Guidelines for the Presentation of Seminar and Project Report

This document may be used for the preparation of seminar and project reports associated with the following academic programmes: B.Tech., M.Tech. (including, Dual Degree / V- yr. M.Tech.) and Ph.D.. It does not cover progress reports such as the Ph.D. research progress reports. For the preparation of progress reports the relevant guidelines, issued separately should be consulted. However, some material in this document may be of use in the preparation of any technical report.

1) Interaction with your Guide

It is recommended that you meet your guide regularly during the course of the seminar/project, though ultimately the form of this interaction depends on both of you. You should maintain a record notebook/file where you can include a record of your discussions with your guide, literature survey details, derivations etc. Such a system will allow easy and quick access to the details and chronology of your work.

You should submit report drafts as and when requested by your guide.

The final responsibility for producing an error-free report lies with you, and not your guide.

2) Submission

The bound copies of your report should be submitted within the given deadline to the designated person. Late submission may not be acceptable; If allowed, it will necessarily invite a penalty which may be reflected in your grade.

Make sure that the acceptance certificate in your report is signed by your guide before you make the final submission of the report.

Requirements: Please see Table 1. 

3) Format


 It is mandatory to use plain A4 sized sheets, 70 to 90 gsm (16 to 20 pounds), smooth finish - the type of paper that is used for good photocopying. All material should be typed in double spacing. The recommended margins are 25 mm (1 inch) for top, bottom, right and left with an extra 13 mm (0.5 inch) for binding on the left. Other than page numbers, no material should intrude into these margins. The SI system of units should be used as far as possible. If non-SI units are the norm in the field, an addendum to the nomenclature must be given, identifying these units and giving conversion factors for translation to the SI units.


The total number of pages in the report, including figures, tables but excluding the preliminary pages, references and appendices should not exceed the limits specified in Table 1. (Caution : These are upper limits. Avoid writing a report which is artificially fattened ! Do not waste pages. Use space optimally).

Your guide / co-guide may require you to incorporate additional material (e.g. derivations, procedures, computer code listings etc.), which may be placed as appendices. These will not count in the total page count as per the specified page limits. Such matter can be placed only in the guide's copy provided this arrangement is approved by the guide, else these appendices should be appear in all the copies.


The top page of your report should carry the following information in printed form or handwritten in neat block letters:

Softbound reports should have transparent cover and:

B. Tech./M.Tech./Ph.D. Seminar/Project
Title of Seminar/Project
Name of Student
Roll Number
Panel Number
Initials of Guide
Copy for: [Guide/Internal Examiner/External/Chairperson]
Date of submission

Hardbound reports should have the following printed/embossed on the cover:

Title of Project
Name of Student
IIT address

and on the spine:

B.Tech Project/M.Tech Dissertation/Ph.D. Thesis
Name of Student

See appendix IA and IB for sample formats.


These are constituted, in the given order, by:

Title page
Certification page
Table of Contents
List of Figures and Tables

Each of these should commence on a fresh page. The preliminary pages should be numbered in small case roman numerals which should appear at the centre on the bottom.

Title page - see appendix II for a sample format.

Certification page -see appendix III for a sample format.

Acknowledgement - please keep this brief and resist the temptation of writing flowery prose! Do include all those who helped you, e.g. other faculty / staff you consulted, colleagues who assisted etc.

Abstract - the abstract must contain the context/relevance of the problem at hand, a description of what was done and a gist of the significant observations/results. This should not exceed one page and should usually be one paragraph.

Table of Contents - see appendix IV for a sample format.

List of Figures and Tables - sample entries are given below:

List of Figures

Figure No.
Caption / Title
Page No.
2.1 Schematic representation of a double layered droplet . . . 21  . . .     3.2 Variation in rate versus concentration . . . 32

List of Tables - sample entries are given below:

List of Tables

Table No.
Caption / Title
Page No.
2.1 Thickness of a double layered droplet . . . 22  . . .     3.2 Variation in rate versus concentration . . . 34

Nomenclature - All symbols that appear in the report should be listed alphabetically. First give all roman symbols, then Greek symbols.  Order: ascii ordering, to the extent possible.  Subscripts and superscripts should be listed separately if these are not an intrinsic part of the variable name. Some sample entries are shown below:


