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.

What is distinctive about a dissertation?

Dispelling some fixed but erroneous ideas about dissertations might come in handy here:

It is hugely long: Yes, it is a lengthy piece of written work, but this does not mean that every dissertation is of the same length. Depending on its purpose it might be 8,000 words in length (which might be typical for a dissertation which reflects upon a student’s placement learning experience), or 10,000–12,000 words (which could be fairly standard for an undergraduate dissertation in the final year of study) or up to 20,000 – 30,000 words, which would work well as a postgraduate dissertation.

What is important is not so much the length – the word count will have been set to be sufficient for ...

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