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Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department

Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of

Final Year Project Reports

Prepared by Drs. Reena Cole, Trevor Young and David Newport

Minor revisions added by Dr. Philip Griffin, Jeremy Robinson (Oct 2012)
Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering
University of Limerick

Version 10

October 2012

Guidelines for FYP reports

MABE Department

Table of Contents

Final Year Project Learning Outcomes ................................................................................................ 2

Introduction .......................................................................................................................................... 3
The Final Year Project Roadmap and deadlines .................................................................................. 4
Guidelines for Scheduling of Departmental Facilities ......................................................................... 5
Report Format ...................................................................................................................................... 6
1. Number of Copies..................................................................................................................... 6
2. Production Specifications ......................................................................................................... 6
3. Binding and Cover .................................................................................................................... 6
4. Special Forms of Reports ......................................................................................................... 6
5. Pagination and Numbering ....................................................................................................... 6
6. Style of Writing ........................................................................................................................ 7
7. Plagiarism ................................................................................................................................. 7
8. Report Layout ........................................................................................................................... 7
9. Suggested Main Body Section Headings ................................................................................. 9
10. Suggested Main Body Section headings for a Design Project ............................................... 14
11. Suggested Main Body Section headings for a Software Development Project...................... 15
APPENDIX A Oral Presentation .................................................................................................. A-1
APPENDIX B Referencing .......................................................................................................... B-1

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On successful completion of this module students will (will be able to):
Learning Outcome
Demonstrate the ability to develop creative and original solutions to
engineering problems of significant complexity.
Develop and present a project plan making best use of latest
information technology; modularise project into work packages and
identify resources required to complete work packages; prioritise and
modify project plan on a continuous basis.
Work as an individual, with support from a supervisor, formulating
solutions to day-to-day problems by integrating knowledge and
experience gained on the course and outside the course.
Demonstrate the ability to produce a formal engineering report,
substantive in nature, with proper and complete structure, layout,
grammar, spelling, cross-referencing of figures, tables and text, and
referencing of previous work.
Provide a clear motivation and set of objectives for the project, a
critical review of previous work in the field, and a theoretical
foundation and coherent justification for the approach taken in the
Describe experimental apparatus and/or models, and analysis
procedures in a clear, complete and unambiguous manner making
best use of latest information technology.
Present results clearly making best use of latest information
technology; critically analyse results, draw objective and reasonable
conclusions, and suggest avenues for future work.
Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of a particular engineering
subject area, though presentation of material in presentations and
reports and response to questions in presentations.
Produce a substantial project outcome, which demonstrates a
significant level of difficulty and effort on the part of the student,
consisting of at least one of the following:
a. experimental results
b. theoretical results
c. numerical results
d. detailed design of a prototype
e. physical prototype
f. experimental rig
10* Present clearly (using latest information technology) and critically
evaluate different design concepts, and justify final choice through
engineering analysis and/or prototype development.

Assessment Mode(s)
Overall project performance
Interim presentation
Overall project performance

Overall project performance

FYP report

Interim presentation
FYP report

Interim presentation
FYP report
Interim presentation
FYP report

Interim presentation
Final presentation
Overall project performance
Interim presentation
Final presentation
Overall project performance

Interim presentation
FYP report

The project is assessed in four areas or sections: (see

Section 1:
Interim Presentation (15%)
Section 2:
FYP Report (45%)
Section 3:
Overall Project Performance, based on all available evidence during year (25%)
Section 4:
Final presentation which is an oral interview/Viva Voce (15%)

