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ERIC Number: EJ766265
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0307-5079
Examiner Comment on the Literature Review in Ph.D. Theses
Holbrook, Allyson; Bourke, Sid; Fairbairn, Hedy; Lovat, Terry
Studies in Higher Education, v32 n3 p337-356 Jun 2007
The review of literature, so central to scholarly work and disciplined inquiry, is expected of the Ph.D. student, but how far along the road are they expected to travel? This article investigates the expectations of "the literature" in research and scholarship at Ph.D. level from the examiner and assessment perspective. The analysis draws on the examiner report data for 501 candidates (1310 reports) across five Australian universities. On average about one-tenth of an examiner report is devoted to the literature and examiners provide detail about coverage, types of errors and the nature of use of the literature. It was the latter type of comment about coherent and substantive use of the literature that provided the most information about "expectation". Examiners identified "working understanding", "critical appraisal" of the body of literature, "connection of the literature to findings", and "disciplinary perspective" as key indicators of performance in the candidate's use of the literature. While examiners appeared to anticipate that all these elements should be present in scholarly work (and identified them in the best theses), they were prepared to accept less for a barely passable thesis, but pressed for at least some demonstration of critical appraisal. (Contains 6 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United Kingdom