Skip to content

Composition Forum 29, Spring 2014

The Graduate Writing Program at the University of Kansas: An Inter-Disciplinary, Rhetorical Genre-Based Approach to Developing Professional Identities

Bookmark and Share

Christine Jensen Sundstrom

Abstract: In 2004, the University of Kansas (KU) launched an interdisciplinary Graduate Writing Program as part of a larger initiative to reduce time to degree rates and increase degree completion rates. Serving both domestic and international students, this program employs a rhetorical genre-based approach in a series of courses organized around the genres of graduate school and beyond. In these Graduate Studies courses, students become ethnographers of the research and writing practices of their disciplines while writing their own texts and developing their professional identities. In addition, the Graduate Writing Program fields a Summer Writing Institute and offers workshops for students. The program supports departments and faculty members through consultations and workshops on such topics as how to mentor graduate writing. This profile—part program description, part theoretical construct—outlines the history and structure of the program as well as the academic and cultural challenges that graduate students and their mentors face. It argues that rhetorical genre studies is ideally suited for teaching graduate writing and supporting students as they create their professional identities.

Writing instruction is critical to graduate student success. Yet while institutions see First-Year Composition and even Writing Across the Curriculum as being integral to undergraduate studies, these same institutions have viewed graduate writing as something to be learned by osmosis and the lack of strong writing skills as something akin to a moral defect. Far from being an unremarkable or remedial activity, graduate writing assumes content knowledge, process knowledge (epistemic, methodological, axiological, ontological), and knowledge of social and power relationships (Frick; Tardy) to understand normalized knowledge-making practices (Sullivan, Displaying Disciplinarity). It assumes students know how to apply critical thinking to transform and create knowledge as well as develop their identity as future scholars, non-profit employees, city and state administrators, industry researchers, novelists, and so on.

During their graduate studies, students write many new genres, among them literature reviews and dissertation proposals that set up research projects; grant proposals that make a case for funding their research; articles and book chapters; theses and dissertations. Such writing helps researchers fund, create, shape, evaluate, share, and negotiate knowledge (Hyland, Disciplinary Discourses; Starke-Meyerring and Paré 4). As students write these high stakes genres, they adopt new roles as junior scholars and researchers in their fields using writing to explore the theory, policy, practice and research of their chosen disciplines and to place themselves within this terrain. They write conference papers, articles, and book chapters to create a research or practice space (Swales, Research into 80; Research Genres 227). To perform these new roles well, graduate students must know how content knowledge, rhetorical knowledge, critical thinking, research, and social practice intersect in the genres they create. A graduate student in English, for instance, notes the challenges of graduate writing, which requires graduate students to reconceptualize their roles as individuals, scholars, and members of a scholarly collective (Micciche and Carr 495). In these new roles they need to show how their research addresses a gap, juxtaposes with previous work, moves a body of research forward, and addresses a larger need or problem. To do this, they need to develop what Micciche and Carr call rhetorical awareness and flexibility (478). No wonder first-year composition (FYC) and more traditional undergraduate writing assignments alone are insufficient preparation for these graduate-level writing tasks.

In ‘Mutt Genres’ and the Goal of FYC: Can We Help Students Write the Genres of the University? Wardle argues that failing the context knowledge, FYC should not try to teach students to write genres within the context of their future disciplines but instead teach them about writing, language, and genre analysis (782-83). In best practices of genre writing at the undergraduate level, theoreticians and practitioners point to goals of teaching critical genre awareness (Devitt, Teaching Critical Genre Awareness), creating interdisciplinary learning communities (Johns), comparing genres from distinct discourse communities (Devitt, Reiff, Bawarshi), introducing frameworks to help students develop a metacognitive sense of how writing functions in their discourse communities (Smit), and using the knowledge of writing and language to provide writing practice (Wardle 784). These approaches, in essence, teach the writer to fish by providing the equipment and knowledge structures for querying the generic writing practices they will encounter later. These approaches cannot stop at the undergraduate level. We need to build on and adapt these and other pedagogical approaches in order to better support graduate students as they enter into specialized disciplinary contexts and develop professional identities within them.