The rightmost column in the above table lists the sections which contain specific questions on each LO
* Design projects only
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This document aims to guide final year undergraduate students of the Mechanical and Aeronautical
Engineering Department though the Final Year Project process. It contains information on the
stages of the project, indicating when reports are due, how to get something made up in the work
shop and most importantly how to write concise and legible documents with good literary style,
presentation and layout. It is important to note that each report must be original. Remember
irrelevant information and trivial statements are of no value. It is important not to underestimate the
amount of time it takes to write the report. A minimum of 4 weeks should be timetabled for this (i.e.
you should be writing by Week 4 in Semester 2, at the latest).
Each student should get an A4 Hardback notebook or science book and get it stamped in the
departmental office before Friday Week 3, Autumn Semester. In this book you will keep a log of
your weekly work. You must get this signed (and dated) by your supervisor every 2 weeks. It will
be handed in with your final report, and should cover the following headings:
Progress (from previous week)
Problems & Queries,
Objectives (for next week)
Difficulties in Progressing Project
Your Supervisor must be the first person to contact if you have any difficulties or concerns about the
way the Project is going. These difficulties or concerns should be raised when you meet your
Supervisor and be recorded in your Logbook under the Problems and Queries heading. Normally
these difficulties or concerns will be satisfactorily resolved by joint action by yourself and your
Supervisor. If after following this procedure the difficulties or concerns remain unresolved you
should contact the Head of Department.
Use of Turnitin
When submitting your final report you must also submit a soft copy on CD (attached to at least one
copy of the report). As an Appendix to your report you will include a printout of the report from
Turnitin detailing any unoriginal content. More details on Turnitin will be available before
submission date.
Examining of the Final Year Project
Both your supervisor and the second examiner will grade the Oral Presentation in Autumn Semester.
Your supervisor and the same second examiner will read and mark the final report and the viva voce
in Spring Semester. All graded projects are submitted to the Departmental Office, and these are
arranged by grade to allow the Professors within the department to moderate grades. This is a time
consuming process to ensure that there is consistency throughout the grading. Then approximately
one month after exams end the External Examiners visit and they too check through the Final Year
Project reports. This process ensures that the project is one of the most assessed pieces of work
throughout your academic career to date. Please note you need to be on campus to meet with the
External Examiners if they wish to interview you. (Normally around 1st week of June)

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Year 3
Semester 2
Week 6-9

Year 3
Semester 2
Week 9-12

Year 4
Semester 1
Week 6

Select a number
of possible
titles from a list

emailed to

Approval of
FYP planning
by supervisor

Year 4
Semester 1
Week 8

Year 4
Semester 1
Week 9/10

Year 4
Semester 2
Week 8

Year 4
Semester 2
Weeks 9-13

Submission of written
progress report

Interim oral

Fri 12.00pm
Submission of
FYP report

Viva Voce
Oral Interview

4th Year Autumn Semester:

Week 6 - Submission of final year project plan to supervisor.
This is a detailed project plan (Gantt chart), produced using a package such as Microsoft Project. It
should be discussed with the project supervisor, and will outline all the steps needed to produce the
Final Year Project (FYP) report.
Week 8 Interim Report
An interim written report (1 page, 2 copies) must be signed in to the Departmental Office at the end
of the week. This report is not to be confused with the support material used during the oral
presentation interim assessment. This 1 page (single line spacing) report must be discussed with the
supervisor, and will include title, objectives it should answer the questions Why? How? What?
Appendices should be attached such as: up-date project plan, Working drawings (where appropriate
and signed by supervisor and senior technician), Materials/Equipment requirements, and Sourcing of
resources including Technician/Workshop support etc, Analysis of Costs. The requirements above
must be planned in consultation with the Senior Technicians in the Department.
Weeks 9 & 10 Interim Oral Presentation (see also Appendix A)
Oral presentations will be organised by the Departmental Office. These consist of a 10 minute
presentation on work to date, and planned future work. There will be 5 minutes of questions from
your supervisor and a second reader from the faculty. Each student should arrive for the
presentation before, and stay for the presentation after their own. The oral presentation is marked
out of 15%.
4th Year Spring Semester:
Week 8 Submission of Report
Two copies of the FYP report must be signed in to the Departmental Office. There is a penalty of
2% per day for late submission. All requests for deadline extension must go through the Head of
Department, following discussion with project supervisor, and pending supervisors satisfaction as
to the need for an extension. Requests for deadline extension must come before the deadline.
Week 9-13 Viva Voce
The Viva Voce is a 20-30 minute oral interview with the supervisor and second reader. You should
bring your copy of your project report with you.

