Organisational Patterns

Organisational patterns of a final group project report

Sometimes your lecturer/instructor will give you guidelines on what you need to include in your final group project report. At other times, you may just receive a topic and may have to decide the best the organisation pattern yourselves.


A final group project report may contain the following sections:

  • Title page
    • Include the basic information of the project report: the institution's name, the title/topic, the subject/course name (or, programme/department name), the students’/group members’ name (including the student number if appropriate), the lecturer’s/instructor’s name, and the date of submission
  • Abstract (optional)
    • Give a one- to two-paragraph summary of the contents (i.e. the goal and aim of the project study, the adopted methods, the analyses, key findings and results, the main points of discussion, and the implications of the project study)
  • Introduction
    • Define the term/topic in one or two sentences
    • Introduce the topic by mentioning the current trends or previous studies related to the topic
    • State the aim and focus of the project
  • Methodology
    • Describe the sources of data and the details of data collection
    • Describe the analytical methods adopted for data analysis, and explain the reasons why they are suitable

Note: Showing the steps of applying an analytical method to the data analysis is acceptable as long as a concise and precise description for each step is provided.

  • Data analysis, key findings and results
    • Report the data analysis, and describe the key findings and results in one of the following ways:
      • Data-group by data-group
      • Analytical method by analytical method
      • Key finding by key finding
    • Use box plots/graphs/charts/tables or sets of formulas to help synthesise and present the key findings and results.
    • Add textual descriptions/accounts/captions to describe each box plot/graph/chart/table or set of formulas
      • A closer connection between graphics and texts helps your elaboration as well as readers’ understanding of your points.

Note: State the most significant and important item first, followed by the second most significant and important item, etc.

  • Discussion (may be combined with the preceding or the following section)
    • Based on your observation of patterns in findings and results, give possible explanations (why things happen), inferences (what these imply), and/or implications (what future effects there may be) towards them
    • Hedge (use tentative language) when you are not certain of your explanations, inferences, and/or implications

Note: Making a clear distinction between the three sections - Results, Discussion and Conclusion - can increase the overall clarity of the project report.

  • Conclusion
    • Summarise the key findings and results of the study
    • Evaluate the most crucial limitations of the study, and suggest improvements
    • State your expectations or implications for potential future works/studies of the same topic.
  • References and citations
    • Read the assignment guidelines or check with your lecturer/instructor for the requirements of references and citations
    • Put the Reference List after the Conclusion and before the Appendices
    • Include every in-text reference in the Reference List. Do not put any references in the reference list that cannot be found or are not cited/used in the main text
    • Use the American Statistical Association (ASA) style which is recommended for Applied Mathematics assignments at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
  • Appendices (optional)
    • Put into the appendices any detailed figures or tables that are not necessary for your analyses, description and explanation in the main text
      • This avoids disturbing readers’ flow of reading while providing them with further details of figures if they want to check them.
  • Other formatting requirements
    • Read the assignment guidelines or check with your lecturer/instructor for other requirements of formatting style.  For instance, the use and style of (sub-)headings, word limit, section length (especially sections with figures/box plots/charts/graphs/tables), appendices, font, line spacing, and margins etc.

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