Case Study - Dangerous Discrepancies

Jun 21st, 2015
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Herbert McMurtry, the general manager of the Hotel Commodore, convened a 10:00 A.M. meeting with the hotel's front office manager, executive housekeeper, and chief engineer. Mr. McMurtry was frustrated because that morning's report revealed six vacant rooms charged to guests who had already left a day or two earlier, an error that has become too common.

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The following is a useful excerpt from A Guide to Writing as an Engineer by David Beer and David McMurrey. WRITING AN ENGINEERING REPORT As an engineer, you may often become involved in projects for which you must write reports. Engineering reports have specifications just as do the other sorts of projects you work on. Specifications for reports involve the layout of the report, the organization and content of the sections, the format of the headings and the lists, the design of the graphics, and so on. In fact, the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) has defined and published specifications for engineering reports entitled Scientific and Technical Reports: Organization , Preparation, and Production. The following discussion is based on those guidelines. The advantage of having such a required structure and format is that when you or any other professional engineer picks up a report, it will be designed in a familiar way - you will know what to look for and where to look for it. Reports are usually read in a hurry - people are in a hurry to get to the information they need, the key facts, the conclusions, and other such essentials. That is another reason why there is a standard format for reports. When you write your first engineering report, you may be struck by how repetitive some of the sections seem. The apparent duplication has to do with how professional engineers read reports. They don't read reports straight through: they may start in the middle, skip

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