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Each student must consult with the Senior Technicians and their supervisor regarding the use of
Departmental facilities. This is done by making an appointment with the Chief Technical Officer
(CTO), where one is entered into a queuing system so first come first served. There is a Health
and Safety Lecture which it is compulsory to attend, at the start of Autumn semester.
Senior Technician:
Room No.:


To enter into the queuing system for manufacture of items in the workshop, one must bring two
copies of drawings (not sketches) and a Bill of Materials to the person in charge of scheduling in the
workshop. These drawings should be dimensioned correctly, including tolerances and limits, and
must be signed by the project supervisor. The Senior Technician will ensure that the drawings are
correct and sign them off, and will assign the work to a technician. When designing each item the
student must take the material lead time (i.e. the time it takes for material to be ordered and
delivered) into account. The design of all parts must be finalised with the Senior Technician in time
for the Interim Report and Presentation. Please note that any item that enters the workshop
scheduling after February will take a minimum of 4 weeks (exact times will be advised by the senior
To borrow small hand tools, such as hammers, screwdrivers, contact Jim Caulfield in the Workshop.
He will temporarily loan out the items with a deposit of a valid University of Limerick ID card.
Laboratories and Technical support outside of the workshop:
Senior Technician: TBC
Room No.:
To schedule the use of equipment or technician support outside of the workshop (for example Wind
tunnels, Video Extensometer), the technician in charge needs to be contacted with details of the
experiments to be run, and the instrumentation required. Training must be undertaken on the
equipment, and must not be used prior to this. For further information refer to the Departmental
Safety document available from Departmental office L1034, or from the Senior Technicians.
Access to laboratories out of hours, i.e. after 5pm, is subject to issue of security cards. These must
be signed by the Chief Technical Officer (CTO), and will be given out on a day to day basis
following a consultation with, and assent of, both him and the project supervisor. No student can
work in a lab on their own; again refer to the Departmental Safety document. Students are required
to wear white coats and safety glasses in Labs (PC labs excluded). Coats and safety glasses
available from the Students Union Shop or from Safety First Ltd, Eastway Business Park, Limerick
There are 18 PCs in the Design Lab, running the same software as those in AM061. These must be
scheduled with fellow users contact the CTO to get added to the swipe system on the door.
MABE 4th year and M.Eng. students have swipe access to room B2042 when classes are not running
there the PCs there run the same software as is in AM061.

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Number of Copies
The candidate is required to prepare two copies of the report, which he/she is required to
submit to the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Departmental Office. The
Departmental Office will forward one copy to the project supervisor, and one copy to the
Second Examiner. (If the project is co-supervised three copies must be submitted).
The report must be prepared strictly in accordance with the specifications set out below.
Production Specifications
The report should be written in English, and its length is limited to a maximum of 70 pages.
This excludes appendices, contents, dedications, acknowledgements and nomenclature. This
figure is a maximum and it is expected that the majority of reports will be shorter than this
limit. Conciseness together with sufficiency of detail should be foremost in the authors mind.
It is recommended that the report be submitted on A4 size white 80g/m2 paper. Where
possible, the report should be printed double-sided to cut down on paper use. A standard
typeface of 12 pitch should be used with one-and-a-half line spacing in the body of the text.
One of the following typefaces is preferred: Times New Roman, Courier, Helvetica, Arial,
New Century School Book. For footnotes and indented quotations single spacing may be
used. Margins at the binding edge should be not less than 40mm, and the other margins not
less that 20mm.


Binding and Cover

Reports must be soft bound.
The front cover of the report must contain the following information only:
the title of the report in at least 24 pt (8mm) print;
the name of the candidate; consisting of one forename, other forenames initialised,
and the candidate's surname;
the degree award and the year of submission.
only the burgundy version of the UL crest can be used. Use of the heraldic green/gold
crest is reserved solely for the office of the President. Please refer to the following
document ( for the proper use of UL logos in


Special Forms of Reports

In the case of a report in which the development of computer software or use of numerical
analysis package is a primary objective, the candidate's Supervisor shall specify if it is
necessary to include models and results on Compact Disc with the report.


Pagination and Numbering

Pages should be numbered consecutively throughout the text, including those pages
incorporating photographs or diagrams which are included as whole pages.

