Demystifying commentary guidelines of PhD by Published Work in the UK: Insights from genre analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PhD by Published Work has become an increasingly common option for experienced researchers in Europe, including the UK. While thesis requirements of a PhD by Published Work differ from those of a traditional monograph, guidelines on how to write a PhD by Published Work thesis (commentary) vary across institutions, giving rise to issues pertaining to quality assurance and student support. To devise more appropriate writing support for PhD by Published Work candidates, this small-scale study analyses guidelines of 81 UK universities to identify the structural components of a PhD by Published Work commentary. Genre analysis yields 10 structural components and reveals similarities and differences with a traditional PhD monograph. Specifically, issues which PhD by Published Work candidates need to tackle are highlighted, including languages used to present synthesised findings from publications. Moreover, implications for language advisors who give writing support to PhD students undertaking this route are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-358
Number of pages10
JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
VolumeLatest articles
Early online date5 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jan 2021


  • PhD by published work
  • thesis writing
  • UK
  • genre analysis


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