This checklist has been produced for you to be able to check that your report fulfils CSC's requirements for language and typography.
Go through the checklist and check the points as you read through it. If there is any point that you do not think should apply to your report, do not check it off. Instead, write an explanation for why you believe that the point should not apply.
The checklist is normally submitted to the supervisor in conjunction with notification of presentation.
See the degree project checklist.
Elements of the report
These elements must be included in the order mentioned below. Each element starts on a new page:
1. Title page and back page as per KTH's template.
- If your report is written in English, use English for the cover
- Degree project, second level (30 credits)
- Main title and optional subtitle (in the same language as main title)
- Optional: Image for the front page
- KTH School: School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- Subject or program (depending on current version of cover generator): E.g. Computer Science
- In TRITA-slot, please write "-EECS-EX". A TRITA number will be added by administrative staff.
- Please note that the cover consists of two pages. The cover must be disassembled and the pages placed as front page and back (last) page of the report.
2. Empty page
An empty page should be placed between first cover page and flyleaf so that the flyleaf is always a right page.
3. Flyleaf (försättsblad) with details on the degree project:
- title in English and optionally also in Swedish (Swedish title may be omitted or placed with the Swedish summary),
- your name, (optional: email address)
- degree project subject (e.g. Computer Science) and program (e.g. Master of Science (in Engineering) in Media Technology, Master's program in Computer Science)
- the names of supervisor(s) and examiner
- optional: host company or host institution for the degree project
- current date
4. Summaries in English and Swedish
Summaries in English and Swedish must be included in the report. The summary in the language of the report is presented first (if both fit on one page, having them on the same page is preferable). It is your own responsibility to make sure that the language is correct in both versions. The summary should be possible to read independently of the report; there should be no references or images.
5. Preface (optional)
6. Table of Contents ( include the bibliography)
- Do not include in the table of contents: Summary, abstract, etc., (i.e. whatever is presented before the table of contents)
- The table of contents has a clean, straight indentation.
- Entire words written in capital letters are not used or are only used to a small extent in the table of contents (capital letters are harder to read).
- Bold text is used in moderation.
- Underlining is not used.
7. The chapters of the report
It is often preferable if each chapter and each section begins with a short text that explains what the chapter/section contains and justifies why it is included. If there is a subheading at a particular level in a section, there should normally be at least two (otherwise it interferes with the tree structure of the report).
The report is logically structured so that the reader is, in a natural and logical way, introduced to your problem, the theoretical background, your methods, your application of methods, your results and your conclusions.
There is a bibliography after the final chapter but before any appendices. The following applies to this:
The bibliography contains all works you refer to and no others (other works that you think are useful for the reader can be compiled in a separate list).
The bibliography is uniformly presented in accordance with a recognised standard for technical-scientific reports and contains sufficient information so that the reader understands the nature of each piece of work and can find it.
- Any appendices
Content that is not necessary to read, but which may be interesting for those who want a deeper understanding of the work you have done, is presented in appendices.
The appendices appear last in the report – after the bibliography.
The appendices are numbered (Appendix 1, Appendix 2, etc., or Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.).
The appendices are paginated. Each appendix can be paginated separately or the page numbers can directly follow the actual report (if the report's last page is number 44, the first appendix's first page number is 45).
Each appendix begins on a new page.
The introductory pages (including the table of contents) are not numbered and the first chapter begins on page 1. The report does not have empty pages. The page numbers are centered.
Check that the following formal requirements are met:
- The report is written in correct (formal, not spoken language) Swedish or English.
- The report is carefully proofread. The number of typos and spelling errors is very low. Please note that it is not enough to just run the spell check program (which, e.g., may not detect errors where one word is replaced by another correctly spelled word).
- The report adheres to current standards for a technical-scientific report.
- If the host organizarion does not object to it, it should indicate the name of the host orgaization and the supervisor at the workplace.
If names appear in the report, consent to publish must be obtained from said persons. You do not need to obtain permission from supervisors or examiners at CSC, nor from the people you mention in the bibliography.
The report has a well-thought-out and traditional typographic design.
- The margins at the top and bottom are approximately 25 mm.
- You can choose if you want to write in a single column or double column format. You can also choose to write certain sections in single column and others in double column, but these switches should then be done neatly and where it is clearly appropriate.
