/Technical Report Format
Technical Report Format2017-05-31T13:40:17+00:00

Technical Report Format


Technical reports should include the following:
(Your title, name, and technical report number must fit inside the box shown on the title page.)

Title of Thesis
Author’s Name

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Robotics.

The Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213

Month and Year


Sponsor information (if any)
Restrictions (if applicable)

This is a technical summary of the entire report, written ideally in a single paragraph. It states precisely and briefly, the purpose of the report, work done, and conclusions reached.


TABLE OF CONTENTS (odd-numbered page)

LIST OF FIGURES (odd-numbered page)

LIST OF TABLES (odd-numbered page)

The first page of the body of the report is an odd number.



Font size 10 or higher; page numbers placed accordingly keeping in mind binding and stapling (even numbers / left side; odd numbers / right side).


Typing or printing should be on one side only. The left margins should be ample for binding (1 1/2″ minimum) and all other margins should allow for the trimming that accompanies binding and the possibility of future rebinding (1″ is recommended). Illustrations should have the same margins.


Illustrations (tables, diagrams, pictures, etc.) should have the same margins as text. Since your technical report will be reproduced in black and white, lines on graphs should be identified by labels or symbols rather than colors.


When the context calls for a comma at the end of material enclosed in quotation marks, parentheses, or brackets, the comma should be placed inside the quotation marks, but outside the parentheses or brackets.

Note numbers in the text follow any punctuation marks (except a dash), and are placed outside a closing parenthesis. Wherever possible, a footnote number should come at the end of a sentence, or at least at the end of a clause.


Citations must be referenced as a [number] in the text or by the [author date] system, and when at the end of a sentence, are followed by a period.

The basic reference in the author-date system consists of the last name of an author and the year of publication of the work with no punctuation between them. Two or more references given together are separated by semicolons.


An illustration should be placed as close as possible to the first reference to it, or after that point — but not before it.

A title, or caption, set above the body of the table should identify the table briefly.

Text figures frequently carry legends only, especially in scientific writing. A legend is an explanation, sometimes in title form but more commonly in the form of a statement and consisting of one or more sentences. An identifying tag, functionally a caption, is often used but set as if it were part of the legend.

Each figure should bear its own number. Even though figures are printed side by side and are to be compared, it is preferred that they be numbered separately — figure 37 and figure 38 (not figures 37a and 37b).

“Fig. 1” is commonly so abbreviated when a caption or legend follows. If no caption or legend is used with the figure, Figure 1 may be spelled out.


“That is”, “Namely”, and similar expressions. A comma is usually used after such expressions as that is, namely, i.e., and e.g. The punctuation preceding such expressions should be determined by the magnitude of the break in continuity. If the break is minor, a comma should be used. If the break is greater than that signaled by a comma, a semicolon or an em dash may be used, or the expression and the element it introduces may be enclosed in parentheses.