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.


How long is the perfect sentence?

There is an unhelpful answer to this: however long you need it to be. There are also answers which are intended to be useful, but which give you precise word counts and so become useless as soon as you try to express something very simple or exceedingly complex. I will try here to offer you some rather more productive guidelines.

I was taught in school that most of the sentences I wrote should be 12–25 words long. This is not a bad guideline, as long as you are prepared to have some longer sentences when you need them and some much, much shorter sentences when you want to create punchy impact. Sentence length is all about variety: because different ...

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