Final Year Project Report in Applied Physics
Genre Guide (Product/System Design-based)


What is a Final Year Project Report?

The Final Year Project Report (FYPR) reflects the integration and application of concepts learned during your undergraduate study. For the FYPR, you will need to select a specific topic to investigate, identify a focus for your investigation, collect and analyse relevant information to demonstrate:

  • your disciplinary and specialized knowledge within the field of Applied Physics
  •  your ability to critically analyse information on the topic being investigated
  •  your research skills as well as
  •  your competence for academic writing assignments.

In terms of structure, organization of information and the use of academic language, your Applied Physics FYPR reflects the conventions of the scientific writing genre.
Your FYPR details and explains the outcomes of your research which, under Capstone Project requirements, might be a research (simulated) experiment, a performance, a design of products and systems, a study based on theoretical inferences, analyses or deductions, or mathematical calculations. FYPRs submitted for this project have belonged to one of the following categories:

  1. Experiment-based FYPRs
  2. Computer Simulation-based FYPRs
  3. Product or System Design-based FYPRs

The macro structure of each of these categories of FYPRs varies, with differences in the type and number of sections included. You should familiarise yourself with departmental conventions for research papers before you start drafting your own report. Your lecturer may also specify the different sections you need to include in your FYPR.
The following section outlines the defining characteristics of a product or system design-based FYPR. If your FYPR belongs to one of the other two types, please go the relevant Genre Guide on this website.


Product or System Design-based FYPR

The Product or System Design-based FYPR outlines the design and development of a system, a product or product components in preparation for workplace professional practices. This sort of investigation and exploration is often conducted in applied sciences and engineering, such as computer sciences and electronic engineering, with the objective of establishing links between theory, the designed artefact and practical implementation. The main objective of design research is to develop and integrate incrementally effective applicable solutions to practical problems in learning environments with design principles (van den Akker, Gravemeijer, McKenney & Nieveen, 2006). Product-design research requires an analysis of existing products to identify features that could be incorporated into the product being designed either to come up with an entirely new product or to amend aspects of an existing product that require improvement. It also involves attention to quality control during the stages of design and manufacturing, and the evaluation and testing of the completed product to identify specific limitations and features/processes in need of improvement. The research also outlines the product’s potential commercial applications. Other than a focus on product development, this type of research could also focus on systems design, and the design of technologies and technological processes. Irrespective of the type of focus, the six main stages in design research can be summarized as follows:

  • problem identification and motivation
  • definition of objectives for a solution
  • design and development
  • demonstration
  • evaluation and
  • communication

(Peffers, Tuunannen, Rothenberger and Chatterjee (2007))

The following table uses information about the structure of one student paper on the development of sensors by using piezoelectric elements to illustrate this category of FYPR.

Table 3: The macro-structure of “Product or System Design-based FYPRs”

Major structural components

Corresponding chapters in the FYPR

Communicative purposes



To summarise the research and inform the reader about the purpose and relevance of the paper


Chapter 1 Introduction
1.2 Objectives
1.3 Theory of pressure detecting unit
-Introduction of pressure detecting unit
- Comparison of different pressure detecting unit
1.4 Overview of the robotic hand
- Kinematic chain
- Analyser

To introduce the background, motivation and project objectives, and inform the readers of the content of subsequent chapters.


Chapter 2 Kinematic Chain
2.1 Introduction of the kinematic chain
2.2 Robotic Hand
-Robotic finger
Pressure sensors on the robotic fingers
-Attaching rope to the robotic fingers
- H-bridge
- Component of forces of robotic finger
- Problems and solutions of the robotic finger
- Movement controlling part
2.3 Production procedure for the kinematic chain

To explain the basic mechanism of the product and the fundamental principles underpinning product design.


Chapter 3 Analyser
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Pressure sensor
3.3 Amplifier
3.4 Analyser
3.5 Comparison of previous and final design
Chapter 4 Analyser (Arduino)
4.1 Overview of Arduino
4.2 Shift register
4.3 Connection of Arduino

To describe in detail the structure and components of and the program used in the product.