Addressing the Need for Graduate Writing Instruction

To foster strong graduate writers as well as to address the increasing time-to-degree statistics and decreasing completion rates, the University of Kansas launched a campus-wide, interdisciplinary Graduate Writing Program (GWP) in spring of 2004. This article profiles the writing instruction, workshops, and faculty and departmental support offered campus-wide by the GWP. The program’s instruction supplements the smattering of department-specific graduate writing intensive courses. An in-house survey of departments in 2010 showed that only 8 of 97 departments on the main campus fielded even a single course directly teaching graduate writing (see Institution-wide Approaches in Appendix 1). By far the majority of students received no discipline-specific writing instruction. Informally, students report that departmental courses often involve “how-to instruction” or at best writing pieces or a mockup of, for example, a dissertation proposal. This happens since enrollments do not usually coincide with when graduate students are needing to write the documents being taught. In the GWP, students enroll as they write their actual genres. Our courses operate within a rhetorical-genre studies framework where we teach students how to research the writing practices of their fields. We provide sustained writing instruction and feedback as these students write texts to design research, fund it, or publish research results. Principles are put into practice immediately in their texts. In fact, these interdisciplinary courses provide an instructional framework for writing a specific document over the course of a semester, providing frequent feedback on texts, and for helping students make decisions about when to follow and when to depart from expectations. A few other universities offer one or two interdisciplinary courses serving all graduate students (Texas A&M, University of Michigan), while schools such as Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue, and Rutgers offer classes limited only to international graduate students. The University of Utah recently started offering more comprehensive instruction for graduate writers. These offerings by other institutions testify to the need for graduate writing instruction that is anything but remedial. As Starke-Meyerring and Paré highlight, “we have arrived at a stage in human development where we can no longer afford to produce knowledge without a discipline (Writing Studies) that offers the research base and theory needed for rigorous critiques of how our discursive knowledge-making practices enable and constrain what we can and cannot know” (24). In developing the GWP, the University of Kansas worked to create a comprehensive, interdisciplinary instructional program that serves domestic as well as international graduate students as they select appropriate knowledge-making practices, help shape fields of study and practice, and create their professional identities.

While tradition holds that advanced writing instruction must be discipline-specific, in the GWP’s interdisciplinary courses students become ethnographers of the writing in their fields using a rhetorical genre studies approach. In essence, they perform field work on writing. Our courses are usually genre-specific: in this context we teach genre awareness through graduate and professional texts. Students explore how generic and rhetorical features are used to strengthen arguments in their unique disciplinary and rhetorical contexts. They begin to answer rhetorical questions: How do authors make a case for the importance of their research and the appropriateness of the approach and/or methods? What does pronoun use tell you about a discipline’s beliefs about good research, good write-ups, and the writer’s stance? How do writers use verb tense to signal their relationship to previous work, the currency of previous work, agreement or disagreement with previous work, or the difference between epistemic and phenomenal information (MacDonald)? Our approach to critical genre awareness builds on the scholarship of, among others, Artemeva; Devitt, Reiff and Bawarshi; Berkenkotter and Huckin; Devitt; Hyland; Jensen; MacDonald; Miller; Myers; Paré, Penrose and Katz; Swales; and Yakhontova.

Besides teaching genre awareness, we provide students with frameworks and strategies for pre-writing and organizing their texts, building strong arguments, and developing the type of literacy that is appropriate to graduate writing. Students explore voice and authority as part of argument; clarity, conciseness, and cohesion as matters of style. Using concrete strategies, we address the how and the why rather than the what of graduate writing, so students can respond to advisor comments like “tighten up this section,” “lead us through the literature,” or “your article should tell a story.” Our courses serve not only students who lack access to discipline-specific instruction but also those who want to speed up their writing process, those seeking genre-specific instruction as they write key documents, and those who see writing as a path to success in professional practice. While the Graduate Writing Program offers or takes part in other services—workshops, departmental and faculty support, and research and write-ins that resemble bootcamps, as well as a summer graduate writing institute—the rhetorical genre studies instruction is the centerpiece of the program. Students study the writing of their fields using a context-specific approach even though they are enrolled in interdisciplinary classes. These students choose the generic and rhetorical features that best serve their specific projects and professional identity goals (Russell 506; Kamler and Thompson 151; Green 152; Artemeva, An Engrained 345). They decide whether to write a boilerplate article or one that will rock the field a bit (Busch). Thus, the GWP at KU is predicated on the idea that rhetorical genre studies instruction prepares students to become experts on the writing in their fields, appropriate in a time where writing plays such a high stakes role in the production and sharing of knowledge (Starke-Meyerring and Paré 22).

This rhetorical genre studies approach assumes instruction is usually most meaningful in the context of a specific genre, such as a grant proposal. By performing rhetorical analyses of multiple samples of texts and by interviewing experts, students become ethnographers of the graduate and professional writing in their fields, asking questions of texts and of experts in their fields in a type of field work (Appendix 2). From these rhetorical analyses, they learn about disciplinary expectations, why they exist, and something about when and why authors violate these expectations. When our students begin to study texts for how they are written, they note not only what is done well but also what is lacking or ineffective. Such exercises bring forth what Micciche and Carr refer to as rhetorical awareness and flexibility and what others call genre awareness (Devitt, Teaching Critical Genre Awareness 337; Johns; Bawarshi and Reiff 197). Students learn how the often competing epistemic, ontological, and axiomatic concerns (Frick 126-129) relate to their own rhetorical situations. Individual conferences with the course instructor and conversations with advisors provide an arena for exploring how to use genres creatively for a particular project, in a particular (inter)disciplinary and cultural context, for a specific professional purpose. They evaluate how graduate and professional writers use specific types of arguments to place themselves in their fields. Students begin to see their writing as knowledge work (Starke-Meyerring and Paré 22) that takes into account the culture of the disciplinary community. By emphasizing the generic, disciplinary, cultural, and professional identity aspects of students’ texts, this rhetorical-genre instruction differs in kind from the feedback typically offered in writing center consultations where consultants and students tend to concentrate on an isolated text.

In the remainder of this profile, I first outline the Graduate Writing Program history and structure, philosophy, curriculum, and population served. After that I examine the disciplinary, contextual, and cultural challenges students face and how those clash with the hidden curriculum embodied in texts such as comprehensive exams; I also examine how increasing pressures on faculty time impact the mentoring relationship. The profile ends with a discussion of the successes and limitations of the GWP and what broad-based academic support for graduate writing might include.

Program History and Structure

The decision to start the Graduate Writing Program at KU was driven by the same increased time to degree and low completion rates that institutions are facing across the U.S. and around the world. The need for better support of research and writing has been documented in research throughout the U.S. and beyond (Paré Speaking of Writing 62-63; Glen; Ehrenberg et al.). Based on my perception that low completion rates were due at least in part to the lack of graduate writing instruction, I proposed offering graduate writing courses to the then-Dean of International Programs and the Graduate School. The Dean viewed this writing instruction as part of a larger university-wide initiative to reduce time to degree rates and increase degree completion rates. As a result, the program was created initially within the Intensive English Program (IEP) and for a couple of semesters enrolled international students only. The funding model followed that of the IEP on campus; the program received part of the tuition paid by or on behalf of the graduate students enrolled. This budget is administered by the IEP. Within a year, so many domestic students had requested enrollment that a decision was made to enroll domestic students. At that point, a campus-wide GWP advisory board was appointed that included faculty members from the major schools and from humanities, sciences, and social science disciplines in the college to serve as a sounding board on programmatic issues such as course offerings and funding. They served as advisors to the Dean. Shortly after that, the graduate writing courses were moved from the IEP to the Graduate School at the behest of the GWP Advisory Board. Over the intervening years, the university moved forward with other initiatives to improve time-to-degree and degree completion rates, among them capping the number of years for PhD candidates, seeking increased funding for graduate students, developing department-specific criteria for evaluating dissertations, tracking the annual progress of graduate students more carefully, and reporting a lack of progress. As one effort in a multi-pronged approach to improving graduate education, the GWP has served nearly 1100 students in its ten years, with more than 1350 enrollments.

Administrative Structure and Staffing

This section clarifies the somewhat unusual structure and staffing of the GWP in which graduate writing is seen as an academic endeavor and staffed with more seasoned writing experts.


Established as part of KU’s Intensive English Program (IEP), the GWP was, in essence, under both International Programs and the Graduate School for the first two years. In 2006, KU separated its graduate and international functions: the new Graduate Studies Office moved to the research arm while International Programs remained on the academic side. This separation complicated the administration of the GWP: as an example, no structure existed for collaboration between Graduate Studies and International Programs for the business of the program. The program remained in International Programs. The courses continued to enroll domestic as well as international students; domestic enrollments outpaced international enrollments by spring of 2006. The courses are graduate-level writing courses that students from any department can take. Tuition is levied as it is for other graduate courses.

