LaTeX: Template for reports

Here is some code for a LaTeX template for reports. You’ll need the file SampleReport-Graphic.pdf. When typeset, it should look like this.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage[margin=1in]{geometry}          
\usepackage{graphicx}
\usepackage{amsthm, amsmath, amssymb}
\usepackage{setspace}\onehalfspacing
\usepackage[loose,nice]{units} %replace "nice" by "ugly" for units in upright fractions

\title{Simple template for reports}
\author{Great Author}
\date{Spring 2015}


\begin{document}
\maketitle

\begin{abstract}
An abstract is a very short description of the problem considered, the approach taken to study the problem, and a summary of the main findings.
\end{abstract}


\section{Introduction}

As indicated by the title, this is where the reader is introduced to the problem being studied.
The objective(s) of the work being reported should be stated.

If there is relevant background material, this is a good place to provide that as well.
Frequently you can give a short description and refer the reader to another source for more information; see \cite{ChalkDustStudy} and the references therein.


If there is a theoretical underpinning to your report, this is a great place to state that.
For example, your methods might be contingent upon the ideal gas law
\begin{equation}
\label{IdealGasLaw}
PV = nRT.
\end{equation}
The constant $R$ in \eqref{IdealGasLaw} is called the \textit{Boltzmann constant} and has value
\begin{equation*}
R \approx \unitfrac[8.314]{J}{K\cdot mol}. 
\end{equation*}
We are measuring the volume $V$ in meters (\unit{m}), the pressure $P$ in pascals (\unit{Pa}), the amount of gas $n$ in moles (\unit{mol}), and the temperature $T$ in kelvin (\unit{K}).


\section{Methods}
For reports  which involve an experiment, this is where you get to describe the experimental setup and the procedures you followed.

In the case of a mathematical report, the methods section can often be merged together with the introduction.



\section{Results}
This is where the results of your work appear.

If the activity being reported involves collecting data, this is where that data should be presented.
A plot, such as that appearing in Figure \ref{SampleFigure}, is an appropriate way to present data.

\begin{figure}[h]
   \centering
   \includegraphics[width=3in]{SampleReport-Graphic.pdf} 
   \caption{The caption of a figure should be a complete sentence.}
   \label{SampleFigure}
\end{figure}

\LaTeX will place the figure according to some mysterious algorithm.
You should not write the text assuming that the figure will be in any particular place.
Rather, write the text in such a way that it can be read independent of where the figure is placed.
The best way to to this is to always refer to a figure by name.

\section{Analysis}
Once you have completed some mathematical or scientific activity, it is necessary to analyze the results.
This is a good place to interpret your findings, compare theory and experiment, etc.

There are some times (in mathematics) when the line between results and analysis is blurred -- if it makes sense to combine the results \& analysis sections, you may do so.


\section{Conclusions}
At the end of the document, you should summarize what has been accomplished and present any conclusions which can be made.

Sometimes this section is called ``Discussion.''



\begin{thebibliography}{99}

\bibitem{ChalkDustStudy} 
J.~Ely and I.~Stavrov, 
\emph{Analyzing chalk dust and writing speeds: computational and geometric approaches},
BoDine Journal of Mathematics \textbf{3} (2001), 14-159. 

\end{thebibliography}


\end{document}  
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