Introduction to the ultimate dissertation writing guide

Welcome to Writing Dissertations and Research Reports: A Guide for Success at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. We are so glad you found our book and hope that it will provide you with all the help you will ever need when it comes to researching and writing undergraduate dissertations, graduate dissertations, research reports and any other type of academic writing that you will come across during your academic career.

We know what it is like to deal with writing dissertations, theses, and research reports. Our founders have been there and done that.

After serving students all over the world, we decided to expand our assistance by offering ongoing content devoted to helping you improve your academic skill.

Now, we have put the collective expertise of our academic team, including many long-time researchers, into this online book that offers practical advice specifically for dissertations, theses, and research reports - considered to be some of the most challenging academic writing assignments. Our advice includes everything from planning to researching to writing to submission and revision. We have also tried to accommodate all types of students - those that are new to dissertations to those who have English as their second language to those that are working toward their PhD not to mention everyone in-between!

This book is possible thanks to the hard work of many researchers and students who we have worked with over the last decade. Their experiences, assignments, research, writing and unique challenges have helped us to create a comprehensive dissertation writing and research report writing handbook that covers an extensive amount of information that you can use now, throughout your academic career, and into your professional career.

As with everything we do, it is important to get your feedback and let us know what else we can include within our library of information on dissertation writing, thesis writing, and research report writing. We realise that the University system is constantly evolving and changing their requirements, so we appreciate your insights so that we can evolve with the academic system and provide you with the information you need most to enhance your academic research and writing success. After all, our goal is to make sure each and every one of you is a success!

Chapters 1-7:

About our dissertation writing book – how to use it

Writing Dissertations and Research Reports: A Guide for Success at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels has been organised and written to be user-friendly. Each chapter is self-contained so that, while it does help to read it from cover to cover, you can also cheat by jumping in anywhere to get the information you may need immediately because you have stumbled upon us at a certain part in your dissertation, thesis, or research report. Each chapter offers a list of topics so you can identify the main points in the chapter as well as get a quick understanding of the terms used in that chapter.

And, since you are all University students rather than businesspeople, we have tried to write this in a casual and conversational style so it is a quick and easy read. After all, we know you have a lot on your plate - especially those going to school and working or even those that also have a family!  To make it a quick and easy read so you can find the information you need and apply it to what you are doing, the text is also put together into digestible chunks with lots of bulleted lists as well as practical tips that you can find at the end of each chapter to leave you with the most important aspects within that chapter. Each chapter also closes with some ideas that you can apply to your own work as well as will link to the other chapters in the book.

There is a method to our madness as well in terms of how we have organised the book - just in case you do want to start at Point A and carry through to the end of the dissertation journey. Essentially, the book is arranged in a way that takes you through the entire process of researching, writing, and submitting your dissertation, thesis, or research report. This includes the following:

  • Background: Briefly, we cover how to get started and define the different types of academic projects that we will discuss in this book as well as the stages of each and how to be successful from the beginning.
  • Planning: The next section includes how to write a dissertation or thesis proposal, time management techniques, how to being your research and create your writing model, and how to organise research reports.
  • Information Location:  The next section focuses on the research phase. This means how to make the most use of available library and online sources, how to read in the most efficient way possible to maximise your time, how to analyse and evaluate the research you have collected and how to take notes.
  • Research Techniques: In building on the previous section, this part of the book will describe the principles of qualitative and quantitative research, experimental research, and field work. It will also show you how to develop a logical approach to how you think critically, analyse the material, and apply problem-solving techniques.
  • Data and Numbers: Unlike other types of academic writing, dissertations, theses, and research reports focus heavily on data, including numbers and qualitative information. This section provides insights into number crunching as well as how to interpret and present data by developing tables, graphs, and statistical analysis.
  • Plagiarism and Ethics: Before delving into the sections on writing dissertations, theses, and research report, the book takes a serious turn toward a very important aspect of today's academic career, and that is addressing plagiarism, ethics, and correct referencing. This section includes how to avoid being accused of stealing the words, work, and ideas of others, including copyright infringement. This area of the book also shows you how to correctly cite and list references and follow good and ethical research practices for primary and secondary data collection.
  • Drafts: This section covers the various structures of a dissertation and research report, how to use the standard dissertation or thesis framework as well as for a research report, how to structure and shape the content into a logical and coherent presentation, and how to master the art of the academic writing style.
  • Revisions: This section of the book shows you how to attack the editing, revising, and presenting phase of writing your dissertation, thesis, or research report. It explains the differences between editing and writing as well as shows you how you can make the most of feedback from others to improve your work. Finally, it concludes with a focus on the presentation of your dissertation, thesis, or research report, including using the most appropriate academic conventions typically expected by your University.

With that as your guide to the book, it's time to get started on honing those research, thinking, and writing skills!

Chapters 1-7: