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Thursday, June 23 • 13:45 - 14:45
PK07.01f - Empowering Graduate Student Writing and Writers

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The ability to communicate clearly and reliably is a key transferable skill across university programs. Degree-level expectations for graduate programs require students to shift from consuming to producing knowledge (Lovitts, 2005), which involves contributing to scholarly conversations and publishing. Many students struggle to meet these expectations; many professors likewise struggle with writing and are ill prepared to support student writers (Silvia, 2007). To address these challenges, we developed and teach a graduate course on scholarly writing and publishing. The course is open to master’s and doctoral students across disciplines. We emphasize the stages of scholarly writing and publishing, and nurture writers’ identities. The main learning objective for the course is for each student to develop a scholarly manuscript suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed outlet. Each weekly seminar includes lessons, discussion, writing activities, computer tips, book introductions, grammar puzzles, and goal setting and tracking. We advise students to work with an existing course paper or a section from a thesis, major research paper, or dissertation. Students are encouraged to submit their manuscripts to the target outlet soon after the course ends. As instructors, we participate alongside students in all activities. The emphasis on collegiality reinforces the notion of scholarly writing as an individual and collective accomplishment (Castelló, Bañales, & Vega, 2010; Grant, 2008). In this session, we will use images of writers, writing, and texts to describe the course and reflect on our experiences to date. Session participants will become familiar with the course syllabus, learn ground rules for writing in groups, review a class writing exercise, receive the course bibliography of books on writing, consider feedback as a gift, and envision new ways for supporting and sustaining writers and writing.


Castelló, M., Bañales, G., & Vega, N. A. (2010). Research approaches to the regulation of academic writing: The state of the question. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 8, 1253–1282.

Grant, B. M. (2008). Academic writing retreats: A facilitator’s guide. Milperra, New South Wales: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia.

Lovitts, B. (2005). Being a good course taker is not enough: A theoretical perspective on the transition to independent research. Studies in Higher Education, 30, 137–154. doi:10.1080/03075070500043093

Silvia, P. J. (2007). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Michelle McGinn

Michelle K. McGinn is Professor and Associate Dean, Research and International Initiatives in the Faculty of Education, Brock University.

Snezana Ratkovic

Snezana Ratkovic is Research Officer for the Faculty of Education, Brock University, and is a Research Fellow in the Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education.

Thursday June 23, 2016 13:45 - 14:45 EDT
UCC 37