All writing is validated in terms of how well it addresses its audience. We have written this book following our work with doctoral students and our recognition of the challenge of publication. Similar doctoral candidates of the future make up our audience. Like others’ theses, yours must speak to its audience, addressing their needs, anxieties and expectations. As you start working and writing your thesis proposal, initial ideas will develop further and these present a set of challenges, or at least decisions that need to be made. The proposal stage has been likened to a ‘trial run’ (Sternberg, 1981, p. 73) for structuring the doctoral thesis. How many chapters should you have in your thesis? Must all the chapters be of a similar size? Will you provide the literature review as a separate chapter, or embed it throughout the thesis? How much explaining and framing will be done generally in the introduction, and how much will be done at chapter level? How many levels of subtitling will work best to convey your ideas? Should the thesis have internal divisions within it rather than conventional chapter ones? These are questions of structure: the overall shape of the thesis, its organization, its internal dimensions and parts, its plan and duration, and its proportions.
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- Introduction: Framework
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number