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The main body of the report should be numbered numerically (i.e. 1, 2, 3), with the section
preceding this (containing abstract, contents, nomenclature etc) numbered using lower case
roman numerals (i.e. i, ii, iii)
Appendices should be named alphabetically, and each appendix numbered consecutively but
separately from the main text and from each other. (i.e. A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2) Appendices,
like chapters, should have titles, e.g. Appendix A Derivation of Equations of Motion
Page numbers should be located centrally at the bottom of the page and approximately 20mm
above the edge of the page.
Style of Writing
The different sections of the report are written using different prose styles; however, there are
a few basic rules to follow.
Use normal formal language, avoiding long sentences and big words. Avoid
colloquial words and phrases (e.g. lab results, stats),
Technical jargon if possible
Asking rhetorical questions or using exclamation marks
Contractions (e.g. didnt, cant, its etc.)
Be precise, concise and objective.
The report should be written in the third person. Do not use personal pronouns (i.e. I, we,
our, you, us).
See Young (2005) for further information on writing style


The Final Year Project report is the work of the individual student. Plagiarism of any kind
will not be tolerated.
A Turnitin report must be submitted with the FYP report.


Report Layout

8.1 Title page

The title page of each volume of the report should contain the following information:
1) The full title of the project, and the sub-title (if any);
2) The full name of the author (as recorded on his/her birth certificate) with, if desired, any
qualifications or distinctions;
3) The award for which the report is submitted to the University;
4) The name of the University;
5) The name(s) of the supervisor(s) of the project;
6) The statement 'Final Year Project report submitted to the University of Limerick, (Month)
(Year); and
7) A statement of originality: I declare that this is my work and that all contributions from
other persons have been appropriately identified and acknowledged.

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The title of the report should be meaningful and informative. Taken alone, the title should give
enough information so that the reader has a clear idea what to expect the rest of the report to be
8.2 Abstract
An abstract, or summary, not exceeding 300 words, single spacing, or one page in length, should be
bound as an integral part of the report, and should precede the main text. The style of writing for
this section is technical and concise, with economical use of words. It should be written only when
almost all section of the report have been completed.
Students sometimes find it difficult to accept that a statement should be made in the abstract,
knowing that an identical or similar statement appears in the body of the report. The summary
should be regarded as an independent section which is meaningful when read in isolation from the
remainder of the report.
In writing the abstract, therefore, one should look at each completed section of the report, extract
key statements, and present them as concisely as possible.
It is important to include in the abstract any significant findings of the study or experimentally
determined value, the determination of which is a major feature of the investigation. Comments
should be made, wherever possible, to the significance of the results.
8.3 Dedication
You may wish to dedicate your report. This is not obligatory.
8.4 Acknowledgements
This section is used to acknowledge anybody who has contributed to your project.
8.5 Contents List
Each student should discuss the contents of the report with his/her supervisor before starting to
This section lists the contents of the report (Table of Contents) giving the page number at which
each section starts. Sections preceding the main body of the report are not seen as part of the report
and should be paginated as such (see Section 5, above). It is usual to start the Introduction at page 1.
It is common for the FYP supervisor to require that the student include a Table of Figures and a
Table of Tables.
8.6 Nomenclature
All symbols used in the text should be defined here, including for example sub- and super-scripts,
Greek symbols and acronyms. Where a symbol represents a physical quantity the associated units of
measurement should be listed. (SI units should be used whenever possible). Refer to Engineering
Tables and Data (Howatson et al., 1991) or Young (2005) for Greek Alphabet, symbols and units.
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8.7 Main body (See Section 9)

Note: Do not number more than 2 subsection levels for each chapter, e.g. maximum numbering
2.3.5. For any other subsections use formatting (such as Bold or Italic) to distinguish.
8.8 References (see also Appendix B)
Any work which is not the students own must be referenced, to avoid allegations of plagiarism. For
the presentation of references it is required that the UL Harvard style, as published by the Library &
Information Services, be use this is available at
for details. Examples, online tutorials, and information on the use of Endnote are also provided.
8.9 Appendices
Appendices are used to give additional information which is not essential to the reading of the report
but may be required in order to continue with the work, or to explain in great detail some aspect of
the work carried out. As a rule items that are readily available (e.g. journal and conference papers)
are not included as an appendix except where it is judged to be unusual and not readily available.
Appendices should be named alphabetically (Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.) and numbered as
outlined in Section 5. Examples of material that may be included in Appendices:

CAD Drawings submitted to Workshop (not the Assembly drawing as this should be in
main body of the report)

Computer programs written

Essential Spreadsheets

Manufacturers Material Data

Detailed calculations

Tables of data

Suggested Main Body Section Headings
Below are suggestions for sections of the main body of the report.
These must be agreed with the FYP supervisor.
9.1 Introduction
The introduction should include a full but concise statement of:
a) The background to the investigation, briefly stating the reasons governing the need for the
investigation. This background should reflect the title of the project.
b) The aims or objectives of the investigation. (The Conclusion section should always refer
back to the objectives you set out)
The introduction should have a flowing, natural, style of writing and should read like a story.

