How important is the figure of the 'imagined reader' for the writer of a research argument andwhat role do citations serve in a research thesis?
One of the principal defining points of research are undeniably in its social origins. It is quite rare tofind a thesis which has been written to exclusively serve the personal aims and interests of theresearcher. Researchers are aware of being engaged in a conversational project; an enterprise thatentails the exchange of dialogue which is directed to a community. The community maybe large,incorporating people with a fairly general or informal knowledge of the subject in question or mayinvolve only a select group of people or institutions whose interests are very specific. Definitely, theresearcher does not exist in a vacuum state- the researcher must keep in mind the interests and needs(of facts, information, analyzes, interpretations etc.) of a specific community. The project embarkedupon by a researcher is thus part of a constant ongoing process of inquiry, investigation andinterrogation that will ultimately contribute to a larger body of research and should ideally serve toenrich and expand the scope of the field of research in question. So, the researcher must be well-awareof the work done in his or her field of study – for the general readers he or she must be able to providea not unnecessarily detailed but concise summary of the erstwhile work done and then speak of his ownattempted advancements. For the group of academics there is no need to provide a historical survey of what has been already accomplished and demonstrated but rather, the imperative is to show in aconvincing fashion, by virtue of a sound and well -established argument, his points of departure fromthe accepted grain of thought and most importantly, what he has to offer in terms of a novel andoriginal contribution that will help future researchers and academics in their attempts to deal with other areas of inquiry. Thus, one of the principal functions served by the imaginary reader is the impetus placed on the researcher to think out of the box and thereby spurs him or her to come up with his or her unique approach in dealing with a problem which leads to the researched arriving upon a unique result.Keeping the figure of the 'imagined reader' in mind enables the researcher's work to be developed alongthe lines of an imaginary conversation. Thus the researcher is constantly alerted to the possible