Earth & Environmental Sciences Work Term Report Guidelines

Students should read through the Faculty of Science work-term report guidelines in addition to the specific guidelines addressed below.

All Earth & Environmental work-term reports must be addressed to the chair of the Earth & Environmental Sciences Department and submitted to Luke Balch in EIT 2018 by 5th day of lectures in the study term that follows your co-op term. If you are doing a double co-op term, the work-term report(s) are due on the 5th day of lectures in your first study term following the work terms. Extensions for late submission, with reasons, must be approved by Dr. Stefan Idziak, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Co-operative Education ( ).

You are expected to prepare your reports following the formatting and content guidelines used for your WatPD2 report. The following points should also be considered:

What should be stated in the letter of submittal?

The letter of submittal must include: 1) a statement that you have read and understood the work report guidelines completely before preparing your report; 2) a statement declaring that you have checked the report for spelling and grammar errors to the best of your ability; 3) a statement to explain whether the report describes your co-op work project or is a report on an alternate topic for which permission was obtained from your co-op coordinator, and 4) your signature. The Faculty of Science work-term report format guidelines include an example letter of submittal.

Figure legends and table headers

Each figure must have an associated figure number and caption positioned below the figure that provides an informative description of the figure content. In some cases it will be necessary to provide a short description in addition to the figure caption so that the figure is interpretable without consultation of the main text (see example below). An informative caption consists of a short descriptive figure title, as well as a description of what is shown in the figure, and what key point(s) it is meant to convey.

An example of an acceptable figure for a work term report.

Similarly, each table must have an associated table number and header positioned immediately above the table. This header should be a succinct but informative description of the content of the table that is interpretable without consultation of the main text (see example of table formatting). Abbreviations, notations or other descriptions necessary to interpret the table should be indicated within the table by superscript notations and the corresponding descriptions positioned as footnotes below the table.

Referencing, copyright rules and plagiarism issues 

Any image or figure taken from another source, such as from a journal publication or a web site, must be associated with the citation details. This information must be included in the legend accompanying the figure. The legend should be sufficiently detailed to allow the reader to understand the information in the figure without consulting the text; this legend should not be copied from the original source. Because these figures are usually copyrighted, you are expected to modify it in some way and note this in your legend (note see above example). The modification may be relatively minor such as changing a font or some of the labels.

You should consult the library web site for copyright rules if you are in doubt about material that can be used in your report. It is your responsibility to follow these rules appropriately. Any plagiarism will result in a failed grade for the report and an academic discipline decision. Students may also consult the University academic integrity website for suggestions for how to cite other sources as well as details on university academic policies.

How and when should abbreviations be used in a work-term report?

Terms used more than three times in the text should be abbreviated; use of abbreviations in the abstract should be avoided as much as possible. All abbreviations must be written out the first time they are used in the abstract or text. If you use abbreviations in your report you must include a list of abbreviations.

What you should do if the report is confidential?

In general, if you prepare a confidential work-term report it is evaluated by your employer(s), and the mark sent directly from them to the University of Waterloo. There should be no need for you to write up any additional report such as a review paper.

How important is it to have analytical components and comments in a work-term report?

Analytical components and/or comments are essential for making rationale and proper conclusions and recommendations. Lack of these parts will result in a failed or “resubmit” grade on the work term report.

What types of references should I use?

You should use peer-reviewed sources (e.g. peer-reviewed journal articles or books) as your primary source of information. Remember to use your own words (paraphrase) and cite the source internally after mentioning the work, and include the reference in the reference section at the end of your report. Do not use the web as a source of information (other than accessing peer-reviewed electronic journal articles). Your citation style should follow the APA guidelines. If you are unsure of how to paraphrase please contact the Writing Centre for either a drop-in session or a workshop.

How will Earth & Environmental Sciences work-term reports be graded?

All work-term reports submitted by Earth & Environmental students will be evaluated using the attached rubric. Any report that receives two or more “unsatisfactory” grades in one category of the rubric must be re-submitted within three weeks of the decision. Failure to resubmit a satisfactory report within this period will result in loss of the work-term report credit for that term.

For this reason students are strongly advised to consult this rubric as they prepare their reports and before they submit them. Students, who submit reports with numerous grammatical errors, will be required to take supplementary instruction (e.g. attend Writing Centre workshops).