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9.2 Literature Review

This section should contain an in-depth review of published work relevant to your investigation.
Where a large number of papers are reviewed it is useful to group them under different aspects of
the investigation, that is, to use a separate sub-section for each aspect. You should compare and
contrast the literature reviewed.
The important part of this section is your reporting and discussion of the literature. It is important to
distinguish what you have learnt from reading the papers from what the authors originally said.
Your conclusions, on reviewing the literature, should reinforce the aims or objectives of the
investigation given earlier.
9.3 Theoretical Analysis
This section will require presentation of relevant formulae, equations, etc., leading to the appropriate
theoretical prediction (s). It is essential that all assumptions be clearly stated. While it is important
to present relevant information do not include unnecessary theory or pages of derivations,
particularly if they are from a book or if they have no bearing on the work in the report. Reference
to other work may be made in this section.
All equations should prepared using a software package, such as Microsoft Equation Editor or Math
Type; and must be numbered consecutively. A two part numbering system may be used, where the
first part designates the chapter. The number should be aligned with the right margin, e.g. The
Reynolds number (Re) is given in Equation 3.1 as:
Re =


= density
u = velocity
d = characteristic length, in this case diameter
= viscosity

This can then be referenced in the text see Equation 3.1, or see Eq. 3.1. Frequently, available
theory will not always adequately cover the system under investigation and in such cases the
differences between the theoretical model and test system should be stated. The representation of a
particular system by an approximate model should wherever possible be justified.
9.4 Numerical Modelling
This section will include information on the analysis method used, such as Finite Element Analysis
or Computational Fluid Dynamics, stating version of modelling software used. The contents must
be agreed with the FYP supervisor, but will include description of models and boundary conditions.
9.5 Experimental Apparatus
Precise details of items under test, and of the testing system, are required. Sketches, circuit
diagrams, and/or CAD drawings are often required in this section. All equipment should be
specified fully (i.e. using model numbers, and reference numbers if possible) with the exception of

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minor ancillary equipment such as a metre rule, protractor etc. This specification may also include
the accuracy of the equipment used.
Always remember that at some future date the experimental results may be subject to severe scrutiny
and the more accurately the system has been specified the less the doubt concerning the test, and the
better the chance of remedial action.
If this section is short, it may be combined with the Experimental Procedure section.
9.6 Experimental Procedure
Concise details of the operations performed should be presented mentioning factors which are of
special significance. Trivial statements however should be avoided, but, for example, where the
order of performing a number of steps is considered to be important such information should be
concisely presented. The writing style should resemble a recipe in a cookbook.

It is particularly useful to refer to special precautions taken as this can often eliminate possible
doubts in a future enquiry.
The purpose of this section is to define the experimental techniques employed without ambiguity,
and thus in a way which would permit a complete identical re-test.
9.7 Results
This section will contain a statement of what has been determined, i.e. both evaluated and observed,
as a consequence of performing the test. Thus it will comprise a concise statement of the calculated
results together with other important facts which have been derived or observed. The results are a
dry unaltered record of the facts. In some cases the discussion of the results can be included with
the results you must discuss with your supervisor which method he/she prefers.
A statement referring to the magnitude of the difference (not necessarily error) between theoretical
prediction(s) and experimental results should be included.

It is emphasised that one should not consider the experimental results to be in error if they do not
agree with the theoretical predictions presented, for a variety of reasons. For example:
i) Assumed material characteristics, local temperatures, friction or loss terms etc., may well be
ii) The theoretical model may not be identical to the test system etc.
Experimentally derived results should be respected and not automatically considered to be in error if
they are not in agreement with the theoretical predictions. If at all times the theoretical predictions
were considered to be the correct values and discrepancies attributed to experimental error there
would be no point in performing experimental investigations. The existence of discrepancies is
often the fact which justifies the need for the experimental investigation.
Observed Readings
This section will contain details of relevant records taken during the investigation. If the number of
readings is large it is advisable to present these in an Appendix to which reference is made in the
main body of the report.

