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ERIC Number: EJ873712
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1060-3743
Taking Risks?: A Case Study of Three Doctoral Students Writing Qualitative Dissertations at an American University in Japan
Casanave, Christine Pearson
Journal of Second Language Writing, v19 n1 p1-16 Mar 2010
The formulaic styles of dissertation writing inherited from the sciences continue to influence dissertation writers in social sciences, and in particular TESOL and applied linguistics. Some scholars both within and outside the U.S. recommend that we expand the options for dissertation writers beyond these narrow conventions ([Eisner, 1997]; [Schroeder et al., 2002]; [Starfield & Ravelli, 2006]; [Welch et al., 2002]). However, the risks involved in nontraditional styles of dissertation writing may be great for students, particularly for second language writers, given the conservative and politically charged nature of the dissertation tradition. In this paper, I review these issues, and then discuss the views of dissertation writing of three Japanese students who were writing dissertations in a doctoral program at an American university in Japan with my support as advisor. Within the context of their program, these students chose unconventional theoretical frameworks and narrative inquiry for their qualitative research projects and developed writing styles that included more personal, narrative, and literary elements than were typical of dissertations in their program. The paper concludes with reasons why change is important and with questions about what role graduate advisors should play in encouraging students to take risks with their writing and so help change the discourse of the field.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan