Are you unsure what your report should look like or how you’ll ever finish it in time? Are you freaking out about starting on an extended piece of writing? Help is here! In this handy little book, you’ll find expert guidance to enable you to produce a successful report or dissertation. With a focus on developing an effective writing style and argument, this book shows you, step-by-step, how to plan and deliver a perfect piece of writing to gain top marks. Open up to find advice on: • What makes dissertations and reports distinctive • Organising your time and materials • Finding the right planning method for you • How to structure your writing successfully • Writing good sentences, paragraphs, sections and chapters. Read this book and you’re on your way to writing a great report or dissertation! SAGE Study Skills are essential study guides for students of all levels. From how to write great essays and succeeding at university, to writing your undergraduate dissertation and doing postgraduate research, SAGE Study Skills help you get the best from your time at university.

Your first step

A plan can become detailed and complex as it develops over time and is altered to suit your needs. If it does not perfectly support your argument, you will return to it to interrogate your original hypothesis; if it does not provide enough reassurance, you will make it more detailed until you feel confident of what you are doing; if it seems disjointed or uneven, you will want to revise and smooth it out before you work from it.

Each of these activities will come when you begin to plan in detail, but there is one small task you need to carry out first. It might seem minor, even insignificant, but it will have an impact on your way of thinking about ...

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