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Ensure that units of measurement are associated with all readings or sets of readings. Sets of
readings should be presented in tabular form, with the units appearing in the column heading only.
Each table should be referenced with a number, with the title appearing above the table, for an
example see Table 1 below.
Table 1 Sample values of Coefficient of Thermal Expansion, , and Youngs Modulus, E, for
various metals.

Brass (70 Cu/30Zn)
Iron (pure)

(C-1) 10-6

E (GNm-2 or GPa)

Irrelevant data should not be presented. Graphs should be prepared using a suitable software
package and embedded in the body of the report, and where there is more than one data set they
should be appropriately identified using icons or colour. The axes should carry a definition of the
quantity and associated unit. Experimental results should be clearly marked by a suitable symbol,
and unless the test interval is sufficiently small there should be no line through experimental data
except when specifically curve-fitting.
Ensure that all figures (graphs, sketches, drawings etc.) have a suitable title. In general they should
be centred and not have text to either side. If plotted using landscape format they must be
arranged to be read from the right hand side of the report. They should have a reference number
such as Figure 1, which appears below the figure. When referencing in the text they may be referred
to as Figure 1, or Fig. 1. It is convenient to number figures separately for each Chapter, i.e. Figure
1.1, Figure 2.10 etc. It is good practice to change the format of the figure title text and single line
spacing may be used, for example see Figure 1 below.
Each figure should be mentioned in the text and then shown (i.e. do not show a figure without
previously discussing it or referencing it). The figure title should accurately explain what is shown
in the figure.

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Temperature (K)


Air Velocity


Figure 1 Change in Temperature due to increasing air velocity, for Test Case 1

Analysis of Data
Full details, presented as concisely as possible, of calculations based on observed readings should be
The report should therefore not be a record of the actual sequence of calculations performed, but
rather an adequate coverage of the fundamental steps. Intelligent use may be made of an Appendix,
thereby keeping the body of the report to a minimum.
A sample calculation may be included to indicate understanding of the theory. It is very important
that repetitive type calculations should be avoided.
This section involves an assessment of the experimental results and comparison with theoretical
predictions where appropriate. This section allows opportunity for personal expression and writing

An assessment of the significance of the results must be the theme of this section, since having
obtained results it is essential that they be interpreted soundly. It is therefore the duty of the author
to guide the reader towards such a sound interpretation and consequently all significant aspects must
be examined and commented upon. Whilst the reader most certainly desires to know the authors
opinions, it is nevertheless the responsibility of the author to present his interpretations in a manner
which furnishes the reader with sufficient information to enable him to assess the soundness of the
interpretations, and if necessary formulate others.
A critical analysis of the whole experiment should be made, but without going into excessive detail.
Such statements as .. the experiment was successful are not sufficient. Possible
modifications and/or further work may be suggested. An error analysis (both absolute and statistical)
may be included in this section if not presented earlier.


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Conclusions and Future Work
The author should remember that often this is the only section, to which in industry, some readers
refer due to shortage of time. It is therefore extremely important that this section be well written.
The requirement is therefore for a concise statement of the results which were sought and obtained,
and their significance.

The conclusions contain a series of unambiguous statements; each carefully crafted to make a point
and usually presented as a numbered or bulleted list. These statements must correspond closely with
the aims and objectives set out at the beginning of the report. It must therefore contain the answers
to questions which gave rise to the formulation of the aims of the experiment.
Careful reference must therefore be made to the section which specifies the aims of the test.
Recommendations, where appropriable, may be put forward together with the conclusions.

Suggested Main Body Section headings for a Design Project

10.1 Introduction
See 8.1
10.2 Literature Review
See 8.2
10.3 Data Collection
This section should contain all primary research undertaken. The methods used to collect data
should be described and justified. The data should be collated and analysed. This maybe facilitated
by the use of graphs or other visual methods of presentation.
10.4 User requirements/Problem analysis/Specification
In this section, the information from the literature review and the data collection should be
summarised into a set of user requirements and a problem analysis. This information will result in a
product specification.
10.5 Concept Development/ Selection
This section should outline the concepts developed and show the evolution of the development of
the design. The selection process whereby the final concept is chosen should be detailed and the use
of this particular method should be justified.
10.6 Evaluation
This section should describe any tests that were undertaken to evaluate the chosen solution. The
methodology of these tests should be described and results given.
10.7 Results
The results of the evaluation should be analysed and the findings should be discussed in relation to
the user requirements, problem analysis and specification.