Chapter 5 Results and discussion
5.1 Overview of the experiment
5.2 Procedure of the experiment
5.3 Programme used by Arduino
5.4 Assumption of the experiment
5.5 Results of the experiment
Chapter 6 Printed circuit board (PCB)
6.1 The PCB
6.2 The procedure of fabricating the PCB
6.3 Precautions
Chapter 7 Robotic arm

To evaluate the product and reflect on its limitations, improvement and potential commercial implementation.


Chapter 8 Conclusion and future work

To include an overall review of project aims and what has been achieved, and the suggestions for further work.



To give details of sources cited in the report



Part 2: The sections of a product/ system design-based Final Year Project Report

The following section outlines important aspects of the different sections of a product/ system design-based FYPR in more general terms.

Note: This is not a section, but an important organisational feature of your report
The purpose of a title is to communicate the main focus of your paper. The title should:

  • be concise, clear and catch the reader’s attention
  • appeal to both expert and non-specialist readers and generate interest in reading further.

You should consider revising the title after your report is ready, as this is when you will have developed a good idea of the paper and can summarize its focus in a few key words more effectively than at the start of your project.

This section, which follows the title and precedes the Acknowledgements section, provides a succinct summary of the content of your research paper and is intended to provoke the reader’s interest in reading further. As you will have a comprehensive idea of your research at the end of the process, this section should be written when the project has been completed. An effective abstract should be self-contained – unless the study follows on from previous research, it should focus on your research process and its findings. It should also be clear and concise, and not include specialist terminology unless absolutely necessary. Abstracts could be in the format of a single paragraph, or include sub-sections that parallel the outline of the report. Typical subsections are:

  • Background 
  • Product Design/Experimental Setup
  • Results/Evaluation findings
  • Conclusion

You should check with your supervisor to determine which format you are required to follow for this section of your FYPR.

Typical Moves in an abstract
The following table outlines the typical moves/ key elements in an abstract, with example extracts to highlight each move.
Note: Example extracts may not all be from the same student paper

A summary of the problem/phenomenon being investigated and the rationale for the investigation

Robotic arm is widely used in many different fields, for example, lifting a heavy object, remote controlled pick and place work, bomb disarmament.

A brief description of the research design/process

This project is mainly focused on applying the theory of piezoelectric pressure detection on a robotic arm and developing the circuit afterward.
In this project, a circuit was developed on a breadboard and converted to a printed circuit board (PCB). The circuit is mainly divided into two parts: kinematic chain and analyzer. The part of pressure detection is achieved by using piezoelectric pressure sensor. When the pressure signal at the palm is higher than the target level, feedback will be sent to the robotic hand by the analyzer to stop contracting. The function of the analyzer is to prevent the object held in the robotic hand from being crushed.

A summary of main findings and significance of project

Several experiments were conducted to find out the properties of the piezoelectric pressure sensor. The relationship between the pressure applied on the pressure sensor and reading on Arduino (analyser) and the relationship between pressure applied on pressure sensor and voltage generated by the sensor were found by the experiment. Both of them show a proportional relationship. After understanding the properties of pressure sensor, the function of the car can be improved and the target pressure level can be set by the graph plotted.

An overview of possible limitations of project

The limitations of this product and possibilities for improvement are discussed in terms of mechanical design, display resolution /RGBLED and android phone control.

Practical applications and significant recommendations for future work

This product can be modified to improve display resolution by increasing the number of LEDs used and enhancing its stability by changing parts of mechanical designs. With Bluetooth communication, it also enables the connection between this product and Android devices. The possibility of commercial implementation of this product is analysed and indicated based on its potential applications for shop advertising signs and road signs.

In this section, which follows the Abstract, you should acknowledge the assistance provided by your department, supervisor(s) and PhD students, and also any technical support provided by relevant staff/centres at the University. Here is one example Acknowledgements section from an FYPR. Note that pseudonyms have been used in the example.


I would like to acknowledge the support of the Department of Applied Physics, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, in particular, my supervisor Dr. Albert Dickinson and his PhD student, Joanne Wang for their continuous guidance and support.
I would also like to thank the Materials Research Centre (MRC) of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for the technical support provided.

Table of Contents
This section informs the reader about the structure of the paper. In this section you should:

  • include all section and sub-section headings and reflect the subordinate relationship between them (i.e. a sub-section heading clearly reflects the contribution of that section to the content of the larger section it belongs to)
  • include a list of appendices, tables and figures as appropriate
  • use concise, relevant and informative headings.

Although the introduction is placed at the beginning of the entire report and has a key role in providing a background for the research, it should be revisited after the report is complete and revised to ensure it is relevant to the rest of the work in terms of logic, content and flow. You should:

  • include information about the background and motivations (contextual information, importance and necessity) for the product/system/technology being designed
  • provide definitions of technical terms/specialist terminology used in the paper
  • make a clear distinction between what is assumed (previous research, existing theory/product features) and what will be demonstrated (enhanced features of an existing product/system/technology or aspects of the new product/system/technology/ proposed enhancements)
  • outline the objective(s) of the study, processes undertaken or procedures adopted to achieve these objectives
  • outline expected practical/commercial applications of the product
  • include an overview of the report identifying the constituent sections of the report and what they will cover.

Below is a sample Introduction from one product/system design-based FYPR which exemplifies some of the points outlined above.

Literature Review
This section outlines relevant research to provide background information for your research topic. In a product/system design-based FYPR, you would outline the basic properties of materials used, the basic mechanism of the product and the fundamental design principles used. You could include this information in the Introduction or have a separate section, Literature Review, outlining this content.
The following example of an Introduction from a product/system design-based FYPR illustrates the use of two separate sections, Introduction, where the background information about the research topic, project motivations and theoretical details about materials and processes are outlined and Background Theory, where the theoretical background of processes and techniques utilized in the experiment is described in detail. 

In this section, which focuses on product design and development, you should describe the structure and components of the product, the product design and implementation, equations and formulae used, methods of analysis and evaluation in sufficient detail for anyone interested in your study to replicate it.
If your research is aimed at modifying aspects of an existing product, the details provided will enable your reader to determine how your product improves on and overcomes its limitations.
Below is a sample Methodology section from one experiment-based FYPR. This section, entitled ‘Product Design and Development’, provides details of the product, hardware details, the data process flow and a description of programme codes used in the experiment.

Results and Discussion
The main purpose of writing up your Results section is to inform your readers about what you observed and found during the research process. In this category of FYPR, this section explains the results obtained for each stage of the product development process and how they contribute towards achieving the objectives stipulated in your Introduction. FYPRs in this category usually present and explain results obtained simultaneously and hence, rarely have separate ‘Results’ and ‘Discussion’ sections. 
As in other types of FYPRs, this presentation and interpretation of findings (discussion) ends with an outline of the practical implications of the research and an acknowledgement of possible limitations. In product or system design-based FYPRs, commercial applications and implications for future product development must be discussed – these are important aspects in this category of FYPR.
Pointers for success:

  • Present your results in a logical and organized manner using appropriate data representation techniques (box plots/graphs/charts/tables/sets of formulas and photographs) to detail various stages in the development process.
  • Explain the stages of product development in a clear and systematic manner.
  • Use appropriate section headings which clearly link to the objectives of the research, to create a logically organized and coherent report showing how processes adopted fulfill the objectives of the research.  This example from a student’s FYPR from the experiment-based FYPR category, exemplifies this point.

Research Objectives listed

Sub-section headings used in Results and Discussion chapter

  1. 1. Fabrication and test of P3HT/TiO2 double-layer bulk reactors

4.1 Enhancement of photocatalysis efficiency for bulk reactors

  1. 2. Fabrication and test of P3HT/TiO2 double-layer microfluidic reactors

4.2 Enhancement of photocatalysis efficiency for microfluidic reactors

  1. 3. Improvement of fabrication procedures to enhance the performance of P3HT/TiO2 reactors.

4.3 Degradation of P3HT by TIO2 and possible solutions.

  • Focus on your own results. Do not make statements that cannot be substantiated by results from your research.
  • Avoid repeating figures presented in your graphs and tables – use approximation instead. For example, if you wish to discuss a finding of 48.9 %, you would say ‘slightly less than half of the respondents…’, or ‘almost half of the respondents’, depending on whether you wish to highlight the data in a negative or in a positive manner respectively. The following handout from Purdue University’s OWL website provides information on writing with statistics.
  • Develop the discussion strategically, emphasizing particularly interesting or important aspects of your findings (unexpected findings are important as well – they can make your chapter more interesting) and outline implications.

Note: The strength of your conclusion will depend on how the discussion is developed. If each sub-section in the discussion clearly develops one main aspect, it makes it easier for you to extract these points and form your conclusions.

As with other sections, it is important you consult your supervisor to determine departmental conventions about the format of this important section.

The following extract presents a Results and Discussion section from one product/system design-based FYPR.

Language use in the Results and Discussion section
This section outlines patterns of language commonly used (use of tenses and tentative language) in this section.

Language use in reporting findings (Results)
The past tense is generally used when reporting on your findings.

The final product displayed stable and clear characters.

It is also possible to use the present tense,  as some results can be written in present tense.

The product is able to display a single number ‘1’ and a series of letters.

Use the present tense when referring to figures, tables or charts. This is because you are discussing information that the reader is looking at and not reporting on results obtained.

Figure 14 shows an example of how the letter A can be displayed by the programme.


Language for Interpreting facts and making claims

In this section, you need to explain to the reader how you believe your claims can be understood/interpreted. During this process, you need to present your claims tentatively to avoid being criticised/challenged about the nature of your interpretations. The use of hedging expressions (which has been covered in Part 4) allows you to limit the nature of claims you have made and make them more tentative.

This section emphasizes the unity of the main themes of your research project and situates your research against the broader field of study. In this section, you should:

  • start with a reference to the main objective of the research
  • provide a concise summary of procedures adopted
  • summarize the main outcomes to demonstrate how they reflect the realization of research objectives (avoid repeating the points mentioned in the analysis and discussion segments, use language strategically and manage the content concisely to avoid redundancy)
  • state possible limitations of the research
  • outline practical implications of the product.

The following conclusion from an academic paper entitled Wireless power transfer based on magnetic quadrupole coupling in dielectric resonators exemplifies the points made above.

In conclusion, we have proposed and demonstrated experimentally an original approach to magnetic resonance WPT system based on high refractive index dielectric resonators. We have numerically and experimentally investigated the WPT system operating at MD and MQ modes. It has turned out that the proposed system operating at MQ mode performs better than the traditional copper coil system in the sense of normalized distance. Meanwhile, we have also analyzed the angular dependence of the proposed WPT system. We have experimentally demonstrated the unusual behavior of WPT system operating at the MQ mode. The efficiency has two maxima around 0° and 90° and minimum around 60°. We believe this approach can be useful for creating a new generation of wireless charging devices with high efficiency, extended operational distance, and angular stability to random mutual orientation between the source and device. Importantly, it is possible to further decrease the operational frequency to MHz and minimize the resonator dimensions by increasing the permittivity of the resonator.
Source: Song,  Iorsh, Kapitanova, Nenasheva, and Belov (2016). Wireless power transfer based on magnetic quadrupole coupling in dielectric resonators. Applied Physics Letters 108, 023902 (2016); doi: 10.1063/1.4939789

Here is an example of a Conclusion from a student’s FYPR, which summarizes the design and development processes of a LED spinning display.

References and Citations

  • Follow the required citation format according to departmental recommendations.
  • Ensure correspondence between in-text and end-of-text entries.

This section of your report includes supplementary material that the reader will find useful to understand the development of your project. Some useful reminders for this section are:

  • If you have large amounts of raw data, include them in the appendices.
  • Use informative titles (e.g. Appendix A: Fabrication procedures to enhance P3HT/TiO2 reactor performance).
  • Refer the reader to relevant appendices in the text of your report (e.g. ‘please refer to Appendix A for Fabrication procedures to enhance P3HT/TiO2 reactor performance’).