Name and Units
First used on Page No.
A area of a double layered droplet, m2 . . . 22 a  interfacial area, m2   k rate constant, s-1 . . . 34 kp partition coefficient , dimensionless   ki rate constant for reaction between the diffusant and the immobilized reactant, s-1   i  refers to point on the space grid   s  denotes saturation  

        Note the ordering sequence : Upper case symbols followed by small case ones; superscripted variables followed by subscripted ones and these should be preceded by unscripted variables. Avoid subscripts / superscripts that are more than two letters long and do not separate the letters by a ","; also kpx should follow kp in the nomenclature. In the text, if you have used a symbol such as Vai where i refers to a running index (identifying, for instance a particular location or time), enter the symbol Va in the nomenclature and enter i in the list of subscripts.

The addendum page showing conversion factors for non-SI units should be formatted as under:

Quantity/Symbol       fps multiply by to    get in  SI         volume/v ft3 0.0283 m3 temperature/T  oF (T-32)*(5/9)   oc


It is mandatory that you divide the report into chapters each of which may be structured into sections (1.1, 1.2) and sub-sections (1.2.1, 1.2.2). Do not exceed this level of sectioning. The sections and sub-sections must carry titles. If possible, try and use different fonts for section titles and sub-section titles.

Each chapter should commence with a chapter number and title. The text should begin on the same page with 3 blank lines between the last line of the chapter title and the first line of your text material. Keep 1 blank line between the chapter number and the title. Adjust the chapter number and the title to fall in the center of the page and use bold, upper case fonts. The appendices, if any, may be numbered in upper case, Roman numerals (I,II etc.).

All pages, including figures and tables, should be numbered; the page numbers should appear at the top , right corner, except for the first page of a chapter, where these should appear at centre of the bottom of the page. The actual page numbering will commence from the first page of chapter 1.

Figures should be numbered sequentially with respect to each chapter. For instance, Fig. 3.2 will be the second figure of the third chapter. A similar numbering style should be adopted for tables.

Figures and tables should be complete in all respects (legends, number, caption/title, reference (if any), coordinate labels with units). Experimental data should typically be represented by centered symbols, while theoretical data by continuous curves in figures. See appendix V and VI for sample formats of figures and tables. A figure should not be smaller than what will fit into half a page (i.e. the drawing itself + 25 mm blank band surrounding it on all sides; space occupied by the caption/title is not included in this). The caption and number for figures should be placed at the bottom of the figure, while those for tables at the top.

Figures and tables should appear as close as possible to their first occurrence/mention in the running text of the chapter these belong to; these must appear after the first mention and not before. Each figure / table should be on a separate page by itself.

Photographs should be treated as being equivalent to figures, with the caption being placed at the bottom of the photograph. Photocopies of photographs are not acceptable.

All equations should be numbered in a similar manner as the figures and tables. For example, equation 3.4 will be the fourth equation in Chapter 3. You may write the equations by hand but make sure that these are written properly and neatly. Do not use a pencil to write equations. Present equations in dimensionless form, wherever possible and appropriate.

All symbols should be explained the first time these appear in the text. For example,

"Particles of diameter, D,  settle with a velocity given by,

where, V is the settling velocity, k is a system parameter which depends upon the viscosity of the liquid and the index n represents the extent of non-linearity in the system. The second term (v) in eq.(3.1) gives the fluctuating component of the velocity, V."

When dealing with numbers use only the appropriate/correct number of digits. It is ridiculous to mention values of rates to the sixth decimal place when your measurements cannot go beyond, say, the third place.

When displaying computer code listings (usually in an appendix) please ensure that these contain appropriate comment statements so that the code can be understood easily. It is always desirable to have a high degree of similarity between the variables names / symbols that you have used in the report and those which appear in the code (e.g. D and  and RHO etc.).


IN TEXT: use the (author, year) format - see extract below

The values of thermal conductivities for a variety of substances have been reported by Varma (1982). For polymers, however, the information is more limited and some recent reviews have attempted to fill the gaps (Batchelor and Shah, 1985).


For two authors -

        (Batchelor and Kapur, 1985)

For more than two authors -

        (Batchelor et al., 1986)

By same author/combination of authors in the same year -

        (Batchelor, 1978a; Batchelor, 1978b; Batchelor et al., 1978)


Use standard journal abbreviations. The correct abbreviation may be located from the respective journal itself. Do not number the references. Print them one after the other, in alphabetical order of the names of the first author, with one blank line in between each entry. The second and subsequent lines of each reference should be indented towards the right by about 6 blank spaces. Typical formats are given below.

Journal articles: -

David, A.B., Pandit, M.M. and Sinha, B.K., 1991, "Measurement of
      surface viscosity by tensiometric methods", Chem. Engng Sci.47,

Books: -

Doraiswamy, L.K. and Sharma, M.M., 1984, "Heterogeneous Reactions-
      Vol 1", Wiley, New York, pp 89-90.

Edited books/Compilations/Handbooks: -

Patel, A.B., 1989, "Liquid -liquid dispersions", in Dispersed Systems
      Handbook, Hardy, L.C. and Jameson, P.B. (Eds.), McGraw Hill,
      Tokyo, pp 165-178.

Lynch, A.B. (Ed.), 1972, "Technical Writing", Prentice Hall, London.

Theses/Dissertations: -

Pradhan, S.S., 1992, "Hydrodynamic and mass transfer characteristics
      of packed extraction columns", Ph.D. Thesis, University of
      Manchester, Manchester, U.K..

Citations from abstracts: -

Lee, S. and Demlow, B.X., 1985, US Patent 5,657,543, Cf C.A. 56,

Personal Communications: -

Reddy, A.R., 1993, personal communication at private meeting on
      22 October 1992 at Physics Department, Indian Institute of
      Technology, Delhi.

Electronic  sources (web material and the like):

For citing web pages and electronic documents, use the APA style given at:

Whereever possible, use the author style (as expalined above) to cite such internet references in the text. When a author is not known, use the institution, or use a standard keword such as WebRef1, WebRef2, ... WebRefN. Also see:


The material should be placed and bound in the following order:

Top Sheet of transparent plastic

Top Cover

Preliminary Pages

Chapters (Main material)

Appendices, if any

References/Bibliography (consolidated, from main text and appendices)

Evaluation Form (one copy) (please see Appendix VIII)

Back cover (blank sheet)

Back Sheet of plastic: may be opaque or tranparent

Do not use spiral binding for reports. Use soft binding for most reports, e.g., seminar reports, RPC reports, and "first submission versions" of final BTP, MTP, DD, PhD, Etc reports. Final submission versions of BTP, MTP, PhD reports (thesis, actually) must be hard bound as per established styles for each.

Please maintain consistent tense in your report. Do not keep flipping between past and present tense. It has been the norm to use the passive voice ("was done") in technical writing. However, the active voice ("we did") is increasingly being accepted. If you wish to use the active voice be sure to obtain your guide's consent. Pay attention to detail and accuracy. Be clear, but concise !

Please make a sincere effort to weed out typographical errors. Remember that these mistakes will cost you marks and may even earn you a re-submission. If you have become tired of reading your report over and over again and suspect that this fatigue will cause you to overlook typos and grammatical mistakes get a friend to help you out (perhaps you can also provide similar help in reciprocation).



The technical reports that you would be writing will pertain to (i)seminars, (ii)research projects and (iii)deisgn projects. A brief idea of what is generally expected in each of these is outlined below [material enclosed in square brackets pertains to an example {curly brackets enclose the section of the report this material must be put in}. The grade that you obtain will depend upon how far you meet these expectations.

