties does not have to be an engineer.

I’ve registered my work, but the company has changed my supervisor and the information registered is now partially inaccurate.
Include a note to your report when submitting it so that we know that the details have changed.

Exemplars

Please note that the following reports were marked according to the (now discontinued) pre-2018 rubric.

Sample marking sheets

Best Practical Work Report award

All Part IV students who have worked at ACENZ registered companies are invited to apply for the ACENZ Award for Best Practical Work Report (Part IV).