Robert B. (Rob) Desjardins, PhD, is the graduate writing advisor at the Student Success Centre, University of Alberta (Canada). Here he explains his insights into how best to help doctoral writers learn about research writing.
By Robert B. Desjardins
Lately I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a new manual for students struggling to craft theses and dissertations. The working title – still in the “playful conceit” stage – is The Incomplete Guide to Thesis-Writing.
Why “incomplete”? It’s a riff on the dangers of authorial hubris, and on the need for writing advice that helps students to start their critical work, rather than promising an easy path to the end. It’s also a tribute to the pedagogical value of the question – a speech act that sets writers on an unpredictable path, making them responsible to define and then contend with the rhetorical problems that a major writing project presents. Continue reading