Seminar :

(i) exhaustive survey of literature based on a clear definition of the scope and focus of the topic [Title: Process control of aerobic fermentors/ scope: aerobic fermentors/ focus: process control] {literature survey};

(ii) development of a theme or a unifying or classification scheme within which this literature can be reviewed and discussed cogently [classification scheme: according to the type of control, i.e. feedback, adaptive, model based etc.] {literature survey};

(iii) critical analysis of selected studies from the literature which includes pointing out lack of or deficiency of data or information in the literature, comments on the validity of data or assumptions in theory and models, comparison of data or models, inconsistencies [adaptive control is more suited to a particular class of fermentations, model given by X is better than that given by Y and why it is so] {main material};

(iv) summary of salient observations and trends, scope and desirability of further work in the area of review, implications on related fields, applications [adaptive strategies form the largest class, these are most successful and commercially followed] {conclusions};

(v) the above described requirements are essential to a seminar. In addition to this, you should seriously assess the possibility of making active theoretical contributions such as extending a model to include more cases, re-doing a derivation with changed assumptions and so on. This type of work is not essential in a seminar but nevertheless, highly desirable [for the situation discussed by X a modified model is developed with justifications] {main material and results and discussion}.

Research :

(i) literature survey of related work with a clear identification of gaps in the literature and the justification and desirability of undertaking the study [Title : Heat transfer correlations in annular flow] {literature survey};

(ii) theory / model equations including method of solution. This section may also contain a detailed rebuttal of some previous study [details of how a corrrelation developed earlier is incorrect, energy balances for the flow situation, velocity profile from a previous study, non-dimensionalisation equations solved by Crank-Nicolson method] {main material};

(iii) experiment / design of experiments, description of equipment and materials, methods of analysis. This section may include a critique of some previous experimental work [equipment diagram for annular flow with probes and control elements accompanied by a textual description, sequence of experiments, calculation of output variables such as the heat transfer coefficient] {main material};

(iv) salient observations on the results you have obtained such as the relationships between different variables and parameters, unusual trends, interpretations of the observed trends, comparison between theory and experiment, comparison with previous literature, limitations, justification of prior assumptions made, inconsistencies [heat transfer coefficient goes up with flow rate and decreases with viscosity, and wall material has no effect on it, physical arguments from the non-dimensional equations explaining the effects, reasonable agreement between measured and predicted values of the heat transfer coefficient, limitations of the operating temperature range] {results and discussion};

(v) summary of salient observations and trends, how the study filled some gaps in the literature, scope and desirability of further work on the problem, applications, potential areas [effect of wall material is not important for the given configuration, high viscosity range had not been covered before, work required on a larger temperature range] {conclusions}.

Design :

(i) literature survey of related processes or of similar simulation studies on identical or similar equipment [Title : Design of a 1000 tpd urea plant starting with carbon dioxide and ammonia as feedstock with a detailed design of the urea reactor / survey of commercial flowsheets for urea plants] {literature survey};

(ii) choosing a flowsheet and the detailed equipment diagram accompanied by a textual description [flowsheet of the ICI process was chosen along with a detailed sketch of the urea reactor} {main material};

(iii) survey of data and information sources for obtaining thermodynamic, kinetic, transport properties etc. [heat capacities of the flow streams, reaction rate constants, heat and mass transfer correlations] {main material};

(iv) material and energy balances and preliminary sizing of all major units in the process [equipment by equipment calculation of enthalpies, concentrations, temperatures etc at the inlet and outlet and estimate of unit sizes] {main material};

(v) design or model equations for the detailed design part and method of solution [species balances for the urea reactor, energy balance, to be solved using Newton-Raphson technique for non-linear equations] {main material};

(vi) design outputs such as sizes and conditions as well as the relationship of selected output variables (for the detailed design part) as a function of operating parameters, interpretation of the trends, limitations of the procedure [the estimated sizes of all units in the flowsheet, size of the reactor as a function of catalyst concentration and the intensity of stirring] {results and discussion};

(vii) economic feasibilty studies, comparison with commercial experience [calculation of the payack period and other relevant economic indices] {results and discussion};

(viii) salient observations and identification of the primary variables which affect design, computational problems and the nature of the model equations [reactor size is highly dependent on the catalyst concentration, intensity of stirring must be maintained beyond a critical value] {conclusions}.

If the report refers to progress in a particular period of your work (e.g. last six months) then this must be clearly brought out in your report including a summary of what was done in the preceding period and what is to be done in the next phase. The bulk of your material should, however, refer to the work done during the period in question.


It is recommended that the contents of the report be structured into the following categories/chapters. You may adopt a different way of organizing the material with the consent of your guide. You will notice that there is a rough correspondence between the expectations outlined above for the different types of documents and the structure given below. However, the emphasis on the various aspects is different for each type of report.


