- 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.
- These guidelines apply to the reports submitted through the WKRPT 200M, 300M, and 400M courses. The requirements for the work report completed through PD11 are explained entirely through the PD11 course.
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. Use block format and follow the Formatting Booklet to ensure your report is formatted correctly. 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
- 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)
- User Manuals and Non-Analytical Reports
Work Report Structuring
Your title page should include the information available in this example.
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.
Follow APA Style Citation for your References section.
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.
The Faculty of Mathematics permits students to complete a user manual or non-analytical report for their work report course. Your employer may ask you to prepare a manual for some work process during your employment to assist other employees or to help with workflow. You must add an analysis section (see below) for your manual so that it is suitable to submit for credit. You may only submit one manual over all your work report courses.
For this type of submission, you must include:
- a title page
- a Letter or Memorandum of Submittal addressed to your employer
- an Analysis of your manual, which should address the following:
- the purpose of your manual
- the characteristics of a good user manual
- possible improvements to your manual
- reasons why the software/process described in the manual is needed and the problem it solves
- specific examples illustrating the impact of the software/process or of the manual on the user
- the analysis should be 2-3 pages
- the manual itself
- while not required, a Table of Contents may be beneficial to your presentation.
- References and Acknowledgements, if appropriate.
- Your employer's evaluation of your report.
Your submission does not need to include an Executive Summary, Introduction, or Conclusion.
While your manual itself does not need to follow specific formatting guidelines, please ensure your title page, Letter or Memorandum of Submittal, Analysis, and any other optional sections (i.e. table of contents, references, acknowledgements) follow the formatting guidelines as outlined in the Formatting Booklet.
You are encouraged to review the marking rubric for the Manual submission, as included in the LEARN course page for your WKRPT course, to understand more fully how marks are assigned to your submission.
Tips for writing your report:
- Having your topic approved
- Writing for an audience
- Avoiding confidential work reports
- Drafting an outline
- Writing the report
- Revising the report
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.
Because your supervisor will evaluate technical content, your topic should be in your supervisor’s area of expertise.
Although the topic does not have to be original, the report must be your own work. Choose a topic that interests you.
If you are unsure of what to write about, please contact the student advisors.
When drafting the report, write for a reader who may have little to no knowledge of your topic. Do not assume knowledge of technical terms specific to your workplace.
Potential audiences include your
On-campus evaluators are not guaranteed to share your academic or work background. Work reports should be accessible for non-expert audiences.
To avoid discriminatory and awkward language in your work, use gender-neutral language.
Ways to avoid the awkwardness of repeatedly using “he or she” and “his or her” follow.
Example – incorrect (repetition of “he or she,” “his or her”)
The developer must install the software on his or her computer and then configure the program to his or her needs. He or she then needs to re-boot the computer. Finally, he or she must run the application and check to make sure that the configuration is working correctly.
Examples – correct
- Rewrite the section to make it neutral.
The developer must install the software on the computer, configure the program to meet individual purposes or needs, and then re-boot the computer. The final step is to run the application and to make sure that the configuration is working correctly.
- Rewrite the section to make it plural.
Developers must install the software on their computers and then configure the programs to their individual needs. They then need to re-boot the computers. Finally, they must run the applications and make sure that the configurations are working correctly.
Work reports must be evaluated on campus to receive credit, so avoid topics deemed confidential by your supervisor.
If you write a work report that cannot leave your employer’s premises, it will not receive credit.
When selecting a topic, always consult your supervisor. If, after you have written your report, your employer decides that its circulation is to be restricted, you must follow the directions in the LEARN course for submitting a confidential work report.
If your work report is to remain confidential, please note this fact in your Memorandum or Letter of Submittal so that your employer will know that access will be restricted to a single reader.
Please note that confidential work reports are not eligible for work report awards.
The purpose of an outline (PDF) is to help you organize and visualize your report. Do not submit it with your report.
Headings and subheadings clarify your organization and help the reader follow your argument.
Set aside at least three weeks to complete the report. Brainstorm and put your ideas on paper. At this stage, the main concern should be the content and flow of ideas rather than the way that the ideas are expressed.
Remember to discuss your proposed topic with your supervisor to ensure that it is not confidential.
Use your report outline to guide the writing process and remember that all paragraphs should
- contain strong introductory sentences
- cover only one point
- contain sentences that relate only to the main point indicated in the introductory sentence
After completing the first draft of the report, set it aside for several days before beginning revisions. You will be able to assess your report objectively. To achieve clear, concise, and accurate writing, follow these suggestions:
- use formal, standard, non-poetic language
- write in the third person
- do not use contractions
- define acronyms the first time that they are used
- use a dictionary and thesaurus
- read the report aloud to eliminate grammatical and stylistic errors
- ask a colleague to critique it
- consult Appendix 2 - Common Errors (PDF)
- review the formatting booklet
- review errors made in previous reports
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.