Helping Doctoral Students Write
Strategies for supervision, 2nd Edition
Routledge – 2014 – 194 pages
Helping Doctoral Students Write offers a proven approach to effective doctoral writing. By treating research as writing and writing as research, the authors offer pedagogical strategies for doctoral supervisors that will assist the production of well-argued and lively dissertations.
It is clear that many doctoral candidates find research writing complicated and difficult, but the advice they receive often glosses over the complexities of writing and/or locates the problem in the writer. Kamler and Thomson provide a highly effective framework for scholarly work that is located in personal, institutional and cultural contexts.
The pedagogical approach developed in the book is based on the notion of writing as a social practice. This approach allows supervisors to think of doctoral writers as novices who need to learn new ways with words as they enter the discursive practices of scholarly communities. This involves learning sophisticated writing practices with specific sets of conventions and textual characteristics. The authors offer supervisors practical advice on helping with commonly encountered writing tasks such as the proposal, the journal abstract, the literature review and constructing the dissertation argument.
The first edition of this book has helped many academics and thousands of research students produce better written material. Now fully updated the second edition includes:
Their discussion of the complexities of forming a scholarly identity is illustrated throughout by stories and writings of actual doctoral students.
In conclusion, they present a persuasive and proven argument that universities must move away from simply auditing supervision to supporting the development of scholarly research communities. Any supervisor keen to help their students develop as academics will find the ideas and practical solutions presented in this book fascinating and insightful reading.
Chapter 1. Putting doctoral writing center stage
Chapter 2. Writing the doctorate, writing the scholar
Chapter 3. Persuading an octopus into a jar
Chapter 4. Getting on top of the research literatures
Chapter 5. Reconsidering the personal
Chapter 6. A linguistic toolkit for supervisors
Chapter 7. Structuring the dissertation argument
Chapter 8. Publishing out of the thesis
Chapter 9 Institutionalizing doctoral writing practices
Barbara Kamler is an Emeritus Professor at Deakin University and an Honorary Professor at The University of Sydney, Australia.
Pat Thomson is Professor of Education and Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies at The University of Nottingham, UK.