Structuring Your Research Thesis

Structuring Your Research Thesis


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780230308138
Publisher: Macmillan Education UK
Publication date: 07/17/2012
Series: Macmillan Research Skills
Edition description: 2012
Pages: 104
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

SUSAN CARTER Coordinator of the Research Development Programme at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where she has been coordinating a central doctoral programme since 2004. Her publications have focused on English literature analysis, doctoral experience, doctoral pedagogy, and the written thesis.

FRANCES KELLY Lecturer in Doctoral Skills Development and Head of Student Learning at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests span higher education and English. She is particularly interested in cultural conceptions of the PhD, doctoral writing and the transition from doctoral study to early career as well as neo-Victorian fiction.

IAN BRAILSFORD Academic Advisor/Lecturer at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He works alongside early-career academics and helps sessional tutors with their teaching and academic careers.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Preface: Our Reader and Your Readers viii

Our reader viii

Your readers xiii

Introduction: Framework 1

Escape clause 5

Layout of this book 6

Contextualizing writing: working with conventions 9

Moves and styles 11

Interdisciplinary theses: which conventions? 14

1 Ordering the Thesis 16

A basic model 17

Mind-mapping and modelling the thesis 20

The grid with two options 21

Broad versus specific fields 24

The literature review question 26

A four-way model 27

Making use of methodology's moves 28

The contents page and its implications 31

Two basic approaches: write first; plan first 34

Mnemonic theory: the architecture of the mind 36

Mapping thematically 38

Ordering the thesis: suggestions for action 42

Readerly needs 42

2 Emphasis and Proportion 44

Quantity ratios 45

Levels of depth and voice 48

Grammatical emphasis 50

Emphasis and proportion: suggestions for action 52

Readerly needs 53

3 Cohesion 54

Narrative 54

Metaphor for structure 63

Joinery: bringing the parts together 71

Readerly needs 76

Conclusion 78

Bibliography 80

Index 84

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

In my view, this book stands out well above the rest. It is at once practical but sensitive to the real issues and complexity of writing a thesis.' - Professor Martin Coyle, Cardiff University, UK

'This book can't fail to provide a helpful resource for both thesis candidates and their supervisors... I wish such an engaging and instructive text had been written when I was completing my own thesis'. - Associate Professor Catherine Manathunga, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

'Carter, Kelly, and Brailsford have done a great service to students and supervisors alike with their concise yet thorough guide to structuring the research thesis. Composed in equal measure of practical advice (in the clear, direct voice of the writers) and personal experience (in the form of testimonies by successful students who have just completed theses in a wide range of fields), this tightly focused volume will be a life-saver to those just beginning the thesis and a valuable aid to those who are already underway: it is sure to be widely recommended.' - Professor Suzanne Conklin Akbari, University of Toronto, Canada

'This is a very well written and unusual text which should be extremely helpful to students writing a thesis and also to those who are engaged in research student training programmes. The style is clear, ordered and accessible. The writers have addressed a number of areas which potentially perplex students, causing anxiety and slowing down their progress. A work such as this would help them and make the process of writing a thesis what it should be – an exciting intellectual experience including discovery and communication at the highest level.' - Professor Jean Webb, University of Worcester, UK

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