Developing doctoral authors: engaging with theoretical perspectives through the literature review

Gina Wisker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literature review is arguably the place in a thesis where doctoral authors convincingly engage with theory and theoretical perspectives underlying their research, situating their own contribution to knowledge in established and ongoing dialogues in the field. One difficulty doctoral candidates encounter in their learning to be researchers is articulating this understanding and engagement, how their work grows from literature informing and underpinning their research. Writing confidently at doctoral level in the discipline discourse, and breaking writing blocks are key features of engagement and articulation. Most research into academic writing concentrates on undergraduate writing development, while research on doctoral students looks at relationships with supervisors, communities and the doctoral learning journey. This research on doctoral writing in the literature review uses work on conceptual threshold crossings to identify ways in which doctoral students engage with and indicate their understanding of theoretical perspectives through successful doctoral writing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-74
Number of pages11
JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 Taylor & Francis


  • doctoral writing
  • literature review
  • writing blocks
  • conceptual threshold crossing


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