If you chose a single column format, check the following:
- The side margins are of adequate width so that the lines are not too long. Lines longer than approximately 80 characters should be avoided.
- The left and right margins can be equal in size. One (either) of them can also be wider.
If you choose a double column format, check the following:
- The side margins are approximately 25 mm.
- The space between the columns is wide enough that you do not accidentally read straight across.
- The chapter title is written in a single column (preferably on a new page).
- There is a clear indication before chapter headings and any other parts that are written in single column format so that the reader does not accidentally read the wrong column.
You are free to choose the line spacing, but it must be well suited to the text. Line spacing can be wider in a report with mathematical content involving many formulae, indices, etc.
- The line spacing is adequate in size so that there is a clear space between down bars on a line and up bars on the line below. However, the line spacing must not be so wide that the report looks thin.
- The line spacing is consistent within the body text (it cannot be wider where indices or similar are presented).
You can choose if you want to have a straight or uneven right margin.
- The report is hyphenated and all hyphenation is proofread. If you are using a straight right margin or two columns, hard hyphens are used (generally hyphenated wherever possible). If you are using an uneven right margin, soft hyphens are used (between parts of compound words) so markedly short lines are avoided. If you are using two columns, harder hyphenation must be applied compared to a single column format.
No page breaks are found in the following places:
- Directly after a heading or in a heading
- Between an image and image caption or a table and table caption
- In an image or a table
Footer and header
You design the headers and footers yourself. However, check the following:
- The page number is centred in the footer or header.
- Chapter heading, report title or author name can be presented in the header. The page number is then presented in the footer. The header is, however, not more than two rows. A thin line can be added to the bottom edge of the header to separate it from the text.
- The principal's logo or other internal information for the principal is not presented in the header.
- The date and version number is not presented in the footer or header (it may be useful in working versions but should not be included in the final version).
You can choose whether or not you want to number the headings. The headings at the lowest level do not need to be numbered even if the headings at higher levels are numbered. If you number the headings, the number must not be followed by a full stop.
- Preferably, the number of heading levels should not exceed four, and definitely not five.
- Headings at a higher level are more prominent than headings at a lower level. The space before (and possibly after) is also wider for headings at a higher level.
- Each heading level has its own consistent appearance that clearly differs from other heading levels. Please note that the space before and after headings must also be consistent.
- Headings at the lowest level may be italicised, but headings at a higher level must not be.
- The space before each heading is wider than the space after. (The heading belongs to the text that follows it.)
- Headings that are too long to fit on one line are preferably split so that there is a neat balance between the lines. In this case it is preferable to shift some text to the next line even though it fits on the top line.
You can choose if you wish to indicate a new paragraph by using wider line spacing or indentation.
- New paragraphs are marked in a consistent manner throughout the whole report.
- If a new paragraph is indicated with a space, the space is to be approximately equal to or slightly less than the line spacing (the space between the baselines on which the characters stand).
- If a new paragraph is indicated with an indent, the indent is to be approximately the same size as the line spacing. Preferably, an indent should not be used after a heading, image or other element that clearly indicates a new paragraph.
Enumerations often become clearer if they are written in the form of bullet points, which can be numbered or unnumbered.
- All points are written with the same typographic form using a hanging indent (the second and subsequent lines are indented more than the first).
Text that means something special (e.g. names of buttons, functions or the like) or is particularly important can be highlighted.
- If italics, bold and deviating fonts have been used to highlight, for example, menu options, this must be done in a consistent manner.
- Underlining is not used.
You should, of course, learn the punctuation rules for the language you are writing. However, some errors are more common than others. You should therefore pay particular attention to the following:
- Distinguish between quotes (”...” or in English ‘‘ ... ”) and the characters for inches and feet (" and ').
- Enumerations are preceded by a colon (not a semicolon).
- Do not use hyphens where there should be dashes.
- Fixed spaces are used so that there is no line break between, for example, a figure and unit of measurement, in numbers or in abbreviations.
- Two numbers do not follow each other directly. (Example of error: “256 32-bit words”)
When you make a statement based on something you have read (or heard), you must refer to the source. The source is usually a book or an article, but it can also be, for example, an interview. Check that:
- There are source references wherever there should be throughout.
- All source references are written using the same convention, e.g., (Johansson, 2001) or .