During this period, the GWP collaborated informally with other stakeholders—the Writing Center, Graduate Studies, and the Library—to develop other graduate writing support in the form of workshops and Research and Write-Ins (RWIs). These RWIs can be thought of as day-long writing bootcamps that provide intensive writing, workshops on research and writing, and writing consultations that typically occur twice each semester. KU is currently pondering a more formal, and perhaps more unified, structure for providing what I call the six elements of university-wide graduate writing support: instruction, consultations, intensive writing events, workshops, writing groups, and departmental and faculty support.


As the program founder and coordinator, I have administrative, teacher training, teaching, research and development, professional development, and service duties in a tenured academic staff position. The program assistant manages everything from reception to enrollment to database management to evaluation to coordinating events. Over the program history, between two and seven part-time and full-time pool and multi-term lecturers and language specialists have taught classes and tutorials and trained new instructors. These faculty also developed new courses and performed some administrative tasks and service. Research and curriculum development assignments were critical to developing the program and curriculum since rhetorical genre-based graduate writing instruction is only now emerging. Ideally this program would have perhaps four full-time lecturers or the equivalent in addition to the coordinator and program assistant and a student assistant.

The lecturers have come to us from disciplines including, but not limited to, American Studies, Rhetoric and Composition, Creative Writing, Journalism, English as a Second Language, Education, Anthropology, and Communication Studies. Although we have not had scientists as instructors, we would welcome that as well. Most are ABDs or PhDs when they begin teaching; they have typically edited graduate texts or tutored or taught some element of graduate writing prior to being employed in the program. The MAs who have taught for us had published as part of their professional lives before joining the program. In the application and interview process, successful applicants demonstrate their strengths by submitting a graduate or professional text they wrote, analyzing exemplars of graduate genres from other fields and providing appropriate oral feedback, and demonstrating an awareness of key rhetorical, linguistic, and genre features. These writing instructors should be specialists as described by Ochser and Fowler, bringing a strong background and skills related to genres and disciplinary writing to the table. We train instructors in rhetorical genre studies approaches and methodologies to round out their backgrounds for this highly specialized instruction using acute training at semester beginnings and during ongoing venues, including staff meetings and professional development and course meetings. Thus, training for faculty includes pre-service meetings, weekly new instructor meetings for the first one to two semesters, and ongoing faculty professional development meetings. In these professional development sessions, faculty read and then discuss articles from rhetorical genre studies, rhetoric and composition, ESL and English for Specific Purposes (ESP), including literature on mentoring and peer review, to continue to hone their art and craft. New faculty complete the rhetorical and genre studies exercises we use with our students based on samples from unfamiliar fields and discuss disciplinary practices and opportunities for creativity before they work with students. The coordinator and some faculty conduct research on mentoring and/or teaching graduate writing to keep on top of this emerging field and to fulfill research or professional development requirements.

Program Philosophy

For us, the rhetorical genre approach is the perfect match because our goal is to facilitate students’ study of graduate and professional genres, the rhetoric of their fields, and the disciplinary and cultural contexts in which they are writing the specific genres. Rhetorical genre analysis offers tools for balancing disciplinary and cultural contexts and expectations with individual goals, rhetorical contexts, and purposes as students write themselves into future careers. Although disciplines and individual scholars disagree on whether writing is a tool for presenting or funding research (Atkins, McGee, and Trout), an integral part of inquiry (Rose and McClafferty 29) or research itself (Thomson and Kamler 151), graduate writing is inseparable from research and the construction of a professional identity. Tardy observes students developing both writing and content area expertise so they can transform knowledge (22). For her, genre expertise is where rhetorical knowledge, formal knowledge, subject-matter knowledge, and process knowledge overlap. In writing authentic rather than pedagogical classroom genres, students move from peripheral to full participation in a rhetorical community, developing their research space and professional identity in the process. For Patricia Sullivan, this identity work means producing and reproducing “disciplinary orthodoxies.” For Frick, this is a matter of doctoral becoming in which students position themselves ontologically, epistemologically, methodologically, and axiologically (129). In such work, students are highly motivated to enact professionalism in their writing because they see what is at stake. As instructors, we are challenged to develop the carefully-crafted and specific pedagogy McWilliam calls for (xxi), a pedagogy that will encourage students to journey beyond what is known, first to the margin, and then to a new knowing in which they transform the expected into something new, something that contributes, perhaps something that challenges the expected, something creative.

