Thesis writing guide

In the academic world, the production of new knowledge and its communication through the use of writing is mandatory. In the university stage, the student dedicates a great

effort to learn new genres, such as research work, the report or the monograph, which will serve as currency for the evaluation of the different subjects. In the case of postgraduate studies, the writing of a master’s degree or a doctoral thesis will be the fundamental requirement to achieve a higher academic degree. Such is the role of writing as a tool to generate knowledge in academic life and, however, there are many scholars who warn of their difficulties and denounce the abandonment of students in solitude to undertake these tasks during the process of developing the project, for which they demand greater attention on these practices. For this they demand a more than remarkable institutional effort to provide the necessary instruments to the students who join the university and

that drag an almost total ignorance of the necessary techniques to face this exercise with guarantees. This is due, in part, to the congenital dynamism of the genres, which is another obstacle for the graduate students, since the genres adapt to the advances and disciplinary needs of society at every moment, which causes a perceptible and frequent transformation of specialized writing. This dynamism has a clear consequence in the high specialization of the disciplines and, as a result of this fact, in the multiplication in the last decades of

postgraduate careers in different areas of knowledge. This has also diversified the written genres that traditionally predominate in each of the disciplines, in which the new university students lack specific training, as they rarely receive it explicitly during the career.

It is to face this maladjustment that in the Anglo-Saxon world, with the United States in the lead, for decades the Writing Centers have been set in motion with the aim of combating these difficulties. However, until the 1960s, Grabe and Kaplan pointed out that the teaching of writing was anchored in a traditionalist perspective. At this time, research was beginning in the United States and the United Kingdom because of the increase in the number of international students who learned English as a foreign language in these countries, as well as the high number of academic failure diagnosed in the students. localities of second languages ​​in the

centers of the public education system. It is from these years and these results when a series of measures are taken to improve the didactics of composition in language teaching. To this end, the writing centers in the United States opened their doors. As a result of the movement for the promotion of writing (WAC), initiated in this country in the seventies, composition teaching crystallized in a national plan for the promotion of writing (the National

Writing Project) in 1973. WAC also offered courses to students in order to prepare them to write in other disciplines based on the idea that writing is a

social act that must be contextualized in each discursive community.

It is for this reason that little by little and following the North American model of Writing Across the Curriculum in the programs developed by the higher education institutions, some Spanish-American universities are attended not only to the students’ need to learn the concepts, but also It also emphasizes the need to know the discursive practices of the disciplines they study. The idea of ​​which is part is that only thus, integrating in the scientific community in which

the university students specialize, they will be able to produce new knowledge by means of which a continuous dialogue of transmission of knowledge with that discursive community can be established up to be part of it. For this, reading and writing in the new discipline that is accessed are essential tools from which to discover, review, analyze and transform this specific knowledge, which must be used and dominated as resources within the community object to the That

aspires to belong. This is what Vargas expresses when he talks about the need to master written discourse as a means of research, if it is to successfully develop an academic future in the university:

Academic life demands an intense intellectual activity in relation to written culture. Thus, writing becomes the principle articulator of a tradition of construction of knowledge and research in the development of the human spirit of which the university is its most outstanding expression. Hidalgo and Passarella comment on the main reasons that students adduce to take postgraduate courses. One of them is the construction of a professional or academic future. To this end, students try to demonstrate their abilities as researchers in the discipline in which they have

chosen to specialize and bring new knowledge to the scientific community through unpublished research work that follows the structure of the academic genre corresponding to this discipline. For this, these new authors will try to build an intellectual work of their own, for which the postgraduate studies

They serve as spearhead. In order to achieve this goal, doctoral students are exposed to the vigilance and supervision of specialized members of the specific scientific community of which they intend to be part, so it can be said that the thesis is in a symmetrical position with its hearing when conducting the investigation. However, upon completion of this project, the student will be admitted to this discursive community.

However, the process to achieve such a domain is not exempt from numerous difficulties that assail the thesis student on his way to the elaboration of the final product, the doctoral thesis, as it will be discovered in the next section.