Search icon
Regional Writing Centre Logo


Rationale and Purpose of the Module: 
This module is being created as part of the Certificate in Research Skills. The certificate has been developed for PhD students and consists of six 3-ECTS modules delivered through a 1 week summer school followed by 12 weeks online delivery.

Internationally, in postgraduate programmes that culminate in a major dissertation, thesis or publication, retention and completion times are an issue. Thesis-writing and thesis supervision programmes have emerged as two solutions offered by universities to stem the flow of attrition. This module picks up where Planning Research and Publication leaves off, extending the framework for writing from the prewriting stage of the writing process to the drafting stage. The purpose of this module is to encourage writers to examine how they use writing to identify and develop their ideas in the process of responding to the ideas of others as they identify and organise their argument. Additionally, this module examines how context determines both conceptual and formal textual choices and how strategic choices either motivate or stifle a student's progress toward a draft that is both coherent and cogent enough to warrant a move into a more reader-based writing mode, where revision occurs.

This module engages the scholar in the social dimension of their research and writing processes as ideas and arguments develop through multiple drafts. Students study the context(s) into which they write in order to determine the forms of social organization that motivate the form the discourse takes and the social roles that need to be understood and to which writers must appeal in order to successfully develop a research idea into an argument that is relevant to the field. Scholars in this module develop criteria for evaluating the quality of that situated context and for assessing the appropriateness of their research and writing strategies with respect to their scholarly goals. Scholars then reflect on the development of their research and writing, identifying links between the strategies employed, the stages of the research and writing processes to which those strategies correspond and the effectiveness of the strategies in the context of the intent that motivated their development. This module focuses on strategies pertinent to a text that is developing alongside ideas. 
Learning Outcomes: 
Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis) 
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to: 
1 Draft strategically and monitor their strategies for developing their ideas in this stage of the writing process. 
2. Analyse texts for clues about how particular scholarly/professional audiences talk about relevant problems on the level of both language and content. 
3. Employ strategies for meaningfully, if provisionally, ring-fencing and filling space in a text. 
4. Devise a writing regimen that is flexible, but that works in assisting the student in reaching her research, writing and publication goals. 
5. Demonstrate their understanding of the value of giving/getting feedback to/from peers that is appropriate to where they are at in the development of their text/stage of their writing process.
Affective (Attitudes and Values) 
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to: 
1 Appreciate the value of drafting and of talking about research ideas and writing issues and ideas. 
2 Invent strategies and motivate themselves to achieve their writing goals. 
3 Develop the confidence to accurately assess and plan for any writing context that presents itself.