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Researching and Referencing: Writing Skills

This guide provides support to staff and students on research skills, referencing, study and writing skills and digital literacy

Writing Tasks

What are the steps in writing an essay?

Refer back to the Research Skills process to ensure that the information you have gathered meets the definition of your task.

  • Formulate your statement

 Organise the notes you have taken into

  • Main topics and sub topics
  • Record details of all sources consulted


  •  A general introductory statement 

The Body 

  • Each paragraph is composed of key points expanded into topic sentences
  • Each paragraph should work together to prove your main idea

The conclusion

  • The conclusion reflects on what has been stated and proved
  • Briefly re-state key points to remind the reader of how well you have made your case


For more information review these sites:

A report:

  • Is often a problem or case study that presents information, not an argument. It often provides recommended action to solve the problem or case study
  • Is to investigate, present and analyse information thoroughly and logically
  • It considers the reader. For example if the reader is a client, the report needs to be written for the client as the reader
  • Is always in sections and subsections with headings. The order is often shown by numbers and/or letters
  • Must be objective in style

For more on report writing, review the following sites;

What is a case study

A case study is a description of a real life problem or situation which requires analysis. You will need to describe and discuss the issues involved and provide recommendations based on your conclusions.

You can find out more about how to prepare and write your case studies using the links below.

What is reflective writing?


What is a literature review?

A literature review is an investigation of sources such as books and articles that relate to a topic or question. The aim of a literature review is to establish what is known and what is not known (the gaps) within that topic.

How your literature review is structured and the approach you take will often be determined by the topic or discipline you are studying.

Here are a few resources that will help you get started:


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