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I am reading a report that presents the computer program X. The author is a student who designed and implemented this program during his M.S.

At the beginning of the last section, the author wrote "This work presented the computer program X". Is that turn of phrase correct? Shouldn't it be replaced by "This report presented the computer program X" or something similar?

Title of the report: Program X: An end-to-end approach to unveil salient features from massive signal data sets.

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  • What is the Title of the report? If the Title uses the word Report, then it can be referred to using that noun. Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 22:39
  • If I make a report, my boss may say, "Good work!"
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 4:56
  • @Gary'sStudent Sure, title added in question! Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 5:26

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Yes, the example is correct. It uses "work" as a noun. The meaning is "something that is the result of creative effort."

You are also correct that using a more precise word (like "report") would probably have made the sentence better.

A "report" is a kind of "work". Some other kinds of "works" include:

  • books
  • essays
  • theses
  • poems
  • songs
  • sculptures

As Floris points out, "work" has other noun definitions. Neither of these definitions is used in the original example:

  • The effort to create a work. For example, "I have work to do."
  • The physical environment and company among whom one works. For example, "I commute to work five days per week."
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    "work" can mean both the effort to create the report, and the report itself. I agree with your second paragraph though.
    – Floris
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 19:51

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