FYP Report FAQ

Here are some FAQs regarding FYP reports

Should we submit our paper in hard copy or soft copy?

Please either send us a soft copy by e-mail or place a hard copy in the envelopes on the door of Room 3558. However, when you submit your reports to the FYP Management system, you do not need to give anybody a hard copy unless you are requested to do so.

How many days in advance should we send our paper prior to meeting with a Communication Tutor?

If you want your CT to do a good job, then the sooner the better - usually a few days minimum.

What priority will my group's paper have over other FYP groups?

Normally, we go by FIFO (first in, first out).

Do we have to submit the entire paper or can we submit sections?

For the two required FYP meetings, your CT will download what you submit to the FYP Management System and then print a hard copy, so you don't need to prepare anything for the meeting. For report drafts, just submit whatever sections you want help with.

How long should the FYP Introduction be?

There is no set word length for the Introduction, but it is usually at least one page long. For more information, see FYP Introduction.

What is a Literature Survey, and can we skip it?

It documents the background research you do. See Literature Survey. It is quite important, so you cannot skip it.

What's the difference between an abstract and an introduction?

An abstract is like a movie trailer. It provides a very brief statement of the essential content of your report. It's purpose is to give the readers a taste of what they get if they read the whole final report and motivate them to want to do so. It should be very short - about 150 words.

The introduction provides the context for the report and tells the reader the purpose and plan of your project. It does not need to be as broad nor motivational as the abstract. It should be longer than the abstract and include the background of your topic, your objectives and a history of your approach or other similar approaches (i.e., your critical review or literature survey). Also, your introduction should be around 99% complete after you finish your progress report. You do not need to change it unless your CT or advisor makes revisions on to your progress report. For more information, see FYP Abstract.

What's the difference between testing, evaluation and discussion?

Testing is like playing a basketball game; evaluation is like the game statistics; discussion is like what the players or spectators say about the game afterwards. In your evaluation you summarize the results from testing and state how well you achieved your objectives. This is very objective (客觀的). In your discussion, you interpret the results based on your opinions, so it is more subjective (主觀的). In the discussion you can also mention what you could have done better. Nobody's perfect. Some of the best lessons of life are learned from our mistakes. For more information, see FYP Final Report.

What's the difference between design and implementation?

It depends on what your advisor expects. Please see FYP Advisor Preferences.

How many pages should our report be?

It depends on the nature of your project, the number of members in your group and what your advisor expects. Please see FYP Advisor Preferences.

Should we use active or passive voice?

Active voice is normally preferable in technical writing, except in situations where you want to emphasize something or de-emphasize something, i.e., be purposely ambiguous. Passive voice is also often more difficult to write properly and sometimes more difficult for the reader to read, especially if there are misplaced modifiers or other grammatical problems.

Keep in mind that the primary aim of technical communication is normally to make your ideas as easy to understand as possible. Clarity of thought is thus a factor in the grading of your reports.

Also, keep in mind that each advisor has his or her own preferences. Please see FYP/FYT Advisor Preferences

Consistency is also a factor. It is best to be consistent throughout your reports except in special situations:

  • The person doing the action is unknown or unimportant.
  • You want to hide the identity of the person doing the action.
  • You want some "punch" at the end of a sentence.

Note that the use of active or passive voice in other situations may be very different from your reports. In some settings, especially group settings where there are internal politics, passive voice may be preferable for the sake of harmony in interpersonal relationships. In fact, some languages facilitate passive voice. However, technical English writing with passive voice requires a lot of practice and feedback to get it right. Therefore, active voice is less risky for your reports.

Why is the FYP important?

Many students mistakenly think that the FYP is only important because it generates a grade - but the benefits of a good FYP go far beyond a good grade.

Employers will assume that, as a UST graduate in the Computer Science and Engineering Department, you have a high standard of technical skills. But, in today's highly competitive, global market a high standard of technical skills is simply not enough. In addition, most students graduate with little or no work experience. Thus, a well planned,well written FYP might just give you the edge you need to beat out the competition.

Increasingly, employers are looking to the FYP to gauge candidates':

  • written English fluency
  • attention to detail
  • logical thinking skills
  • clarity of thought
  • pride and care in their work
  • time management skills

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