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How to Write Dissertations & Project Reports

How to Write Dissertations & Project Reports

2nd Edition

Kathleen McMillan, Jonathan Weyers

Jun 2011, Paperback, 304 pages
ISBN13: 9780273743835
ISBN10: 027374383X
For orders to USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Japan visit your local Pearson website
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Fully updated since first publication in 2007, and with extended and revised sections in key areas such as Plagiarism & Copyright, Ethics in research, and Citing & Referencing, How to write Dissertations & Research Projects will allow a student to assess and address their particular weaknesses in researching and writing dissertations and longer pieces of coursework and delivers detailed tips, techniques and strategies to enable them to significantly improve their abilities and performance in time to make a difference.


1. Tackling a dissertation or project report: how to make the best possible start

2. Choosing a dissertation or project report: how to decide on a theme for your investigation

Planning your research

3. Writing a proposal: how to structure a successful dissertation or research proposal

4. Time management: how to write your dissertation or project while balancing family, work and leisure

5. Planning for dissertations: how to begin your research and evolve a model for your writing

6. Planning for experimental projects: how to organise your efforts effectively

Finding and filtering information

7. Information literacy: how to make the best use of the library resources

8. Effective academic reading: how to read efficiently and with understanding

9. Analysing and evaluating source material: how to filter and select relevant material as part of the research process

10. Note-making from source material: how to create effective notes to support your dissertation and project research

Applying research techniques

11. Principles of quantitative research: how to obtain and analyse numerical information

12. Principles of qualitative research: how to obtain and analyse descriptive information

13.Experimental research and field visits: how to develop and apply your skills

14. Thinking critically: how to develop a logical approach to analysis and problem-solving

Working with Data & Numbers

15. Number crunching: how to solve problems in arithmetic and algebra

16. Interpreting and presenting data: how to understand & produce graphs, tables & basic statistics

Addressing issues of plagiarism, referencing amd ethics

17. Plagiarism and copyright infringement: how to avoid being accused of ‘stealing’ the ideas and work of others

18. Citing and listing references: how to refer appropriately to the work of others

19. Ethics in researching and reporting: how to follow good research practice

Writing a first draft

20. Structuring a dissertation: how to organise your writing within a standard framework

21. Structuring a project report: how to select and shape your content appropriately

22. Academic writing style: how to adopt appropriate language conventions

Editing, revising and presenting

25. Reviewing, editing and proof-reading: how to make sure that your writing is concise and correct

26. Exploiting feedback: how to understand and learn from what your supervisor writes on your work

27. Presentation of dissertations and reports: how to follow the appropriate academic conventions

References and further reading


· Tips, examples, checklists, ‘Try This’ boxes, 2 colour design.

· A common sense, no-nonsense approach that gives students immediate access to the information they need. Relevant content with a focus on key issues and instant solutions.

· Each topic is matched to an issue, event or assignment that the student will want to read up on at a time of need.

· Each topic will only be a few pages long with practical lists and tips.

· Updated and revised content throughout.

· Annotated table of contents to help readers find exactly what they need.

Kathleen McMillan and Jonathan Weyers work within the University of Dundee’s Learning Centre and Academic Affairs Office respectively and have each been teaching for over 25 years and now specialize in supporting academic skills across both the arts and sciences.