- There are no source references in any heading
- The text is your own
- All text has been written by you with the following exceptions: text within quotation marks, titles, etc. of the works in the bibliography, as well as any section that is shared with another degree project student and where you have clearly indicated that this is the case.
Illustrations and Images
Images must be presented with care so that they are clear and make it easier for the reader to understand the text. Check the following:
- All images are numbered and have a caption which is presented below the image. The numbering can be continuous through the entire report or start again for each chapter.
- The numbering is correct.
- The captions have a consistent typographic form that deviates from the body text. The convention is to make it italic.
- For each image, there is a reference in the text (see Figure 12) so that the reader knows when it is time to look at the image and what the author wants to convey with the image.
- All images are placed in reasonable proximity to the reference to the image (if there are several references to the same image, some may of course be further away).
- There is reasonable and consistent space between the image and caption, between the body text above the image and the image, and between the caption and the body text below. There are no unjustified empty spaces (e.g. before or after images).
- No image is placed directly after a heading. (there is always a text between the heading and the image).
- All images are comprehensible in grey scale. (Do not refer to the red arrow or similar) Exceptions must be made here for images that illustrate colour changes.
- All images are clear when printed on paper.
- The pixels are not visible when printed on paper (exception: screen shots).
- Any background colours are bright and appear solid in colour rather than dotted when printed on paper.
- In the case of images you have not produced yourself but have taken from elsewhere, you must obtain permission from the party that owns the rights to the image. There is then a reference to the source in the caption and an indication that you have received permission to use the image. A minimum requirement, however, is that you reference the source.
- If there are identifiable persons in an image, consent to publish the image must be obtained from said persons.
- All designations in the figure are consistent with the terminology you use in the text.
A chart is a type of image, meaning that what is applicable for images is also true for charts. In addition, the following applies:
- All charts clearly illustrate that which they are intended to illustrate.
- Text in charts and on axes is large enough to be read.
- Lines in line charts are clearly visible; if there are several lines and it is essential to distinguish between them, this can be easily done.
- For charts intended for scanning, the axes scales are clear.
- Charts of two-dimensional data are two-dimensional.
- All tables are numbered in a separate number series and preferably have a table caption presented above the table.
- All table captions have the same typographic form and this is consistent with the image captions' form.
- The tables only contain lines where this is needed to separate different types of data (e.g. to separate column headings from column data). There is therefore no large-scale grid used in the table.
- In columns with numeric values that are to be compared, the units digits stand directly under each other to facilitate the comparison.
- If it is the same unit of measurement for all values in the column, the unit of measurement is presented in the column heading.
- The contents in a column are roughly centred under the column heading.
- The width of a table and column is adapted to the content and not to the page width.
If you have formulae in the report, check the following:
- The formulae are written according to established mathematical conventions.
- If the formulae are numbered, the number is presented in parentheses in the right-hand margin, in a mathematically established manner.
To list all the linguistic errors that can occur in a degree project report is, naturally, impossible. That said, here is a list of points neglected by many degree project students that should therefore warrant your particular attention:
- The entire text maintains an even level of formality and this is adapted to the content of the report. However, sections where it is natural to express personal views may be more informal, such as in the preface and the implications section. (A report that describes the development of new cryptographic algorithms and is full of theorems, proofs, lemmas and formulae should be more formal than a report that describes a user study of an online meeting place.)
- If you use “we” or “one”, it always states who we and one are.
- Switching between the I, you, one and we form and passive constructions does not occur or is rare and natural.
- The text does not have long and complicated sentences. Sentences should not normally be more than 30 words long.
- The text lacks complicated passive forms. If you use passive constructions, it must be obvious who it is who is doing something.
- The tense in the report is correct and consistent (In sections on goals, it is common that the future tense appears even though the section describes something that has been done).
- All points in a list have the same linguistic form. (Example of error: “... a review of why collaboration systems often fail, organisational memory and workflow.”)
- All lists are preceded by a text indicating what is being listed.
- All allusions are correct. (Example of error: “... the user ... they ...”.)
- There are no allusions to the title (Example of error: “The think-aloud method This method...”)
- Each sentence begins with a capitalised common word (Example of correct use: “In 2003 ...”).
- The subject of the sentence can really do what the predicate states. (Example of error: “The report investigates” or “the programming examines”.)
