Final Report Layout Guidelines

Considerations Before Beginning
  • Early on, give thought to the visuals that will demonstrate your work and add value to your final report.
  • Carefully consider which software you will use for the document. Common options are Word and Publisher.
  • InDesign should only be used if the majority of your group members have previous experience using it.
Page Layout
  • Your report will be available to the public online and will also be printed. It should be formatted in a way that allows it to easily be printed.
  • Pages must be formatted to be printed on size 8 ½” x 11” paper.
  • Portrait orientation is recommended but landscape is allowed.
  • Page orientation is to remain the same throughout the document.
  • A page layout using two columns throughout is permissible if chosen.
  • Printing equipment typically does not have the capability to print in the last quarter inch of the page margin. Each page is to have at least a .4 margin to accommodate binding.
  • Margins should be consistent throughout the entire report.
  • Font size is 10–12-point for the body of the report.
  • You may use 12-point font for major headings.
  • When referring to your group in the report, avoid use of the words “we”, “us”, “our”, etc.
  • Referring to the group as the “planning team” is an acceptable alternative, yet should only be used minimally in the final report.
Line Spacing
  • Line spacing is single or 1.5
  • Spacing after each paragraph is 6 pt.
Page Numbers
  • Pages numbers before the beginning of chapter 1 should be in lower case Roman numerals.
  • Starting on the first page of first chapter, pages are numbered using Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.).
  • Page numbers may be located in the upper or lower right-hand corner or the bottom center of the page and must be consistent throughout.
  • If the report orientation is landscape, special attention is to be paid to the page numbers in the design layout as the page number location will need to be different on odd and even pages.
Blank Pages

Blank pages are to be labeled, “Page intentionally left blank”.

Page Order
  1. IISC cover page (template on the IISC website)
  2. IISC disclaimer page (included as part of the above template)
  3. Cover page created by the project team (see below)
  4. Acknowledgements
  5. Executive Summary
  6. Table of Contents
  7. List of Tables and List of Figures
  8. Body of the report divided into numbered and labeled sections, parts or chapters. The first is to be an Introduction of the project.
  9. References (Alternatively, use of endnotes at the end of each chapter.)
  10. Appendices
Cover Pages
  1. IISC provides a template for their cover page which includes the IISC "disclaimer” page immediately after it. The disclaimer contains information regarding support for the project, alternate formats available, mandatory antidiscrimination clause, etc.
  2. The team’s cover page design is created by the students. It includes:
  • document title
  • names of student team members
  • month and year of the final report


  • Community coordinators
  • Community project leader
  • Faculty advisors
  • IISC staff
  • Any other contributors
  • SPPA logo
  • IISC logo
  • Community partner's logo(s)
Executive Summary
  • The executive summery contains all the pertinent information needed to understand general findings and recommendations.
  • It summarizes the report in such a way that readers can quickly become acquainted with the report without having to read the entire document.
Table of Contents
  • The Table of Contents page should be numbered in lower-case Roman numerals at the bottom center of the page.
  • Do not include the preliminary pages that come before it.
  • Include the Appendices with the corresponding page numbers.
  • Entries should not run into the page number column.
  • Page numbers should be vertically aligned by the rightmost digit.
  • It will be easier for the reader to navigate the electronic version of the report if the page numbers in the table of contents are formatted to jump directly to that section in your document. (Word has this feature under the References tab.)
List of Tables/List of Figures
  • Create a List of Tables and a List of Figures, if the report contains them.
  • Use the same font and formatting as the table of contents.
  • The List of Tables and List of Figures should have a page number in lower-case Roman numerals at the bottom center of the page.
  • Entries should not run into the page number column.
  • Page numbers should be vertically aligned by the rightmost digit.
Tables and Figures
  • Tables and figures in the body of the report must contain labels and be numbered in consecutive order.
  • Table and figure labels and numbers are to be located outside of the graphic.
  • Double check that when tables/figures are referred to within the text, they are referring to the correct number of the table/figure.
  • Maps are to be consistent throughout. For example, maps are to be in the same projections in GIS, ideally UTM NAD zone 15. However, it is understood that a map created by a source outside of URP may dictate the projection.
  • All maps are to contain a title, the data source with year, a legend, north arrow and scale.
  • High quality photos will enhance the quality of the final report. Groups should take pictures at all community engagement activities for use in the final report, as well as promotion of IISC and URP. Be sure to take some photos of the planning team interacting with community members.
  • The “rule of thirds” is a simple composition technique that can produce visually appealing photos. The “rule of thirds” aligns the subject of the picture with the guidelines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section. Basic cropping and editing of photos can also accomplish this effect and enhance quality.

Image result for rule of thirds

  • Quality photos contain action rather than lone buildings.
  • All photos are to have captions, unless they are clearly a design element of the report.
  • Photos taken by someone other than the authors are to include the source. Permission to use the photo should be obtained from the source.
Finalizing the Report
  • The report contents are to have all been shared with the project partners before the report is finalized. There should be no surprises to the partners when they receive the final document.
  • It is recommended that the report be printed (black and white is fine) and submitted to the IISC director, Travis Kraus, for a design review before it is completed for the final deadline.