Writing & Pedagogy, Vol 1, No 2 (2009)

Using the PhD Thesis Introduction as a Heuristic Device for Supporting the Writing of a Thesis

James Donohue
Issued Date: 6 Jun 2010

Abstract


This article explores the role of a thesis introduction in establishing the contribution of the thesis to its field of study and how the introduction might be exploited by the writer of the thesis and their supervisor to scaffold the thesis writing process. The focus is on how the introduction realizes a conceptual map of the field of the thesis, a series of speech acts, and a text which construes the conceptual map of the field and the relevant speech acts by means of its method of development. A second focus is on how these aspects of the introduction can serve as heuristic devices which can be used to generate versions of the introduction and to project the structure of the entire thesis.

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DOI: 10.1558/wap.v1i2.195

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