Part 3: Points to note when writing the Final Year Project

  • Before you write:
    • consider relevant theories you can use to situate your research
    • plan how much information you are going to write for each section – i.e. which section should be longer / shorter (sometimes your lecturer will give you a word limit for particular sections of the study)
      TIP: you may want to write a rough outline of your research report
    • consider how much your audience (could be the person who is marking your work) knows already (this would affect how detailed you want to be when explaining certain theories and details).
  • While you write:
    • provide appropriate headings for each section you write (do not just copy headings that are given in writing guides provided by your lecturers)
    • make sure you have explained the theories you used so people will know what you are talking about (the explanation can be short)
    • make sure your citations refer to the theories you have used
    • make sure your ideas are logical / logically linked
    • read what you have written so far from time to time to check the logic and language (this is also helpful to see if you have written too much or too little for each section).
  • After you write:
    • reread and proofread your work (this will help you find mistakes in your writing that you have missed)
    • make sure you have cited all your sources in and at the end of your writing, following the specified referencing style.

Part 4: Language features of scientific research writing

Researchers shift between using assertive language when describing facts and tentative language when making claims about their findings. This ensures their writing will not be labeled inaccurate or based on incorrect assumptions. You can use tentative statements, limiting words, modal verbs and hedging verbs as the table below shows.

Tentative language techniques


Tentative statements

Tends to, suggests that, appears to, would seem to

Limiting words

Possible/possibly, probable/probably, likely

Modal verbs

May, may be, might, might be, might have been, could, could be, could have been.

Hedging verbs

Appears, suggests, indicates


Examples of tentative language from an experiment-based FYPR:

  • TiO2 (top)/P3HT (bottom) samples were confirmed to be free from this problem, possiblybecause P3HT was isolated from) 2 in the air with the TiO2 protective layer.
  • The experiment has shown that this procedure could improve the substrate quality and enhance its photocatalysis efficiency visibly.
  • It has been reported that the anastase structure of TiO2 can perform better in both photocatalysis and photostabilty[2]. This is probablybecause rutile is quite stable with less defects and dislocations to generate oxygen vacancies that can trap electrons.
  • The most probable explanation for the photocatalytic mechanism of TiO2 /P3HT described by Wang et al. [3] is that …
  • The result indicates that …
  • When the P3HT layer is too thick, excited electrons at the top surface of P3HT layer might have difficulty…
  • The results suggest that the P3HT layer…

Academic language
Your report is a formal document and hence it is important to use formal language and avoid informal language forms. The following table lists informal examples of common language forms and provides formal alternatives.

Language forms

Informal example

Formal equivalent

Phrasal verbs

Look at




Do not

Colloquial expressions

A lot of

Extensive (uncountable)/ Numerous (countable)

Informal language

Big problem

Major problem

Vague expressions

Good essay

A well-organised essay
The public

Informal verbs



Objective writing
Academic writing should be as objective as possible. Subjective and strongly emotional language such as ‘fantastic, wonderful, lovely, absolutely’ should be avoided. Objectivity can be enhanced through techniques such as:
This refers to the use of tentative language to make one’s writing less assertive and tone down any inherent subjectivity, as the following example shows:
By designing a double-layer structure of P3HT/TiO2, with PH3T as either the top or the bottom layer, the experiment shows that P3HT could enhance TiO3’s performance in methyl blue degradation under sunlight.
Avoid definite expressions such as clearly, obviously, without a doubt, certainly, undoubtedly, definitely, there is no doubt that, absolutely.

Passive constructions
These structures tend to make the writing information focused and thus more objective than active constructions, which emphasise the person taking action.
Two main algorithms – either random or regular – for generating fractal landscapes are discussed in Chapter 3.

Neutral language
The use of emotional language - adjectives and attitudinal expressions reflecting opinions and attitudes conveys subjectivity, and must be avoided in academic writing.

This study contributes extensively to our knowledge of nanofibres in the clothing industry.
This study adds to our knowledge of nanofibres in the clothing industry.

Attitudinal expressions are only used in the Introduction/Literature review sections to highlight the lack of attention in research to a specific aspect of study, to emphasise the contribution of the writer’s own research to the field by drawing attention to the lack of attention to that aspect in previous studies.


