Main Body

5.3 Progress Report

A Progress Report captures the project progress made in the past week and outlines the plan for the upcoming week.

While there is no minimum or maximum length, brevity is key. An attempt should be made to keep the progress report to one single-spaced page (extras pages can be added for appendices).

Progress Report

Group Letter – Team Member 1, Team Member 2, … Progress Report #
Instructor – Name, GTA – Name Date

Report of Progress

The Report of Progress informs the reader of what has been done since the last progress report, provides the results and analysis of the activities, and establishes the implications of those results on the rest of the project. Divide into three sections, labeled with subheadings as shown here:


  • Describe what was completed, how, and why. Example: Three different means of braking were tested: coasting to a complete stop, reversing the motors to produce a counter force, and manual braking using a servo motor.

Results and Analysis

  • Summarize and analyze completed work quantitatively and qualitatively.
  • Support your summary with data (use tables and figures as needed).


  • Apply the results to the overall project. Takeaways should be specific notes on how your results will affect your upcoming work.
    • Example: Coasting to a stop is energy efficient, but inconsistent. This method of stopping should be used when the stopping location does not need to be precise.
    • NOTE: It is acceptable to format Takeaways as a bulleted list.

Future Work

This section informs the reader of what will be done in the upcoming phase and how it will be completed.


  • Describe the next tasks to be completed. How and why will they be completed?

Upcoming Goals

  • Discuss goals for the upcoming tasks. Goals should be complete, specific, measurable, and reasonable. Example: Compare three different styles of check valves to minimize backflow and increase flow rate, determined by which design requires the smallest sample to fill the detection well.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Organize major tasks for the next phase. Who will complete specific tasks?
  • See Managing Project Communications for more information about creating a project schedule


Create a new appendix for each category of content.

  • Title each appendix using the format Appendix A: Descriptive Title. For example, a progress report might contain the appendices:
    • Appendix A: Design Sketches
    • Appendix B: Solidworks Drawings
    • Appendix C: Code
    • Appendix D: Team Meetings
  • Arrange appendices in the order in which they are referenced within your summary. Every appendix must be referenced within the document.
  • Start figure and table labels at 1 in each appendix. Each numeric label will be preceded by the appendix letter and a period with no spaces (e.g., A.1, or B.3) . Labels should be formatted as described in Using Graphics and Visuals Effectively.
  • Organize and format each appendix neatly. Appendices should not be storage for messy or extraneous information.
  • Place any necessary figures and tables in an appendix. Executive summaries should not have figures and tables within the summary. It is acceptable to choose the most important content to limit the figures and tables to 1-2 pages.


Additional Resources

The Mayfield Handbook of Technical and Scientific Writing: Progress ReportsĀ 
USC Research Guides: Appendices


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Fundamentals of Engineering Technical Communications Copyright © by Leah Wahlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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