Master’s Thesis Writing: Cinderella of Iranian ELT Education

Document Type : Research Article


1 Yasouj University

2 Bangkok University


For the vast majority of the Iranian M.A. students of TEFL, thesis writing is the first individual engagement with research. Despite having some pedagogical merits, such an academic activity generally poses some intellectual and affective challenges to such students. During thesis completion, if students are not effectively scaffolded by supervisors and not supported by universities, they are likely to encounter serious problems that might result in their disengagement, frustration, and withdrawal from doing their theses themselves. This study was an attempt to explore the factors that dissuaded some Iranian M.A. students of TEFL from carrying out their theses themselves. In effect, the study aimed to shed light on the reasons why some Iranian M.A. students of TEFL go to other agents to do their theses in exchange for money. Adopting a purposive sampling procedure, we found 13 M.A. graduates who did not do their theses themselves, but they paid some agents to do so in their stead. Semistructured interviews were used to gather the data. Findings revealed 3 dominant themes including supervisor-related, supervisee-related, and higher education-related factors responsible for the issue under investigation.


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