IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Change and continuity in thesis and dissertation writing: The evolution of an academic genre

28 April 2022, 10:00 am–11:00 am

Book and research notes. Image: Lum3n/Pexels.

Join this webinar to hear Brian Paltridge examine the genre of doctoral writing from its earliest examples through to contemporary practices and possible imaginings of future developments.

This event is free.

Event Information

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Academic Writing Seminar Series

Event recording

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In this webinar, Brian Paltridge will examine the emergence of the doctoral thesis and trace its development over time.
Doctoral theses and dissertations, for many years, have been a relatively stable genre. This has begun to change, however, especially as doctoral degrees are now being offered in an increasing range of disciplines and where alternate scholarly forms are being accepted for the award of the degree. 

There has, however, been little research which examines these kinds of changes in doctoral degrees and what they mean for thesis and dissertation writing. 

Examples of the earliest doctorates awarded in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia will be discussed as well as doctorates awarded more recently at the same universities in the same or parallel areas of study. 

Brian will examine the doctorate as an instance of genre evolution, taking account of the notions of prototype, family resemblances, typology and taxonomy, and discussions of choice and constraint in academic writing.

He will also consider it in relation to discussions of the ‘Doctorate of the Future’ (Paré, 2019) and explain what we might expect to see in future doctoral submissions. 

This event will be particularly useful for those interested in doctoral education and academic writing.

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About the Speaker

Professor Brian Paltridge

at University of Sydney

He is author of 'Discourse Analysis' (3rd edition, Bloomsbury, 2021), co-editor with Ken Hyland and Lillian Wong of the 'Bloomsbury Handbook of Discourse Analysis' (second edition, Bloomsbury, 2021) and, with Sue Starfield, 'Thesis and Dissertation Writing in a Second Language' (second edition, Routledge, 2020) and 'Getting Published in Academic Journals' (University of Michigan Press, 2016).