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Report and dissertation writing

red line dividerDissertation or report writing can be daunting, but we're about to demystify that process. To take you all the way from planning to delivering a successful report or dissertation, we put together a collection of hands-on resources from our Study Skills books.

The first step is always the topic or an idea; you might be given a statement from your lecturer or you may be asked to tackle something of your own creation. It's always important to understand what the statement is inferring as it's this understanding that'll inform your research.


Getting started

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Trying to put yourself in the shoes of your grader can help you pick up some important marks. Download and use the self-assessment sheet to grade your own work before you hand it in.


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Planning is key

Laying out a solid plan is key to good time management, alongside maintaining motivation and discipline. It will also help you avoid any last-minute stress over an approaching deadline.

Plan your time

Want to learn more about effective dissertation planning? Watch: Planning your Social Science Dissertation


Dissertation writing in four steps

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Step 1 - incubate your idea

Originality is key here. Your report needs to build on what's been said – not just repeat it. You must agree, disagree, criticise, and dissect what's come before to form your argument. Find out how to improve your grades with the help of this extract on originality.

Get a better grade

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Step 2 - research, research, research

Research will be continuous throughout your coursework. However, you'll need to do most of it before writing. But how do you start? Get guidance on finding inspiration, selecting a theme, and developing it into your research question with this free chapter.

Start Researching

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Step 3 - write, write, write

Right, now it's time to focus and figure out what works for you. Once you've done that you'll be able to sit down and write. In this chapter, Tom Burns and Sandra Sinfield have compiled their expert advice for writing and succeeding on your university assessments.


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Step 4 - format and finalise

So you've done your incubating, research, and most of your writing. The next step is making your work look presentable. Good presentation and good English will help you get a good grade, so read the extract below to find out how to polish your work.



Effective report writing

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Lab report writing is very different from writing essays or literature reviews. This super quick video below offers some practical tips to help you produce a great lab report before, when, and after you have written - courtesy of Diana Hopkins.


The tips on this page were taken from Get a Better Grade, Essential Study Skills, Doing Your Social Science Dissertation, Plan Your DissertationYour Undergraduate Dissertation and Write Your Lab Report.



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