The demands of writing academic reports, dissertations and thesis differ considerably from many other types of writing.
Scholars, creative writers and technical writers often need something a bit more powerful to annotate, cross reference and footnote their texts, which is what Mellel tries to offer. Mellel is widely regarded as an excellent word processor by academics and technical writers so from the start, you know you're dealing with a pretty good product. It's not only suitable for academic and technical writers though - it offers those writing novels and plays an equally powerful tool.
One of Mellel's major advantages over similar products is that it features multilingual support or writing bi-directional text, meaning it's suitable for Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Syriac. Mellel is praised by its devoted users for ease of use in cross referencing, footnoting and all round general annotation. The user forum is also a thriving place where any problem you encounter can probably be solved.
On the downside, Mellel doesn't have any way to track changes, which is obviously a pain when collaborating on texts. In addition, the program has been criticized for poor results when importing text from Word. Also, there apparently seems to be no way to undo changes after a save has been made, so be very careful that you're happy with a document before saving it.
Mellel is a very impressive and powerful word processor for all those that engage in serious academic or creative writing and need something a bit more helpful and tailored than Word.