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10.8 Discussion
This section should be an assessment of your results and the methodology used. Comparisons could
be made with existing product/products and the results of this comparison discussed.
10.9 Conclusions and Future Work
See Section 8.9; also add a section of possible future work to improve the design/product.


Suggested Main Body Section headings for a Software Development Project

11.1 Introduction
See Section 8.1
11.2 Literature review
Review availability of similar software packages or systems, and identify the requirements for
development or enhancement of new or existing software.
11.3 System Description
This section should contain description of hardware used in the project and how is interacts with
existing software and software under development.
11.4 Software Development
Explain the functioning of the developed software using flowchart or other methods.
The actual code should be included in an Appendix.
11.5 Software Evaluation
This section should describe any tests that were undertaken to evaluate the software.
methodology of these tests should be described and results given.


11.6 Results
The results of the evaluation should be analysed and the findings should be discussed in relation to
the user requirements, problem analysis and specification.
11.7 Discussion
This section should be a assessment of your results and the methodology used. Comparisons could
be made with existing product(s) and the results of this comparison discussed.
11.8 Conclusions and Future Work
See Section 8.9; also add a section of possible future work to improve the software design.


Version 10, October 2012

Guidelines for FYP reports

MABE Department



The oral presentation consists of a 10 minute PowerPoint presentation on work to date, and planned
future work. There will be 5 minutes of questions from your supervisor and a second reader from
the faculty. This second reader will also examine your final year project report. You must bring
your presentation on a memory stick, it should be in the Top Level Folder so that you do not have to
search for the file. Each student should arrive for the presentation before, and stay for the
presentation after, their own.
A few basic tips follow:
Producing slides using Microsoft PowerPoint:
Dont use small font (18pt or smaller).
Clear font, such as Arial/Helvetica.
Clear layout.
Dont put the whole story on the slides. Use bullet points and headlines only.
Do not clutter slides.
Ensure consistency of colour and format, or design, throughout the presentation.
If displaying graphs or pictures ensure that the person furthest from the screen will be able to
see them clearly.
If you will be printing black and white transparencies then ensure that all items can still be read,
e.g. lines on graphs, images etc.
If you are showing your Gantt chart, or project plan, you may need to break it up over a number
of slides to ensure that it is legible.
Make sure there are no spelling mistakes or typos!
Rehearse your presentation prior to delivery.
Speak slowly (aim for 100 words per minute).
Use a pointer (such as a pen) on the overhead projector, or a laser pointer on the screen - dont
stand between the projector and the screen.

Version 9, September 2011


Guidelines for FYP reports

MABE Department



Guidelines for the citation of references in reports and theses

at the University of Limerick

The method of referencing to be used for all Final Year Project reports is the UL Harvard style (also
known as the author-date method). The citation of references and the format of the reference list
must comply with the library guidelines see Cite it Right Second
Edition, see
Comment on the use of page numbers in the citation
Cite it right stipulates that the page number(s) must follow the year in the citation as shown below.
However, the conventional approach in engineering is to indicate only the year and not the page
number(s) when referring to short documents (e.g. journal and conference papers, newspapers,
engineering reports and so forth). Only when reference is made to a large work (such as a
handbook) is it required that the page number(s) be indicated.

Technical Writing A-Z (Young, 2005)

The citation of references for engineering reports/theses is also described on pages 3240 and 173
185 in Technical Writing AZ (Young, 2005).
Website referencing.
Websites such as Wikipedia (in particular) should not be used as the primary reference source and,
rather than cite Wikipedia, students should go to the original source, if possible. Some material is,
however, only available on the web and thus web references are sometimes unavoidable (e.g.
increasing popularity of web-only journals). If you are unsure as to whether or not a web reference
is valid, discuss with your supervisor. It is important not to use non-archival material that cannot be
retrieved in the identical form that was used by the writer.

Wikipedia: The site is a wonderful starting point for research. But its only a starting point
because theres always a chance that theres something wrong Jimmy Wales, co-founder of


Version 9, September 2011