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WAC / Engineering & Technology

Tips for Writing a Monthly Summary Report

A monthly summary report for an Electricity class has various purposes. It helps the student keep track of what she or he has learned, and it helps the teacher know if the students undertstand the material. It also gives you a chance to make the connections between your theoretical/book knowledge and your practical experiences and applications.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you write up your monthly summary report:

  1. Make a list of all the things that you have done this month.
  2. Look over the list and decide on a logical order for your points.  You have two basic choices: organize it chronologically (in the order that things happened) or by topic. If you organize by topic, you would have one paragraph on each topic that you covered that month, and you would discuss theoretical and practical things that relate to that topic in the same paragraph. For instance, you might have a paragraph on what you did with designing, another paragraph on what you did with installing, and so on.
  3. Put your list into correct order based on the logical method you have selected.
  4. Turn each point in your list into a sentence.  This is the topic sentence for each paragraph. Put it at the start of the paragraph.
  5. Look back over your notes and books and put in specific details to show exactly what you did that month.
  6. Read over what you have written and take a moment to think about the big picture:  What were the main points that you learned?  What were your major accomplishments? 
  7. Take these “big picture” ideas and summarize them in a few sentences.  This is your conclusion to your paper.
  8. Print out the paper.
  9. Read through it once looking for big things to change, such as order of information, information your forgot, or sentences that aren’t clear.  Change these things and print the paper out again.
  10. Now edit the paper.  Read it out loud, slowly, or have a friend read it out loud to you.  Mark the sentences that sound bad.  After you are finished reading it out loud, go back and fix all the sentences that you didn’t like.

Click here for a sample monthly summary report from Professor James' class.  Notice how the student organizes the paper chronologically, by week.