- The same term is used consistently for the same thing. (E.g. If you write about a device with a small window where it is possible to display numbers and you decide to call it the numerical display, it should be called this throughout the text.)
- The same terms are written in the same way throughout the text, and similar terms are written in a consistent manner. (E.g. If you have decided that Java will be written in capitalised form, it must be written so throughout.)
- All terms and abbreviations that are not obvious to the reader are explained the first time they are used. If it takes a long time before they are used again, there is a new explanation provided (because the reader has probably forgotten).
- Abbreviations are only used if they make it easier for the reader. Keep in mind that the reader is probably not as familiar as you are with the terminology you have used during the degree project.
- Comparable does not mean exact. (If something is exact, then it is so. However, objects can be manufactured with varying degrees of precision.).
- The word data is used in the plural form. (It is usually considered to relate to several values and therefore it should be plural.)
- Speech is written in accordance with applicable rules, see for example the section on writing rules.
- Any time specifications are absolute and not relative. (E.g. “autumn 2002” and not “last autumn”)
Naturally there are also certain rules that depend on the language in which you write. Some of these are as follows:
- All sentences are complete, with a subject and predicate. The beginning: Detta för att... usually makes no sense.
- If there is “ett dels”, there must be “andra dels”.
- Colloquial language such as “jobbar”, “väldigt”, “saker”, “medans”, “sa” is not used.
- Compound words are written as one word. E.g. användargränssnitt. If one part feels foreign, a hyphen should be put between the parts: HTML-kod, RL-algoritmer, Monte Carlo- metoden.
- The word “teknik” is normally used as the translation of the English “technology”.
- Swedish words are not used in the English sense. (E.g. “Familjär” means different things in English and Swedish.; “addera” is normally a mathematical operation while “lägga till” is used to, e.g., add another button to an interface).
- Swedish terms are used when there are such, for example, återkoppling (not feedback), mångfald (not diversitet). * Terms recommended in datatermgruppens ordlista are used,
- The word “användning” is used instead of “användande”.
- The word “begränsad” is only used in the sense of not infinite (In a technical text “begränsad” is a mathematical term whose opposite is “oändlig”. That memory is “begränsad” is therefore obvious.)
- It has not been forgotten to use “att”. (Example of error: ”... har man valt försöka ...”)
- There is no unnecessary use of “så”.
There are, of course, very many language rules that apply to English. Check the following in particular:
- All sentences are complete, with a subject and predicate. (Example of error: “All in an effort to keep the frame rate as high as possible.”)
- The subject and predicate are consistent with each another. (Example of error: “most games does not run”)
- The apostrophe is included in all “s” forms for the genitive case. (Example of correct use: “user’s needs”, “Bayes’ theorem”.)
- Colloquial language such as “a lot”, “hard” (except as a technical term within theoretical computer science), “cool”, “huge”, “ok”, “bunch of” is not to be used.
- Contractions such as “it's” and “doesn't” are not used.
- Words that sound similar are used and spelled correctly. (E.g. Distinguish between “to” and “too”, “where” and “were”, “there” and “their”.)
- Indefinite and definite articles are used throughout where such are appropriate. Nouns without indefinite and definite articles are uncommon.
- Since “al.” is an abbreviation, it is followed by a point in references such as “Dix et al. (1998)”. (However, “Et” is not an abbreviation.)
- Capital letters in headings are used in a consistent manner (choose yourself if you want all the key words to be capitalised, but be consistent).
- The report is written either in British or American English (not varied usage).
- Dates are written in an unambiguous way. (Americans usually switch around the day and month.)
Latex has some automation that can cause problems. Often the solution is to override the automatic controls. Check the following:
- No lines are sticking out in the right margin.
- All images placed at the top of the page are really at the top (sometimes Latex centres images vertically).
- Each image is in reasonable proximity to the reference to the image.
The space around headings is correct (sometimes Latex fills out the page so that there is significantly different spacing around headings on the same level, which makes reading difficult).
If you use Word, it is important to create a complete set of good format templates and change the settings so that you do not suffer from various surprises concocted by Word itself. Check the following:
- The automatic correction feature is not causing trouble. (Example of (Swedish) error: ”Modellerna behandlas I kapitel ...”.)
- The addresses of web pages, URLs, are not underlined.