1.5 Utilisation of research findings
As said above, begin writing from day one, both in your research journal and on the different stages of work as your research develops. As early as you can, map out the structure of the thesis, dissertation or report down to chapter headings so that you begin to slot pieces into this structure early on. Developing writing skills is about doing it regularly. It is also about doing manageable chunks – Somerset Maughan used to write 3000 words before breakfast, but for more pedestrian writers you need to think about chunks within a structure, and setting targets (words/timescale). The structure may change as you write more and more, but time thinking through a good overall structure is time very well spent – and the same applies to working out a structure for each chunk before you start writing. Ensure you get feedback, and give yourself time for editing and for all the apparently insignificant detail like notes and references which can take far longer than you expect! Finally, using your research to make a difference is not just about how you report and communicate your findings – important though these are; it can also be about how you involve stakeholders in the research process.