Supervisors’ Written Feedback on Saudi Postgraduate Students’ Problems with Academic English Writing in Selected UK Universities

  • Noof Al-Harbi
  • Salah TroudiEmail author


Various studies have reported on the importance of supervisors’ feedback as a determinant factor of students’ success in the postgraduate stage. Feedback “lies at the heart of the learning experience of a PhD student … it is through written feedback that the supervisor communicates and provides advanced academic training, particularly in writing, to the supervisee” (Kumar & Stracke, Teaching in Higher Education, 12(4), 2007, p. 462). This chapter aims to report findings as part of a wider exploratory study that investigated the academic writing difficulties of Saudi postgraduate students. The study focuses on supervisors’ written feedback to their students and their views on the academic challenges these students encountered. Nine supervisors across different disciplines at six universities in the UK provided samples of written feedback for this study. The data were analysed thematically to identify several themes and categories and the findings show that supervisors’ written feedback focused mainly on content knowledge, criticality, coherence, clarity, structure, vocabulary appropriateness, and grammatical and spelling accuracy.


Supervisors’ feedback Assignment/thesis writing Postgraduate students Effective supervisors 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deanery of Academic Service, Taibah UniversityMedinaSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Graduate School of Education, University of ExeterExeterUK

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