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Writing Successful Reports and Dissertations

Writing Successful Reports and Dissertations

First Edition
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October 2014 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
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!

The Student Success series are essential guides for students of all levels. From how to think critically and write great essays to planning your dream career, the Student Success series helps you study smarter and get the best from your time at university.

Part I: Pondering
Why a Dissertation?
What Is Distinctive about a Dissertation?
What Are Research Questions?
What Makes a Good Dissertation?
When and Why Would I Write a Report?
What Is Distinctive about a Report?
Should I Be Asking Research Questions in a Report?
Part II: Preparing
Devising a Strategy
Gathering Material
Finding Your Voice
Part III: Planning
Are You a Natural Planner?
A Planning Strategy
Your First Step
Four Planning Methods
Part IV: Pausing
Negative Pauses
Necessary Pauses
Positive Pauses
Part V: Producing
Sections and Chapters
Part VI: Polishing
Increasing Impact
Checking your Document
Now Take Your Fingers off the Keyboard


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Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub for tips, resources and videos on study success!

In my final year, facing not only report writing but also a dissertation, this guide helped me hugely. The clear and organised structure meant it was easy to re-evaluate certain sections of my work and its approachable style of writing made it particularly accessible to read and concentrate on. 

Georgina Belcher
Student, University of Reading

Writing Successful Reports and Dissertations' is a refreshingly pragmatic book packed with examples spanning a range of disciplines and contexts that will appeal to both students and professionals alike. The book is comprehensive, well-paced and systematic in its coverage of the different stages to writing. It is a must-read for anyone undertaking report or dissertation writing for the first time, or indeed for more experienced readers who would like to enhance their existing writing skills.

Anne Crook
Centre for Quality Support and Development, University of Reading

A very good text surround successful writing of reports and dissertations within HE; this is a great text for students to enhance their undertaking analytical and critical writing.

Mr Simon Brent
FBSE, Southampton Solent University
July 1, 2016

A useful text to support students with their final year dissertation. Clear supportive information presented in an easy to read and navigate format.

Mrs Michelle Thomas
Faculty of Health, Sport and Science, University of South Wales (Glamorgan)
June 7, 2016

Interesting to see a much-needed focus on stages of the writing process rather than the more usual emphasis on methodology in research, though this is still addressed. I particularly like the section on creating research titles and questions which is often an area of confusion for students. Some useful tips for planning and some simple and supportive illustrations - there could have been more of these throughout the book.

Dr Carol Chambers
School Of Education, Nottingham Trent University
March 14, 2016

An excellent text for undergraduates.

Mr Stewart Brown
Greenspace & Creative Studies, Myerscough College
March 2, 2016

A Good manual for students on the ways and means of acceptable reports and dissertations.

Dr Ayoade Akanmu Amuda
Humanities, University of South Wales
February 10, 2016

A really strong introduction to writing and research.

Mr Paul Demetriou-Crane
AEBLS, Havering College of FE & HE
January 22, 2016

Another essential book from the study skills guides. A very good book for all students full of top tips

Mrs Susan Jean Holmes
Department of Work Based Learning, Canterbury Christ Church University
December 15, 2015

Another essential book from the study skills guides. A very good resource for all students. Full of top tips

Mrs Susan Jean Holmes
Department of Work Based Learning, Canterbury Christ Church University
November 23, 2015

Lucinda Becker

Lucinda Becker is Professor of Pedagogy and an award-winning lecturer and tutor at the University of Reading. She has dedicated her professional life to creating independent learners who are confident in themselves intellectually, professionally and personally. Lucinda has written numerous study guides for students and works with undergraduates and postgraduates across the university. She is also a professional trainer and consultant, helping new graduates in engineering, science and law to become successful communicators and leaders. More About Author

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ISBN: 9781446298275
ISBN: 9781446298268

SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.