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A qualitative investigation of strategies and experiences of non-native students writing master’s theses

A qualitative investigation of strategies and experiences of non-native students writing master’s... Research on academic writing development at graduate level has received wide attention. However, less has been documented on positive academic writing literacy experiences and strategies of non-native students while completing their master’s theses. The purpose of this paper is to examine facilitating strategies that non-native students develop in the writing-up stage.Design/methodology/approachA total of 50 MA English majors from 11 higher education institutions in Tehran participated in this qualitative study. Data were gathered using interviews and journal entries and analyzed thematically with the help of the NVivo10 software.FindingsThe analysis resulted in three major themes: self-support strategies of an academic writer; enhancing personal development; and supervisors’ support and feedback. Findings showed that Iranian students developed strategies that involved interactions not only with supervisors but also members of various academic communities that could be reached via online professional networking. There was also a need to address organizational skills and mood management to meet deadlines. Regardless of the self-support strategies, the supervisors’ role and supervisor–supervisee relationships remained crucial.Originality/valueAvailable studies in academic literacy and English for academic purposes have mainly focused on thesis challenges. This study highlights strategies and positive experiences that facilitate the progress of MA students in the thesis writing journey, while at the same time emphasizing the critical role of supervisors in expediting this process. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

A qualitative investigation of strategies and experiences of non-native students writing master’s theses

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-7003
DOI
10.1108/jarhe-07-2018-0120
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Research on academic writing development at graduate level has received wide attention. However, less has been documented on positive academic writing literacy experiences and strategies of non-native students while completing their master’s theses. The purpose of this paper is to examine facilitating strategies that non-native students develop in the writing-up stage.Design/methodology/approachA total of 50 MA English majors from 11 higher education institutions in Tehran participated in this qualitative study. Data were gathered using interviews and journal entries and analyzed thematically with the help of the NVivo10 software.FindingsThe analysis resulted in three major themes: self-support strategies of an academic writer; enhancing personal development; and supervisors’ support and feedback. Findings showed that Iranian students developed strategies that involved interactions not only with supervisors but also members of various academic communities that could be reached via online professional networking. There was also a need to address organizational skills and mood management to meet deadlines. Regardless of the self-support strategies, the supervisors’ role and supervisor–supervisee relationships remained crucial.Originality/valueAvailable studies in academic literacy and English for academic purposes have mainly focused on thesis challenges. This study highlights strategies and positive experiences that facilitate the progress of MA students in the thesis writing journey, while at the same time emphasizing the critical role of supervisors in expediting this process.

Journal

Journal of Applied Research in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 5, 2019

Keywords: Academic writing; EFL; Master’s theses; Coping strategies; Thesis writing process

References