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The doctoral writing conversation: establishing a generic doctoral writing programme

Over the past few decades, the number of people enrolled in doctoral study has increased dramatically across the world. In practical terms, this has meant that universities now receive increasingly diverse students with regard to ethnicity, age, language, culture, and background preparedness for higher degree study. Students can, and often do, begin their doctorates with scant understanding of the precise expectations and rigorous demands of thesis writing. Yet, regardless of academic discipline, successful completion of a doctorate requires a written thesis. To help students master thesis writing requirements, a proliferation of self-help writing books, blogs, specific writing techniques, and programmes have emerged. This paper describes an approach developed at a New Zealand university where a generic doctoral writing programme, the Doctoral Writing Conversation, has evolved to make explicit to students the implicit language understanding that accomplished academic writers use to produce text. Utilising the idea of language as a tool to mediate understanding, the paper will explore how the programme is structured and functions but will also describe some of the insights I have gained along the way.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Johnson, E. M. (2017). The doctoral writing conversation: establishing a generic doctoral writing programme. Open Review of Educational Research, 5(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/23265507.2017.1419439
Taylor & Francis Group
© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group