* Statement of the problem/objective/topic; its relevance.

* Brief description of the structure and location of contents of the report.

Literature Survey:

* Should be as exhaustive as possible.

* Primarily, you should discuss previous studies which specifically pertain to the problem/topic at hand.

* Attempt to minimize referring to work which is indirectly related to your topic. Avoid making forced connections and do not try to cram in irrelevant references.

* The last part of this section must contain a brief mention of the gaps in the literature and a justification for undertaking your study/project.

Main Material:

* A detailed report of previous studies, if necessary (do not make this sound as if this is your work. Cite references properly at appropriate locations). Attempt to understand the material that you incorporate from various references. In a seminar, such a review will form the major portion of the main material.

* Do not restrict your references to the literature survey chapter only.

* Do not copy word for word from published literature.

* Presentation of your contributions should include formulation, derivations, description of experimental set-up, experimental data/measurements, design calculations etc. For an experimental investigation, raw data must be available (preferably in an appendix). For a project involving software development, user's manual, programmer's manual, source code diskette/listing must be available. User's and programmer's manuals are considered to be separate documents, distinct from your report and are therefore not included within the specified page limits. As mentioned previously, these could form appendices. In a seminar, it is unlikely that you would have made an active or original contribution (this is not necessarily true - one can contribute in an active sense by correcting a derivation, extending an existing analysis to a different situation etc.) so that in such a case this material on your contribution may be very small or may not be necessary.

* Ensure that sufficient details are provided for anyone to reproduce your work.

* Do not be too general. Avoid writing essays on historical developments.


* If there are too many aspects to be covered then organize them in a logical manner.


* State these clearly, in point-wise form if necessary, with respect to the original objective.

* Do not disguise "descriptions" of specific aspects, covered in the work as conclusions. For instance,"a correlation has been developed for estimation of heat transfer coefficients for annular flow..." is NOT a conclusion whereas "the heat transfer coefficient in annular flow does not depend on the wall material" is a valid conclusion.

Use appendices to describe anything that breaks the regular flow of your report such as, sample calculations, estimates of properties, numerical details etc.

It is advisable to read the contents of "Instruction to Authors" pages from a few professional journals to get a good idea of how to structure a typical report, especially a research report.



Please seeTable 1.

It is a good idea to have a mock presentation with the help of your friends. Do not expect your guide to be involved with this effort. You should attempt to organize this on your own.


Remember more talks are ruined due to poor slides than for any other reason ! So, design and prepare your slides carefully !

It is a good practice to title every OHP which reflects the theme of the material contained in it. Use reasonably sized letters (preferably, upper case) so that a viewer can read the material comfortably.

Never prepare a highly cluttered or a densely packed OHP in an attempt to retain everything on it. Remember OHPs are an aid to presentation and not an extract from a printed text for you to read out.

Also remember that you have only a limited number of OHPs to display. Use this area judiciously so do not waste space.

Do not produce slanted text on the transparencies - write straight. Write legibly and neatly. If you are not upto this feat get a friend to write it out for you or else use stencils /wordprocessors. Try and use different colored pens effectively (however, do not use yellow colored pens).

Do not write long running sentences on an OHP nor mix many sentences - put points or keywords.

Avoid presenting photocopied matter unless absolutely necessary. If you do, then make sure that the reproduction is decent sized and that it is not faint.

Try and put more graphics on the OHP as compared to text, since for a viewer this is the easiest and fastest to comprehend. Use within 150 mm x 225 mm of area. Use one size (A4) for the OHP sheet.

Avoid too many equations since these require considerable effort to understand for the audience. Resist the temptation of "impressing" the viewers with high powered greek and latin ! In any case, skip all intermediate steps of a derivation and focus only on the problem formulation and the final equations / solutions. Also, do not waste space defining terms/symbols on the OHP.

Do not have a transparency that is larger than what will fit on the projector. Do not move or adjust the transparency while it is is being projected. If you have to use an OHP more than once during your presentation, at different points in time, make multiple copies rather than trying to fumble and find the one that you want, under a heap of OHPs.


