What Goes Into… An Excavation Report

I’m currently writing up an excavation report for Tell Timai, but having written nothing but scientific reports lately, I forgot how to write an excavation report. Lucky I kept my notes from undergrad. Here’s a summary of what different publications do or don’t have in common.

Section Explanation Journal Article Excavation Report Scientific Report Book Chapter Thesis Poster Presentation
Title 25 words or less, which captures the reader’s attention and summarises the work done. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Authors People who made the work possible apart from you, they don’t necessarily have to have written any of the publication. Can be a political minefield. Y N Y Y N Y Y
Abstract 250 words or less, a summary of the work done. One sentence to summarise each section of the publication Y N Y N Y N Y
Table of Contents   N Y Y N Y N N
List of Figures Everything is a figure unless it is a table. Pictures, maps, photos, diagrams etc. N Y Y N Y N N
List of Tables   N Y Y N Y N N
Acknowledgements Everyone who helped but isn’t an author. Also funding bodies. Can also be before references. Y Y Y N Y Y Y
Introduction Can incorporate Previous Research and Aims Y Y Y N Y Y Y
Previous Research To show that your contribution was necessary, timely and is new. Y N Y N Y Y Y
Aims Dot points Y Y Y N Y Y Y
Materials   Y N Y N Y Y Y
Methods   Y N Y N Y Y Y
Results A summary of your findings. Think about presenting as tables or graphs for easy visualisation. Don’t interpret the results. Y N Y N Y Y Y
Discussion No figures. Just discuss and interpret what was presented in Results. Y Y Y N Y Y Y
Conclusion A summary of the work done and the findings. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Definitions Either for terminology or eg. size of sieve used, all measurements taken in mm, all photos facing N. N Y Y N Y N N
Bibliography All works cited. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Further Reading Works consulted but not cited in the text N N N Y N N N
Appendices Things that are important, but too big for the body of the text, and not necessary to understand the interpretation. Y Y Y N Y N N

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