For Level 1, or if you desire something more in depth, we also have the following resources.
Note that those marked Level 1 will, for the most part, still be relevant to higher years:
The current page limits for all laboratory reports are as follows. They are all strict limits.
Abide by the page limit - The length of lab reports is strictly limited to the number of pages given above with a page being defined as a single side of an A4 sheet. That's the maximum length (there is no minimum): any material that exceeds this limit will not be marked. This rule applies whether you are using the recommended 10-pt two-column format or not.
The information below gives guides and tips as to how to structure your report for Levels 1, 2 and 3. Please note that for Level 4 students a different formatting structure is necessary.
This guide refers here and there to Microsoft WORD, as most students use that word processing software to write their reports and knowing how to produce scientific documents in WORD is a useful skill to have. However, other choices are also possible. The Department does not impose, or even recommend, the use of WORD in preference to other options. You are welcome, for instance, to prepare your reports in Latex, which is a typesetting program widely used by research physicists for preparing publications and other documents, particularly documents containing many equations and mathematical symbols. However, WORD will be completely sufficient for producing all the lab or computing reports you will need to submit during your undergraduate studies in the Department.
You can find a laboratory report template, formatted in LaTex and multiple WORD versions, at the bottom of the page. This should serve as a guide when producing your own reports.
Some of the formatting points stated in this section may appear arbitrary, but it is important to get used to writing in a given style. Moreover, experience shows that certain ways of formatting or typesetting text work better than others. Following the rules closely will help you produce a document with decent standards of presentation. The layout of the report should follow these guidelines:
Further, more general, points to note:
Recommended templates in both WORD and LaTex are given below that you should follow when producing your laboratory reports. These are applicable for Levels 1, 2 and 3. Please note that for Level 4 students a different formatting structure is necessary.
If you are using microsoft word, please use the Lab Report Template.
The LaTex Lab Report Template gives a .tex file with the same layout (margin, text size etc) and format as the WORD file. Additionally, the LaTex Guide provides advice to new LaTex users.
Sharelatex beginners' guide to LaTeX: Learn LaTeX in 30 minutes.
The LaTeX package is available on the CIS network (log in to say altair and type latex sample.tex) or for a free PC version go to Texmaker (or TeXworks or MikTeX) or for an online collaborative version requiring no software installation go to Overleaf.