Learning through writing: Reconceptualising the research supervision process

Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published version

Wolff, L. (2011). Learning through writing: Reconceptualising the research supervision process. International journal of teaching and learning in higher education, 22(1), 229-237.

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2011 HERDC submission. FoR code: 130103, 180199

© Copyright International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 2011




This paper seeks to re-conceptualize the research supervision relationship. The literature has tended to view doctoral study in four ways: (i) as an exercise in self-management, (ii) as a research experience, (iii) as training for research or (iv) as an instance of student-centred learning. Although each of these approaches has their merits, they also suffer from conceptual weaknesses. This paper seeks to harness the merits — and minimize the disadvantages — by re-conceptualizing doctoral research as a ‘writing journey’. The paper utilizes the insights of new rhetoric in linguistic theory to defend a writing-centered conception of supervised research and offers some practical strategies on how it might be put into effect.



This document has been peer reviewed.