Granular flow exhibits a variety of dynamical phenomena, which have been attracting research interest for many years (for reviews, see e.g. Savage 1984 and Jaeger, Nagel & Behringer 1996). …The comprehensive rheology of the granular flow has not been fully understood yet, except for the rapid collisional flow regime…

Source: Mitarai, N. & Nakanishi, H. (2004), ‘Linear stability analysis of rapid granular flow down a slope and density wave formation’, J. Fluid Mech. 507, 309–334.

Nominalisation – the use of a noun phrase generated from another word class, usually a verb –is an integral feature of scientific writing. Other word classes include adjectives and nouns. In this process, nouns (things, concepts or people) replace verbs (actions or events). This technique helps you to:

  • create variety in your writing
  • convey an objective, impersonal tone
  • reduce the length of your text
  • make your writing more abstract and formal

Read the following extract from a student paper.
These electrons would then be injected into TiO2’s conduction band to facilitate generation of free radicals that worked directly for degradation of organic pollutants in the solution. (27 words)
Here is one possible nominalised version:
The injection of electrons into TiO2’s conduction band generates free radicals that promote the degradation of organic pollutants in the solution (21 words).

The message in the nominalised version is more concise and less confusing than that of the original version.

Use of tenses
Conventions for the use of tenses vary across disciplines. You should refer to journals and other publications in your field to become familiar with the tenses used in your discipline. Your tutor or lecturer’s recommendations and even your study guides are good starting points. However, the section of your report also can determine the choice of tenses used, as the following table shows.

Section of report

Tense commonly used

Rationale for use

Examples from Applied Physics FYPRs


Present/ present perfect

To present facts when detailing background information / to refer to ongoing research

Industrial sewage contains toxic organic pollutants.
A variety of water purification methods have been researched and implemented.

Literature review

Present tense



Past tense

To indicate research findings are still relevant


To indicate a gap in previous research or show that the research is no longer relevant

As this electron-pair is generated, a series of reactions are generated for the degradation of organic pollutants [2,3].
Dye sensitization, doping with metal ions or non-metal atoms and semi-conductor coupling were commonly-used techniques to address these problems.


Past tense



Present tense

To describe completed procedures


To refer to diagrams and figures

P3HT was initially dissolved in chloroform with a 30g/ml concentration.

Figure 3.2 reflects the setup of P3HT/TiO2 bulk reactor testing.


Past tense


Present tense

To refer to results obtained


To refer to figures, tables and graphs

The empty sample (glass) reflected the lowest degradation efficiency.

The degradation efficiency of TiO2 samples is shown in Figure 4.2


Present tense


Past tense

To explain significance of results, to interpret results

To summarise findings

As the thickness of P3HT increases, the effect of this mechanism is supposedly reduced.
This experiment successfully proved that P3HT can assist TiO2 in photocatalysis of methyl blue for both bulk and micro reactors.


A combination of tenses

To highlight completed research and identify directions for further research

In terms of TiO2 (top)/P3HT (bottom) structure, photcatalysis efficiency would saturate when the thickness of TiO2 reached a certain level. The positive effect of P3HT’s assistance was also confirmed in microfluidic devices. In addition, the experiment  shows that the machinery dispensing method could enhance TiO2 performance.

Note:  is an excellent resource for understanding how the choice of verb tenses in scientific writing can convey particular academic meanings.

For an extensive discussion on language features of scientific reports, you are advised to refer to the above resource from Monash University, as it explains each language feature with detailed examples. This resource is also invaluable for information about the different stages of report writing (planning, drafting and finalizing your report) and compiling a coherent, unified text.

Use of abbreviations
When you plan to use an abbreviation, you need to introduce it by first spelling out the word or term, followed by the abbreviation within parentheses. For example, if you were to use the abbreviation “TEM” you would do so as follows:
Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
Key points to remember when using abbreviations are:

  • Do not use them in the title of the report or in the Abstract as it will confuse the reader.
  • Only use them when a key word or term is used at a moderate frequency (at least three times).
  • Include a table as part of the front elements of your report (after the list of figures and tables) listing all abbreviations used, if you have used multiple abbreviations.

