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ALC8110 : Research Design, Academic Writing and Publishing for Doctoral Students

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Paul Seedhouse
  • Lecturer: Dr Simon Kometa
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


As part of your research degree, you will be expected to design, carry out and write up a research project in the format of a thesis and defend this in a viva. The module introduces you to the advanced knowledge and research skills required to design and carry out an independent and original study in the broad areas of applied linguistics, linguistics, languages and education. It is organised to provide doctoral level training to help you design your study and to present this design to others. It introduces you to a variety of research methods used in investigating languages, teaching and learning. Two computer-lab based sessions introduce you to quantification, including software packages, using data relevant to your area. You will read, analyse and discuss exemplary research articles in this area. You will learn skills necessary to complete your research proposal and project and write a thesis. The module introduces you to doctoral-level issues such as originality. You will produce conference and seminar presentations of your research and evaluate the research of others. You will learn what is involved in writing a successful thesis and the basics of academic publishing.


1.       A combination of lectures and workshops will introduce you to the relevant research skills and make you develop them through practice.
2.       The core textbook Research Methods for Applied Language Studies engages you with recent literature. The tasks in the book will enable you to learn how published researchers design and carry out their research, and prompts you to develop your critical voice by analysing other’s research.
3.       Various worksheets and check lists are designed to help you with your research proposal.
4.       You will present your research design to fellow doctoral students and academics and improve your design based on feedback.
5. You will present a conference paper and can choose to write a journal article if you wish.
6.       You will keep a learning journal, recording your experiences and detailing your reflections throughout the module. Keep copies of all documentation to do with all tasks; this may form part of your portfolio.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Introduction to the module and to doctoral research.
2. Research Design. Originality.
3. Complexity Theory. Mixed Methods
4. Introduction to quantification (takes place in Resource Centre KGVI room 2.63)
5. Introduction to quantification (takes place in Resource Centre KGVI room 2.63)
6. Presentation of Research Design Flowcharts
7. Writing a Successful Thesis
8. Introduction to Academic Publishing
9. Presentation and Discussion of Draft Research Proposals
10. Presentation and Discussion of Draft Research Proposals
11. Drop in session at the ECLS PGR Student Conference

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture82:0016:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities111:0011:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity127:0027:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:0060:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Key concepts, principles, approaches, and techniques involved in applied linguistics and TESOL research will be introduced mainly through lectures. These sessions also allow participants to analyse published research, set as weekly Structured Guided Learning. Tutorials provide practical guidance on the proposal. Practicals are the conference presentations. The tasks allow students to draw links between theories and research practice.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M100Reflective Portfolio - 3,500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A portfolio equivalent to a 3,500 word essay based on a) a research proposal b) a series of written tasks which engage with published pieces of research in applied linguistics and TESOL c) a conference presentation on their research.
End semester 2 - 100%

Writing tasks on a published piece of research in applied linguistic and TESOL encourages students to draw links between theories and practice. Writing a research proposal allows students to demonstrate their understanding of research conventions and key elements involved in carrying out a full-scale research project. The conference presentation shows their ability to present their research to an audience and answer questions

Reading Lists