How doctoral students and graduates describe facilitating experiences and strategies for their thesis writing learning process: a qualitative approach

Odena, O. and Burgess, H. (2017) How doctoral students and graduates describe facilitating experiences and strategies for their thesis writing learning process: a qualitative approach. Studies in Higher Education, 42(3), pp. 572-590. (doi: 10.1080/03075079.2015.1063598)

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Abstract

This study considered the sources of facilitating experiences and strategies for thesis writing from doctoral students and graduates (N=30). The sample was balanced between Science and Social Science knowledge areas, with equal numbers of English as Second Language (ESL) participants in both groups. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were used to explore issues around feedback, training, cohort experiences and personal strategies for writing. Four-hundred pages of transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis with the assistance of specialist software (NVivo). A generative model of academic writing development was chosen to frame the analysis. Fifteen themes emerged, three of which are discussed: supervisors’ feedback, personal organisation and ESL learning strategies. Results show the perceived benefits of individually tailored supportive feedback and the importance of the students’ resilience. Original learning strategies from ESL students that may benefit non-ESL students are also considered. The conclusions outline implications for supervisors and students across knowledge areas.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Odena, Professor Oscar
Authors: Odena, O., and Burgess, H.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Robert Owen Centre
College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Studies in Higher Education
Journal Abbr.:Stud. high. educ.
Publisher:Taylor and Francis (Routledge)
ISSN:0307-5079
ISSN (Online):1470-174X
Published Online:17 July 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Studies in Higher Education 42(3):572-590
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
632011Enhancing feedback for academic writing across research degreesOscar OdenaHigher Education Academy (HEA-EDUC)FCS 664SCHOOL OF EDUCATION