Collocations are understood as words that go together, which are features of habitual and natural language use. In academic English, four grammatical categories are noted:

  • Adjective+noun collocations
  • Adverb+adjective collocations
  • Verb+noun or verb+adverb collocations
  • Noun+noun collocations

(Paterson, 2013)

The following example illustrates an incorrect example of collocation use:
Unique material is needed for a deeply investigation.
Unique material is need for an in-depth investigation.
In the second sentence, ‘deeply’ is replaced by ‘in-depth’ which is an appropriate collocate of ‘investigation. For help with correct usage of collocation, you are advised to consult collocations dictionaries, such as Oxford Collocations Dictionary for Students of English and PolyU’s on-line corpora such as Corpus of Research Articles ( Another way is to make use of a corpus for generating concordances giving contextualized examples of the term.

Part 5: Common language errors noted in students’ FYPRs

The following table includes examples of common errors noted in student papers. The examples are a representative sample and are not to be viewed as a complete list.

Error type

Example from student paper (possible options in brackets)

Word choice

It was noted that the addictive Thiourea plays an important role… (additive)


After producing those samples successfully, we conduct some characterization involves (conducted, involving)


The experiment shows that P3HT could enhance (can)

Subject-verb agreement

MoS2 is a compound that having unique properties (that has unique properties)

Academic language (Subjective expressions)

______ has always been a popular research topic (extensively-researched topic)


This experiment has proved that…(suggests/demonstrates)


Gold nanorods have a biological compatibility, it is capapble to enter many type of cell without emerging any immune response.
(Gold nanorods have biological compatability/are biologically compatible. They can enter many types of cells without generating any immune response/without any immune response emerging).


In the analytical part, different options are used. (What was the focus of the analysis? What are the options?)

Verb forms

… and to excite its electrons (and excite)

Starting a sentence with For…

For TiO2 (top)/P3HT (bottom) structure, the degradation efficiency was also related to the thickness of the TiO2 layer.
Degradation efficiency for a TiO2 (top)/P3HT (bottom) structure was related to the thickness of the TiO2 layer.

Use of articles

Experiment proved that this procedure could improve the substrate quality and enhance its photocatalysis efficiency.
The experiment proved that this procedure could improve the substrate quality and enhance its photocatalysis efficiency.

Part 6: Formatting guidelines for FYPR reports
 (courtesy Dr. Xuming Zhang, Department of Applied Physics, HK Polytechnic University)

Title Should Be in Bold, 18-Point Type and Centered


Author name(s) 10-point type, centered and bolded
Author affiliations
E-mail address: (8-point type, centered, italicized)

  1. Guidelines for the Abstract
    Abstract: Justify the paragraph (on both right and left), and use 10-point Times New Roman font. Your abstract should state the problem, the methods used, the major results and conclusions.

    1. Introduction to main text format and page layout
    The first line of the first paragraph of a section or subsection should start flush left. The first line of subsequent paragraphs within the section or subsection should be indented 0.62 cm (0.2 in.).
        Paper size should be A4 format 21.0 cm × 29.7 cm (8.27 in. × 11.69 in.) with 2.54 cm (1 in.) margins on all sides. The point size should be 10-point and font should be Times New Roman. The introduction should be no more than one page.

    2.  Figures and tables
    Figures and tables should be centered (except for small figures less than 6.6 cm or 2.6 in. in width, which may be placed side by side) and located inside paper margins. Table captions (10-point font) should be centered above tables, and figure captions (8-point font) should be centered below figures (for example, “Fig. 1. Near-field”).

    3.  Equations
    Equations should be centered, and equation numbers should only appear to the right of the last line of the equation, in parentheses.  For long equations, the equation number may appear on the next line.

    4.  References
    References should appear at the end of the paper in the order in which they are referenced in the body of the paper.  The font should be 8 point, and the references should be aligned left.
       Within the main text, references should be designated by a number in brackets [1], and they should be followed by a comma or period [2]. Two references cited at once should be included together [2,3], separated by a comma, while three or more consecutive references should be indicated by the bounding numbers and a dash [1–3].

