By Clinton Golding
We are sure you will enjoy this fabulous guest post from Clinton Golding, Acting Head of the Higher Education Development Centre at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Amongst other things, Clinton is a writer. He writes about such things as educational theory, cultivating thinking, and doctoral education. He has just started writing a blog (clintongolding.com), but he also teaches about writing, reads about writing, writes about writing and thinks by writing.
I stumbled across a useful trick for cultivating good writing for thesis students. If I frame my writing advice as ‘this will help you deal with your examiners’ then thesis students are more likely to act on the advice. My usual advice such as “make your sentences clear and succinct” had much less impact on thesis students, compared to advice like “the examiner will be confused if you write it like that.” Thesis students seem captivated by advice based on how their examiners will react to their thesis.
I liked this way of framing advice so much that I wrote two open-access articles about writing a thesis based on what examiners do. My first article was a systematic review of the literature that identified 11 things thesis examiners tend to do as they read a thesis. My second article developed advice for thesis students based on each of these 11 practices. Continue reading