ChapterPDF Available

Seeing yourself in a new light: crossing the threshold to 'researcher'

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

Writing, and the thinking, reading and analytical process that writers engage with to make writing possible, is transformative, and doctoral students in the social sciences especially tend to write themselves into their new identities as ‘doctors’ and recognised researchers. Much has been written in recent years about doctoral writing, including many advice books on how to write a ‘big-book’ or similar doctoral thesis into being. While some of the journal articles and books are helpful, and provide useful accounts of the complex challenges of writing a doctoral thesis, many of the advice books in particular focus more on the text itself, with the writer oddly under-accounted for. Recent research on, for example, doctoral writing groups and doctoral identity speaks into this gap helpfully, but much of it is written in contexts other than South Africa, and much of it is written for rather than by students going through or having recently completed a PhD process. This chapter contributes to a growing body of research and reflection on the role of writing itself in the process of becoming a ‘doctor’. Building on relevant blog posts and critical reflection through a research journal on my own transformative doctoral writing process at a South African university, this chapter will reflect on how challenging yet also potentially thrilling the writing process can be during a PhD. Readers will hopefully find in this chapter useful insights into their own process of becoming a doctor, and ideas for making their own ‘writing and becoming’ process more engaging and rewarding.
Content may be subject to copyright.
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