SPSC2003 Acoustics of Speech and Hearing

Report Writing


The ability to write in a clear, scientific manner is an extremely valuable skill whether you intend to work in research or in the clinic. The laboratory reports that you write for assessment on the Acoustics course are an opportunity you should take to develop an acceptable style. We provide guidelines in the Course Information handout, and tutors are expected to comment on style as well as substance when marking reports.

Some aspects of style are about how to write clear unambiguous English suited to the dispassionate description of fact and argument. Other aspects of style are about how to present your work in a form that others find easy to read and understand. A widely accepted style guide is that published by the American Psychological Association (APA) (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th ed., 2001). This manual includes:

  • Expression of Ideas and Reducing Bias in Language
  • Scientific Abbreviations
  • Information on organizing headings
  • Statistical Symbols
  • Detailed guidelines for reporting statistics
  • Guidelines for creating figures
  • References and Citations
  • Manuscript Preparation and Sample Paper
  • Manuscript Acceptance and Electronic Production
  • Ethics of Scientific Publication

Example Lab Report

To appreciate the writing style, content and formatting of a laboratory report, you may like to look at an example lab report. This is a report of a fictitious lab experiment on the linearity of an audio cassette recorder.

APA Style Resources

Research Papers in APA Format. An elementary introduction to APA format suitable for students submitting course assessments.

Psychology with Style: A Hypertext Writing Guide. A very useful summary of information form the APA Style Manual. Easy to Read.

APA Publication Manual Crib Sheet. A comprehensive summary of the key guidelines found in the APA Style Manual.