Speak clearly and evenly (avoid elocutionary postures). Your speech must be audible enough so that it does not seem like a general murmur.

Punctuate your speech properly; bring out the emphasis clearly. Do not drone on monotonously. Remember those lectures when you went off to sleep in the classroom ! Do not speak too fast.

Avoid referring to material that you do not fully comprehend. You may land yourself in serious trouble if someone decides to quiz you on such a topic.

Do not recite by heart (avoid memorizing your talk) nor read off from the OHP as if you are reading a text book.

Answer questions directly. Do not beat around the bush. If you do not know the answer acknowledge gracefully without display of unnecessary aggression. If you have not understood a question please say so; request for it to be rephrased. In any case do not be insolent - keep quiet to get out of an awkward situation.

End your talk with a thank you.


Table 1

Table 1: Details of limits pertaining to seminar and project reports for various academic programmes

Report for Page limit Presentation
time limit(min) Question &Answer(min) Suggested no. of OHPs  aNo. of (Type) copies BTS 30 10 15 5-10 3(softbound) BTPI 30 10 15 5-10 3(softbound) BTPII 60 15 15 6-12 4(soft)+1(hard) MTS 40 10 15 6-12 3(softbound) MT MiniP 10b informal  / guide nil 2(filed)* MTPI 30 15 15 6-12 3(softbound) MTPII 10 10 10 5-10 3(filed)* MTPIII 120 20 20 10-15 4(softbound)** Ph.D.S 60 20 30 10-15 4(soft bound) Ph.D.Th  guide 30 30 15-25 5(softbound)**

a add n copies for n copies for n co-guides
bpreliminary pages are not required.

* may be handwritten; follow norms for softbound reports for top cover. ** will have to be converted to hardbound after examination.


M. Tech. Project
Roll Number : 78002045
Panel Number : 4
Guide : MCR
Copy for: Internal Examiner : NCD
Date of submission: November 1, 1991




Department of Chemical Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay 400 076




Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of

the Requirements for the Degree of






(Roll no. 78002045)

BOMBAY 400 076



Department of Chemical Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay

The project report entitled "Process Control of Aerobic Fermentors" submitted by Mr. Vinay Ramachandran (Roll No. 78002045) may be accepted for being evaluated.

Date: November 20, 1991                                                 Signature

(Name of guide)

For Faculty:

If you choose not to sign the acceptance certificate above, please

indicate reasons for the same from amongst those given below:

(i) the amount of time and effort put in by the student is not sufficient;

(ii) the amount of work put in by the student is not adequate;

(ii) the report does not represent the actual work that was done / expected to be done;

(iv) any other objection (please elaborate):





Table 3.3: Rate of Reaction versus Broth Temperature at various pressures. Data used: A = 2.0 x 105s-1, CA= 1 mol/m3.

 P(KPa)   Ta ( K )   RA*107(Kmol/m3)   Remarks  100 300                      345                      375 5.00                    8.30                    10.2 broth very viscous phase seperation trasparent mixture 200 312                     337                     365 6.30                    7.25                    8.13 two phases           decomposition  observed

ameasured by thermocouple-in-well method

(note that for tables that cannot fit breadthwise and are fitted lengthwise, the table must begin from the binding spine towards the outer edge of the paper)



(To be filled by the appropriate evaluator only)


Name of Candidate :
Roll No :

I. For use by Guide/Internal Ex./External Ex. ONLY

Please tick:


(Coverage, Organization, Critical review)

(Quality, Quantity)


(Clarity, Exhaustive)

(Clear, Structured)

(Readable, Adequate)

Overall, should the candidate be given a fail grade : Yes/No

Suggest an overall grade:



*Note: An 8 point scale is used for grading. The abbreviations used are as follows: O= outstanding (100), E= excellent (90), VG= very good (80), G= good (70), F= fair (60), S= satisfactory (50), P= poor (40), R= rejected (30 or below).

II. For use by Chairperson ONLY

1.Presentation started at --- ended at ---
Duration of presentation was:

2.Report is submitted in correct format:

3.Quality of slides/OHPs was satisfactory: Yes/No

4.Candidate spoke clearly: Yes/No