[University Arms] Master of Philosophy Course
Modelling of Materials

Some Common Mistakes in the Preparation of Reports

  1. There is no excuse for spelling mistakes - use SPELLCHECK.
  2. Inconsistency of notation. Different papers may use differring terminology but when these are discussed in the report they must share a common terminology. Difficulties can be avoided by using a master nomenclature list.
  3. There should be a gap after a full stop or a comma.
  4. There are no spaces after an opening bracket or before a closing bracket
  5. Try and include titles in the reference list.
  6. Inadequate referencing.
  7. Left quotation marks are not the same as right quotation in TeX.
  8. There is a thin-space between numerals and units (e.g. 45 MPa). The units themselves are in roman font. Use strict SI convention. For example, there is a gap between MN and mm when writing MN mm. Use exponents: MN mm-1 rather than MN/mm
  9. Incorrect or unspecified units of concentration: Fe-10Ni % is not good enough. e.g., use Fe-10Ni wt%.
  10. Abbreviations must be explained when first introduced (HAZ, TTT ?!).
  11. Fig. 4.2 not Fig.4.2; Table 5.1 not Table.5.1
  12. Terms like "Fig. 4.2" should be on the same line
  13. "Compared with" rather than "Compared to".
  14. Plural of Datum is Data. These data are excellent....
  15. PROGRAMME of work as opposed to computer PROGRAM
  16. The names of chemical elements do not begin with capitals unless at the beginning of a sentence.
  17. All equations, tables, figures must be numbered.
  18. Figures must not be excessively large, and are best included in the text rather than at the end of the report. The figure size is 1/3 of the page length.
  19. It is wrong to write a volume fraction as 20%. The latter is a volume percent.
  20. Mathematical notation is in italics whether it occurs in the text or in equations. Note that terms such as log, exp, sin are nevertheless in roman font even when in equations.

Figures and Tables

The notation on figures must correspond to that used in the text. There must not be information on figures which is not discussed in the text. Units on diagrams must be SI. Old diagrams with non-SI units must be redrawn. Any diagrams obtained from the literature must be acknowledged even though they may have been redrawn, especially if the intellectual content of the diagram is not significantly modified.

Columns in tables should not be separated by vertical lines. The recommended practice is to omit such lines for clarity.

[University Arms] Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy,
University of Cambridge,
Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, U.K.
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