CSE 3401 Reports

Last updated 2005 August 17


You will hand in for grading a set of reports. The grading scheme and timetable sections give details. The specifications for each report will leave the amount of work open ended. One purpose of each report is for you to strive toward the achievement of a particular goal and report on what you did over the time up to the due date in working towards the requested objective. In a report it is not only important to describe what you succeeded in doing but also what you did not succeed in doing. You describe what problems were solved, what problems were left unsolved, and what new problems arose.

Reports will normally be handed in on or before the due date, to the course instructor at the beginning of the class on the due date. Should you need to submit the assignment earlier, then please submit it to the instructor in their office or in the Departmental office CSB 1003. Reports are to be handed in during normal Departmental business hours and are due by date and time given in the timetable. It is recommended that you hand in the reports at the lecture. Missing lectures while working on a report is a poor learning strategy.

On incomplete work

Normally, there are no extensions to published deadlines. On rare occasions, they may be given to individuals due to illness. Such extensions require a note from a physician stating the dates of the illness. The extension is no longer than a couple of days.

If for any reason a report is incomplete, then you should submit, on or before the due date, all work done to date (organization counts) along with a note describing:


A report is not a puzzle to be solved by the reader. As the designer/author it is your responsibility to present, describe and explain everything pertinent to the problem being solved. Give overviews and guidelines for the reader. Tell the reader what you are doing, how to interpret figures, tables, examples, programs, etc. It is not, however, a tutorial on techniques used; assume that the reader knows these or point to where they can learn about the technique. Assume your reader is a student either in the course or just finished the course.

A copy of specifications is useless. I already have a copy. For readers of your reports they are uninteresting. Instead summarize, in your introduction, what you have done. Think of your reports as something you could take along to a job interview to show the kind of work you do. Just as artists of all kinds you need to collect a portfolio of your work. When someone asks what you have done you can give them example reports.

Do not use point format, except for the occasional list, or unless explicitly asked for. Use correct, grammatical sentences and paragraphs. Word processors and GNU emacs have spell checkers. There is a stand alone program, spell, on Prism. Use them.

One point of the exercises is for you to apply the knowledge and skills you have learned and are learning through doing the exercise. Another point is for me to see what you are doing and react appropriately so you can learn as much as possible. The answer is not the point.

In your reports be sure to cite the source of any material that you did not create yourself (no citation implicitly implies the work is yours). All information taken from external sources (everything which is not your own work) must be clearly indicated (verbatim items are quoted) and correctly referenced.

Even in the "real world" you are expected to cite where and how you obtained the answer so those people needing the report know how much trust to place in it.

Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations regarding plagiarism. Be sure to read the section "Senate Policy on Academic Honesty", and "Faculty of Arts Policy on Academic Dishonesty" of the York University Calendar. Also see On Academic Honesty.


If printing on Prism or CCS printers I recommend you hand in two logical pages per physical page rotated (-2r). Four logical pages per page is too small. The following commands show how to create such postscript files which you can view with ghostview or print with lpr.
   -- for ASCII files
        enscript -2r [ -pfileToViewOrPrint.ps ] inputFile.text

   -- for PostScript files create file to ghostview or lpr
        psmulti -border pborder file.ps > fileToViewOrPrint.ps