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Envisage your audience

Even before you write, you need to consider your audience.

Appreciating who you are writing for can help clarify what you will communicate and how you will choose to present your information. The main audience for your research thesis is your examiner or examiners. While they will certainly be experienced and knowledgeable academics, your examiners may not be familiar with the specific area of your research.

Thesis writing, therefore, is about displaying your knowledge to a knowledgeable audience, who may or may not be specialists in your particular area of research. At a broad disciplinary level, the examiner will probably be more knowledgeable than you, the student, and will be able to identify if something important is omitted. However, at the level of the research topic, you will be the expert, and will probably have more knowledge than the examiner. You will therefore have to carefully provide background knowledge and explain the process, decisions and the intellectual argument.

In displaying your knowledge for your informed reader, you will need to pay attention to the style of your writing, ensuring that it is an appropriate academic style.

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