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

Odena, O. and Burgess, H. (2015)


Studies in Higher Education

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.

Cite this article

Odena, O. and Burgess, H. (2015)

How doctoral students and graduates describe facilitating experiences and strategies for their thesis writing learning process: a qualitative approach.
Studies in Higher Education

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