The discourse of thesis assessment reports in a disciplinary community at the University of Cape Coast: An exploratory study

  • Joseph Benjamin Archibal Afful
Keywords: Discourse, thesis assessment reports, Ghana, postgraduate education


Thesis assessment reports constitute an important review genre in postgraduate education, though they largely remain occluded. This paper investigates the discourse of thesis assessment reports, with the view to gaining insights into their form and content in a Ghanaian university. Thirty-four (34) written assessment reports of 19 Master’s theses from the Department of English in the University of Cape Coast constituted the data set. A qualitative content analysis, supplemented with descriptive statistics, was adopted. Three key findings emerged from the analysis of the data. First, there were varying structural patterns adopted by assessors, thereby evincing individual preferences. Second, the least and most frequent comments in the assessment reports were on the methodology on one hand and literature review and analysis/discussion on the other hand. Third, theses assessors largely adhered to institutional guidelines in terms of the evaluative criteria. These findings have implications for the scholarship on thesis assessment reports in postgraduate education, postgraduate pedagogy, and further research in higher education in Ghana and elsewhere.

Key Words: Discourse, thesis assessment reports, Ghana, postgraduate education


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2227-5460
print ISSN: 2225-8604