Graduate Students’ Perceived Needs and Preferences for Supervisor Written Feedback for Thesis Writing

Keywords: thesis, feedback preference, content feedback, genre, linguistic feedback


A plethora of previous research has explored students’ preferences for written feedback from teachers to respond to students’ writing in the classroom. However, little or no research has investigated graduate students’ needs and preferences regarding written feedback provided by their supervisors in response to thesis writing. This study examined the feedback needs and preferences of EFL graduate students to the three nominated themes defining supervisor written feedback to thesis writing in this study: content, genre, and linguistic feedback to thesis writing. Data was collected from 32 master’s students from the TEFL and Media and Communications at Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia using a questionnaire and an unstructured interview. The participants’ responses were tabulated and analyzed using descriptive statistics. The results indicated that both groups commonly preferred feedback on content the most. When sub-categories of this feedback were examined further, it was found that TEFL students favored gaps in theoretical understanding, but Media and Communications students preferred coverage and gaps in the literature. They also showed discrepancies regarding their preferences for part-genres in thesis writing and the various features of linguistic accuracy.  The results of this study suggest that feedback on theses should be realized in regard to the needs and preferences of graduate students. Finally, implications for further research that could shed light on the resonant understanding of feedback on thesis writing are presented.


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Author Biography

Yenus Nurie, Bahir Dar University

Faculty of Humanities

How to Cite
NurieY. (2020). Graduate Students’ Perceived Needs and Preferences for Supervisor Written Feedback for Thesis Writing. Journal of Language and Education, 6(4), 153-170.