Pedagogical approaches that facilitate writing in postgraduate research candidature in science and technology

Janice Catterall, Pauline Ross, Claire Aitchison, Shelley Burgin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The current higher education climate seems to be demanding increasing levels of written output from
doctoral researchers during candidature. In this context this study employed an online questionnaire,
individual interviews and focus group discussions to collect information on the challenges and successes of
doctoral writing. It was found that feedback on student writing was universally regarded as the primary
pedagogical tool for teaching and learning research writing and for most, the supervisor’s role was central to
this. Some supervisors employed ‘writing for publication’ as a complimentary tool. A number of supervisors
and students also reported positively about the value of participating in social writing and critiquing
environments such as writing groups, writing retreats, or writing for peer feedback. This research suggests
that there would be benefit in tertiary institutions pursuing a more systematic approach to the support of
writing both as a learning tool for research students and for the promotion of a vibrant, scholarly, research community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of University Teaching and Learning Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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