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Giving reader directions

Reader directions are comments on the text in the text: they give signals to the reader about where the author is going, where he or she has got to, and what he or she has achieved so far. The author "intrudes" to direct the reader in some way.

Starting with the top level this can apply to:

  • the whole thesis ( the focus of this thesis is...);


  • another chapter ( the physical properties are presented and analysed in Chapter 5);


  • the current chapter ( the rest of this chapter will examine...);


  • another section ( in the previous section, it was demonstrated...);


  • the current section ( the following case study will illuminate...);


  • the passage immediately preceeding or following ( the objectives are as follows:...).

More specifically, these reader directions can function to:

  • preview:

    Example 1: These two techniques are discussed below.

    Example 2: In the first section of this chapter, the achievement in this area between 1996 and 1998 will be presented and discussed in detail.

  • review:

    Example 1: In the preceding section, the results of tests performed on interfaces comprising concrete and either Johnstone or Gambier Limestone were outlined.

    Example 2: The applications of educational technology elaborated on in the previous chapter has indicated an irreconcilable difference between...

  • overview (provide purpose statements):

    Example 1: It is now appropriate to consolidate these ideas and to examine POSTGRES in greater detail in relation to its support for rules and objects.

    Example 2: This discussion of constructivism has underlined the necessity to consider collaborative learning as a means of providing multiple perspectives. That approach will now be examined in relation to...

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