    [1] M. Rahmani, B. Lukiyanchuk, T. Tahmasebi, Y. Lin, T. Liew, and M. Hong, Appl. Phys. A Mater. Sci. Process. 107, 23-30 (2012).
    [2] Author(s), "Title of paper," in Title of Proceeding, (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, New York, 1900), pp. 00-00.
    [3] Author(s), "Title of paper," in Title of Proceedings, Name(s), ed(s)., Vol. XX of OSA Proceedings Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1900), pp. 00-00.

  2. Guidelines for figures, curves and tables
    1. Format of figures of curves
      It is suggested that you use EXCEL or Origin to plot the curves.
      • Numbering: the numbering of the figures should be consecutive in a report. In the text, the figure should be cited as “Figure xxx”. For example, the 5th figure should be written as “Figure 5” anywhere in the report. See the figure example 1 below.
               If a figure consists of several sub-figures, these sub-figures should be numbered by “(a)”, “(b)”, “(c)”, etc. When referring to any sub-figures, it should be written as “Figure 5 (a)”.
                If several figures are referred at the same time, it should be written as “Figures 3 and 5”, “Figures 3-5”, “Figure 3 (a)-(e)”.
      • Caption: the figure caption should be BELOW the figure, WITH punctuation. If the caption is shorter than a full line, it is aligned to the CENTER. Otherwise, it is aligned to both sides. See the figure example 1 below.
      • Size: typical size of the figure is 4 inch ´ 3 inch.
      • Font: In the caption, the figure numbering should be written in Time New Roman 12, bold, upper case. For example, “FIGURE 3”. While the caption description has the same font as the text, commonly Time New Roman 12. See samples below.
                Inside the figure, the font size should be smaller than the text by 1 or 2. In data curves, the axis labels can be Arial 10, the axis values Arial 8, and the legend Arial 9. See the figure examples 1 and 2 below.
      • Color, line type and marker type of the curves: to ensure a nice visual effect in the final print-out (in GRAYSCALE), different line types and marker types should be used if there are more than one curve or group of data. The color should not be too light after printing.
                If a figure has the second axis, the curves should be pointed to their corresponding axes. See the figure example 2 below.

        Figure example 1:

        Figure example 2:

        FIGURE 2 Comparison of the position shifts of the real pivot and virtual pivot at different rotation angles. Pivot shift (a) in the x direction and (b) in the y direction.

    2. Format of tables
      It is suggested that you use EXCEL or the TABLE function in MS WORD.


      • Numbering: the numbering of the table should be consecutive in a report. In the text, the table should be written and cited as “Table xxx”. For example, the 1st table should be written as “Table 1” when cited anywhere in the chapter.
      • Caption: the table caption should be ABOVE the table, WITHOUT punctuation. If the caption is shorter than a full line, it is aligned to the CENTER. Otherwise, it is aligned to both sides.
        The table number in the caption should be upper case and bold.
      • Font in table: Typically, the font size inside the table is recommended to be Arial 10. The titles of columns can be bold. All black.
      • Border lines: The left and right side of the table should be open, the top and bottom lines are solid lines, 1½-pt thick. No line to separate the items. Should have lines (½-pt thick, solid) to separate the columns, and between the column title and the items. All in black.



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About this website

This website has been developed as part of the UGC funded project, "Supporting and developing students’ English literacy practices in the disciplines” which is funded by the University Grants Committee’s Competitive Funding Scheme on Teaching and Learning for the 2012-2015 triennium. This inter-institutional literacy project aims to examine the provision of English literacy across three broad disciplines in Hong Kong tertiary institutes, namely Social Science, Science and Engineering in the participating institutions that include the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Baptist University. The website consists of a comprehensive support system to help provide a stimulating learning environment for students, content and language teachers. It also aims to help teachers become conversant with disciplinary genres and the linguistic and pedagogical resources suitable in a second language learning environment. The resources on this website will be open to and shared by all tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and beyond.