Writing Constraints for a Series of Laboratory Reports

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The following are the definitions for the constraints of audience and format for four laboratory reports that are written in a design course on microprocessors. After completing the four laboratory experiments, the students spend the remainder of the semester on a major design project for the course. The design is to use the Motorola 68HC11 microprocessor that the students have tested in the four laboratory experiments. The following descriptions of the constraints help the students with many writing decisions in their reports including the depth expected and the details that the students should emphasize. These constraints are presented here as if written to the students.

Constraint of Audience

For the four laboratory assignments, assume that your principal audience consists of technical managers who understand the basic principles and terminology of microprocessors. Moreover, your principal audience knows that you will be testing specifications for the Motorola 68HC11 microprocessor. This audience is keenly interested in your final design for the semester and is reading the four laboratory reports to follow the progress of your testing on the microprocessor.

A secondary audience would be you and the members of your design team. These reports serve as archived information that you will refer to as you work on your semester design project. In your design project, you will likely repeat several of the tests that you performed in the lab. For that reason, you want to achieve enough depth in your reports that you can repeat what you've done.

Constraint of Format.

For the four laboratory assignments, you are to follow the general format guidelines for reports that are specified by Sandia National Laboratories. The format guidelines designate the typography and layout for the reports. Note that the layout includes the the incorporation of illustrations, the handling of references, and the arrangement of headings, subheadings, and sub-subheadings.

Moreover, you are expected to have certain sections in your laboratory assignments. These sections are explicitly defined so that the primary audience can quickly find specific information. The following links describe what you are expected to present in each section:

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