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Work Term Reports - General Information

Submitted by gwpolak on Tue, 06/19/2007 - 2:22pm

The guidelines below are for Work Term Report options that are available for students in Spring/Summer 2012 placements. In succeeding semesters (Fall 2012 and forward) students will be required to completed a Reflective Analysis Report.


Co-operative Education students are required to write a Work Term Report for each four-month work term, with the exception of the optional fourth work term. If you are doing back-to-back work terms (8 months) with the same employer, you should plan your second report so it does not repeat significant portions of your first.


Terms Used on this page

Co-op Co-ordinator: the person who works directly for the Arts Co-op Office to manage your entire Co-op experience.

Work Supervisor: the person to whom you report directly in your workplace.

Faculty Advisor: the faculty member who will read, evaluate, and advise you on your work term report.




Finding Time to Write the Report

Confidential Reports and Employer Release Form

General Ethics of Insider Knowledge

Format and length


Due Date

Printed Copies

Choosing the Type of Report

What is included in every report? 


In general, the purpose of this report is: 

  • To fulfill an overall objective of cooperative education by demonstrating your ability to integrate theory and practice, to study a topic, and to analyze a situation or a problem
  • To synthesize and summarize the impact at many levels of your cooperative learning experience
  • To provide a framework for thinking about and integrating your academic learning with your work experience
  • To develop and practice skills in written communication and in formal report writing
  • To create a final document that has value for your academic and professional development



For Report Type A and Type B (see below for details on the three types of reports), you must submit a formal proposal by Feb 28, June 30, Oct 31, depending on the semester the work term is occurring in.

This proposal should fit in the body of an email and should be 1-2 paragraphs in length should give your Faculty Advisor enough detail to be able to allow him or her to advise you on whether the report is feasible and to make constructive suggestions. It should include:

  • Type of report (A or B)
  • The problem that you will investigate or the information you will gather
  • The purpose of the report – that is, what your employer or other audience will learn from reading it
  • Resources you will use (within your organization or elsewhere). This could include research materials, informants (people who can give you advice, etc.)
  • Research methodology, if appropriate.

If your Faculty Advisor does not think that your project is feasible as you have outlined it, or does not have enough information to judge, you may be asked to revise and resubmit.

For Report Type C, you do not have to provide a formal proposal. However, you must provide a brief document explaining that you have chosen to undertake this type of report, by the same deadline.


Finding Time to Write the Report

You must manage your own schedule during your work terms to ensure that you can deliver your report on time (by the first day of regular classes in the semester following the work term).

You should not expect that your employer will give you time to write the report at work unless the report is identified as part of your job's duties.  If the report has been identified as part of your job's duties, or is going to be used as a contribution to the workplace, expectations regarding time spent at work on the report should be discussed and clearly negotiated with your supervisor midterm, or before report writing has started.

Confidential Reports and Employer Release Form

Ask your supervisor whether any of your work will be of a proprietary (confidential) nature.

It is recommended that you choose report topics and material that do not contain any information of a proprietary nature. If this is not possible, then you must inform your Co-op Coordinator at least six weeks before the Co-op deadline for submitting the report.

All reports require your employer to submit a signed release form. This form assures the University of Calgary Co-op office that the report may be released to the Faculty of Arts to be graded.  Copies of reports are returned to the student after grading and are not kept on file.

General Ethics of Insider Knowledge

Your work placement puts you in a privileged position within the organization.  You will be sharing (sometimes intimate) details of your experience with one or more people outside the organization.  This puts upon you in a high degree of responsibility to be frank and honest without being malicious, to discuss the bad experiences with the good without laying blame, and in particular to discuss your experiences without pointing fingers at particular individuals.  You can have a less than satisfactory work term experience from the point of view of your own learning without calling into question anyone's competence or willingness to be helpful.  (If you do have such concerns, please share them in private with your Co-op Coordinator as soon as possible!)

In addition, some organizations have trade secrets that they would prefer not to share on paper outside the organization.  There may be cases in which delicate negotiations are needed between you, your Faculty Advisor, and your Work Supervisor.  If necessary, a report can be flagged as being for your Faculty Advisor's eyes only.

The requirement to have your supervisor sign off on your report is intended to insure that you have not overstepped the bounds of this responsibility.  You must have your supervisor sign the Work Term Report Release Form and attach it to your report when you submit it.

Format and length

  • 12 point
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) margins
  • Work Term Summary:  1-2 pages double spaced
  • Work Term Reflection and Academic Integration: 2-3 pages double spaced
  • Body: 2000-2500 words, double-spaced
  • E-mail is the preferred delivery format. If the report must be printed, use  good quality white bond paper on one side of the page only
  • Use page numbers, starting with the Body of your Report through to the end. If you number your Executive Summary and Table of Contents, use small Roman numbers (i, ii, iii ....) and start at "ii". The Title Page is not numbered.


Your Work Term Report will be evaluated by your Faculty Advisor. The evaluation will be one of the following:

  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Satisfactory
  • Unsatisfactory.

An Unsatisfactory evaluation should be immediately discussed with your Faculty Advisor and you may be given two weeks to revise and resubmit the Report.

Even reports that are judged generally satisfactory but which have specific weaknesses may be returned for revision, and will be downgraded to Unsatisfactory if not revised.

Due Date  

Your Work Term Report (including the Employer's Release Form) must be received on or before the first day of classes in the academic term following your four-month work term. A grade of "fail" will be submitted in the event that the report has not been received by this date unless a satisfactory explanation of why the report is late is received by the Co-op program office. 

Submitted Copies

Provide an electronic copy of your Work Term Report to your Work Supervisor and the Faculty of Arts Co-operative Education Office at  If needed you can submit a hard copy of the report to the drop box outside the Programs Information Center in SS110.  It is located near the floor with a sign that says Faculty of Arts Drop Box.   

DO NOT submit your Work Term Report directly to your Faculty Advisor: the Co-op Office will deliver your Report to your Faculty Advisor for evaluation.

DO  keep a personal copy of your Work Term Report.

Choosing the Type of Report

The type of report you write is usually determined by your work term placement and your creative insight.   There are three types of work term reports that may be submitted, after discussion with your supervisor, and upon approval from your Faculty Advisor.  We suggest that you arrange your entire Co-op experience so that over its course you will complete one of each style of report.

For your first. second and third reports, you may choose a style, frequently based on whether your work term placement makes it possible to produce a good Type A or B report. If you don’t have an opportunity to submit a Type A or B report, choose Type C.  Ideally, for your last report you should choose Report Style C to reflect on your complete Co-op experience, and all work terms. 

If you are in an extended work term, and are completing your second or third report, you may find some parts of the report need to be repeated.  The Work Term Summary, may be repeated in parts.  You may also create another focus for the summary (structure of the organization, its relationship to other offices, for example) that you can expand on, rather than cut and pasting this section from your first report.

Report Style A WORKTERM PROJECT Report Style B
Report Style C


All Work Term Reports must include:

Title Page

  • Table of Contents
  • Work Term Summary (1 - 2 pages) double spaced
  • Work Term Reflection and Academic Integration (2-3 pages) double spaced
  • Executive Summary (or Abstract for scientific reports) (150 - 200 words)
  • Body (refer to specific report style for details regarding body)
  • References Cited
  • An Updated Resume  (do not page # as part of report, as it is not delivered to Faculty Advisor)

    Go here for 

    University of Calgary writing 'styleguide'.