Defending research choices in doctoral writing: getting the habit at the start of the research

I’ll spread your link to my students. This is the most important paragraf: … The reminder that a thesis need to link both literature and theory to what is actually being done is a good one—it usefully prompts the sort of writing that secures the thesis.

DoctoralWriting SIG

By Susan Carter
Thesis writing is aimed at a primary reader: the examiner, a creature from the back of the psychological cave. Examiners are much feared because they are by definition testy readers, menacing in their power. The research thesis is thus the most defensive academic writing we produce, more defensive than undergraduate work, more defensive than articles.

To remove all panicky thoughts of the monstrous, Sue Johnston (1997: 345) sensibly points out that “Examiners require all of the normal forms of assistance which should be provided to any reader.” Actually, though, in addition to wanting the usual, examiners are readers who work in the evenings and often in short bursts, and may need just a little more guidance, despite being experts by definition. As Pat Thomson recently noted, you need to keep them on track, steering them towards signing off your thesis as completed. Hence, thesis…

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