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Departments & Programs


Writing MS Reports

Writing MS Reports

Roland N. Horne
Department of Petroleum Engineering

General Style Issues

• You did the work (past tense), Figure 2, Section 3 shows the work (present tense).
• Figure 1, Section 2 etc. are proper names, they must be capitalized.
•  Do not use don’t.
•  To go boldly, where no man has gone before. (Adverb placement, not"to boldly go").

More Style Issues

  • Numbers one through ten are written as words, numbers 11, 12 etc. are written as numerals, except when accompanied by a unit in which case numerals are always used (e.g. 1 second).


  • Nonwords are not hyphenated. Nonlinear, multiphase, pseudopressure are correct. Non-linear, re-injection multi-component are incorrect.
  • Single-phase fluids flow as a single phase.
  • We shut in the well, and then it is a shut-in well.

Run-On Sentences

  • It is incomprehensible.
  • The report from Stanford uses a run-on sentence. It is incomprehensible.
  • This is not a run-on sentence, it is comprehensible.
  • Run-on sentences are incomprehensible.

Still More Style Issues

  • Every equation, figure, and table must have a number.
  • The figure"above" may be below on the previous page, or it may be one of 237 figures above. Use the number, it is unambiguous. Don’t use above and below.

It is all about STYLE

stylish ladies

Word Vagaries

• Always use styles. If you ever change a font yourself, you are probably doing it wrongly.
• Never Paste, only Paste Special.
Paste as Picture.
• Don't "float over text".
• Never use Word Drawings (rectangles, lines etc.) as they move independently. Draw your drawings in PowerPoint, then paste them (yes, as pictures!).