- Work reports are due on the last scheduled day of the work term, regardless of when your last official workday is.
- Reports submitted after the due date are not marked and do not receive a credit.
- Only in exceptional circumstances may students apply for one extension. You must contact the Associate Dean Co-op before the due date with your full given name and student ID number. As well as evidence to support your request e.g., a doctor’s note or a letter from your employer.
- For questions about your choice of topic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For questions about registration in a Math work report (WKRPT) course in LEARN, please email the Associate Dean Co-op.
- For questions regarding submissions or due dates, please email email@example.com.
Work report guidelines & structure
Your work term report should be around 1,500 to 2,000 words, double-spaced using 12pt font and written in the third person informal, standard English. Please avoid the use of contractions and remember to spell-check and proofread your work before submission.
Remember to use headings and subheadings to structure your report and avoid the use of underlines and large blank spaces between sections. Try to be as consistent as possible with formatting and remember to retain an electronic copy as the Faculty of Mathematics expects you to be able to make corrections on campus.
Students should structure their report in the following order:
- Title Page
- For structuring refer to the example title page (PDF) https://uwaterloo.ca/math/sites/ca.math/files/uploads/files/title-page.pdf
- Letter or Memorandum of Submittal
- Table of Contents
- List of Figures, if appropriate
- Executive Summary
- Recommendations, if appropriate
- Acknowledgments, if appropriate
- Appendices, if any (no graphics)
Work report structuring
Your Letter or Memorandum of Submittal includes the following information:
- report title
- previous academic term
- supervisor’s name and position
- report number (second, etc.)
- your role in the company
- brief description of your duties
- purpose of the report
- statement of originality
- acknowledgement that the report will be marked by your supervisor prior to the on-campus evaluation
- acknowledgement of assistance
- your name and signature in a letter; your signature only in a memorandum
You should follow the wording in paragraphs one and three in your Letter or Memorandum of submittal.
Begin numbering your pages on the Table of Contents, not the Title Page. Note that your Letter or Memorandum of Submittal has no page number. The remainder of the report is numbered sequentially.
Note: if you include figures in the body of your report, you must also include a List of Figures/List of Tables/List of Figures and Tables
- these lists can appear on the same page as the Table of Contents if space permits or they can follow the Table of Contents on a separate page – iii.
- Figures should be numbered, titled, and mentioned in the text preceding them. Large figures may be included in an appendix.
The executive summary is one of the most important components of your report and should be written after the rest of the report has been written. It should explain the purpose of the report, highlight the key point of analysis, conclusion, and recommendations.
The introduction establishes the purpose of the report and conveys the contents of the analysis. You should provide the reader with the necessary background information, assumptions used, major points covered in the report, the situation or problem that is analyzed, and the purpose of the work report and the methodology used.
Your report should not describe what you did on a work term but rather must analyze an aspect of the work.
Before you begin your work report, discuss possible topics with your supervisor who should approve the topic that you have chosen. Work reports must be evaluated on campus to receive credit, so avoid topics deemed confidential by your supervisor.
If you are unsure of what to write about, you may contact the math co-op advisors.
Your work report must include significant analytical content.
A description of the steps in a process is not sufficient. The following list provides examples of acceptable analytical content:
- a discussion of cause and effect
- a discussion of advantages and disadvantages
- a comparison of two or more systems or products
The following are examples of acceptable analyses:
- Why does a problem exist?
- How does the problem affect specific jobs in the workplace?
- How does the new system or product solve a problem?
- What aspects of the problem have been improved? How?
- What problems does the system or product not solve? Why not?
- How can the system or product be improved?
The conclusion section should be brief and should contain no new information. The conclusion should not make direct reference to sources, figures, or tables.
Each conclusion should follow logically from the facts and arguments presented in the analysis section.
This section is optional because recommendations are not appropriate for all reports.
Recommendations are essentially speculative but should be brief and should follow logically from the conclusion. Include comments derived from your experiences that may improve future activities of the company.
Whenever possible, support statements with concrete, specific examples. If you refer to a published work, cite the reference in the text even if the reference is not a direct quotation. Include the author and year of publication.
One developer, Jon Udell, calls OLE controls “the most stupefyingly complex software technology Microsoft has ever created” (Udell, 1994).
The full citation should appear at the end of the report in a section entitled “References.” If you consult a journal paper, include the article’s title in quotation marks and underline or italicize the journal-title. If you consult a book, underline or italicize the title.
Udell, Jon. “Visual Basic Custom Controls Meet OLE.” BYTE, March, 1994: 197-200.
Footnotes are not required.
The Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries have reference material explaining how to cite electronic sources.
The References section is not a numbered section in the Table of Contents.
You may wish to acknowledge people who helped you with your work report. For example, you may thank someone you interviewed or someone whose files you borrowed. Do so in the last paragraph of your letter or memo, or include a separate acknowledgments page where you thank each person and explain briefly how he or she helped.
Grading scheme / On-campus and employer evaluations
Your work report grade is a combination of the employer’s evaluation (15%) and the on-campus evaluation (85%). You must receive a final grade of 55% or greater on your submission to gain credit for it.
If you fail to achieve a 55%, you are required to attend a mandatory 30-minute tutorial session with a work report marker who will explain how to improve your submission. You will then be allowed to revise and resubmit for a second attempt to pass.
While students' work term reports are graded out of 100%, your numerical grade will only be reported through LEARN. Grades will be reflected as either CR or NCR on Quest and your transcript. If you receive a passing grade in your report, a CR grade will be recorded on your transcript. If you do not, an NCR grade is recorded.
Note: Your report also receives a grade of NCR if you fail to attend the mandatory tutorial or if, after the tutorial, you do not resubmit your revised report by the deadline.
An on-campus evaluation process is completed within eight weeks of the report due date. Information and announcements will be posted on LEARN.
Before submitting your report, remember to
- have your employer read and evaluate your report.
- include the completed employer evaluation form as a separate document in the same LEARN dropbox as your report.
Reports without a completed Employer Evaluation of Math Work Report (PDF) form do not get marked and do not receive credit.
Employers grade reports for command of topic and technical content/analysis.
Your employer's evaluation of your report is worth 15% of your final grade. The overall mark from your employer is translated in the following way:
- 15/15 – Outstanding
- 11.25/15 – Very Good
- 7.5/15 – Good
- 3.75/15 – Acceptable
- 0 /15 – Unacceptable
Should an employer deem your report to be unacceptable, it is not graded, and you will receive a grade of No Credit (NCR) on your academic record.