4
The first milestone

First writing milestoneThe first-year reportFrom notes to draft

DialogueMonitoringPressureWhat is progress?Work-in-progress

writingA writers’ groupChecklist: the first milestone

This chapter encourages the thesis writer to move from writer-based to readerbased thinking, from thinking about what he or she wants to say to focusing on the reader’s criteria. The end of the first phase, after the first year, usually brings some form of assessment. For both part-time and full-time students this is usually about one year after registration. When and how progress is assessed will vary from institution to institution. The first-year report is one example.

This shift means that the thesis writer has to finalize something in the first stage of the doctorate. It is a process that requires regular discussion of writing with supervisors and peers. What Boice (1990) calls ‘exteriorizing’ is an important part of writing at this point.

From this point on there is a focus on the writing of chapters. The interaction between writing for development and writing for a chapter continues.

The key point, at the end of the first stage, is to enable thesis writers to engage with the tasks of sketching structures and writing chapters or miniarguments or stages in an argument. Since this is often the first watershed, there will be discussion of emotional processes in this chapter.

-130-

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How to Write a Thesis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • How to Write a Thesis - Second Edition iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface to the First Edition xiii
  • Preface to the Second Edition xv
  • Acknowledgements xvi
  • Overview xvii
  • Introduction: How to Write 1000 Words an Hour 1
  • 1: Thinking About Writing a Thesis 31
  • 2: Starting to Write 73
  • 3: Seeking Structure 103
  • 4: The First Milestone 130
  • 5: Becoming a Serial Writer 155
  • 6: Creating Closure 180
  • 7: Fear and Loathing: Revising 204
  • 8: It is Never Too Late to Start 217
  • 9: The Last 385 Yards 237
  • 10: After the Thesis Examination: More Writing? 254
  • Bibliography 291
  • Index 299
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