A thesis is a curious, multi-tasking act of communication. Firstly, it is a tough old nut with a rich kernel: new knowledge or understanding. For survival, that kernel must be accessible; clarity is crucial. Secondly, the thesis is an entry-point to a research profession. It must demonstrate its author’s command of the practices and languages of the field of research: the thesis represents a ritualistic demonstration of maturity within a specific community. Thirdly, the thesis is an act of self-fashioning. Its theoretical positioning and textual voice creates the academic persona that its author is likely to inhabit for some time. To some extent, you create yourself in writing a thesis, and, as a live author creating the textual presence of a thesis, must write into existence a self that you will be comfortable inhabiting. The structure of the thesis affects each of the tasks that the thesis performs.
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