In our classes, students explore the relationships between content knowledge, thinking, research, and writing or rhetorical practice with their instructors. At this nexus they create a professional identity akin to Tardy’s notion of expertise (16—17). We encourage students to employ some of the tools of the Sidney and Applied Linguistics and ESP styles of genre studies while using the principles and pedagogical approach of rhetorical genre studies to claim a research or theoretical space (Swales and Feak; Freedman). The Sidney School of genre studies, with its more linguistic approaches, examines the linguistic and formal aspects that seem to make a text a part of a certain genre. Early genre research sought universals in texts, delineated rhetorical moves (Swales Research into 80, Research Genres 227; Berkenkotter and Huckin), highlighted what is expected and what is expedient, and demonstrated how practice reflects the community (Johns). They introduced us to a range of academic genres. Such an approach to genres and genre analysis can be useful for students who simply want to finish their degree as quickly as possible, meet expectations, and avoid rocking the boat. These students may already hold the position they want or plan to work outside academia. We also find these tools of rhetorical analysis to be useful for students striving to understand how disciplinary arguments are structured and the potential range of texts that are accepted in their disciplines and departments.

Despite the usefulness of linguistic-based genre studies concepts and tools, we align our pedagogy most closely with the rhetorical genre studies approach because it teaches students what it takes to join a knowledge community while defining themselves as certain types of researchers, scholars, and professionals through their writing. Building on Bakhtin and the new rhetoric in the U.S., rhetorical genre studies assumes a dynamic, complex relationship between genres and their contexts and among genres in genre sets, allowing for a quicker adaptation to new research contexts. In this approach, genres are both rhetorical actions in response to recurrent situations and part of the recurrent situations themselves (Miller 28-31). Graduate and professional writing is not just about how context shapes genres, but also about how particular manifestations of genres interact and reshape contexts (Freedman 139; Paré and Smart 106). At their extreme, according to Engstrőm (79), genres may externalize novel ideas, artifacts, and patterns of interaction, and break up institutions.

Nowhere is this tendency greater than in interdisciplinary work. Here, research and writing demand greater flexibility and more negotiation in balancing the epistemic, methodological, axiological, and ontological concerns of multiple disciplines. In this case, students are doing much of the disciplinary boundary crossing, much of the knowledge transformation (Sundstrom). Those who work with them serve as literacy brokers (Lillis and Curry 88), as boundary brokers in these new interdisciplinary realms, and as boundary riders where disciplinary traditions still rule (Evans). With more and more interdisciplinary research being conducted, scholars and others will need a greater awareness of how genres interact with context to do the work of research centers or institutes, non-profits, and government agencies. In our GWP writing classes, students interact with students from other fields, learning from them the rhetorical practices of these other fields and the rationale for these practices. Students thus become more introspective about the practices of their own fields. This will, I argue, enable these future knowledge workers to cross disciplinary borders more easily.

Writing instructors and mentors help graduate students understand a particular genre as part of a larger genre set (Devitt, Generalizing, Intertextuality) or larger system (Bazerman, Constructing Experience). Guidelines often become pre-organizers for graduate and professional genres; Giltrow calls them meta-genres since they operate between actions of writing and those of reading. A class paper may lead to a literature review-style comprehensive exam, an uptake, in Freedman’s sense, that leads to a dissertation proposal and then a dissertation. The set may also include articles that are published as the dissertation is being written and possibly include the defense(s) and conference presentations that come out of the research. GWP faculty help students understand the importance of generic expectations as well as how to exploit genres for individual purposes in graduate and professional texts written for distinct audiences. To begin developing such awareness, we may have students prepare a mother-in-law speech, an elevator speech for Bill and Melinda Gates, and a similar speech for a top dog in their field about their research. They might write an abstract for a journal in their field and a brief research summary for the local paper. We then discuss the generic, rhetorical, and stylistic attributes that contribute to effective texts in these contexts. In the GWP, we hope students develop an understanding of graduate writing as more than just words on a page but ideally as a way to join a conversation, create a research space or area of expertise, and develop a professional identity for themselves as scholars or practitioners.



What started as a single Graduate Writing class for international students has grown to a full array of classes addressing the key genres of graduate writing: literature reviews, dissertation and grant proposals, thesis and dissertation writing, and professional publications for all interested graduate students. The GWP offers eight semester-long courses as part of 1) the academic and 2) the professional tracks of graduate education (see Appendix 3 for course descriptions). Courses associated with the academic track begin with Introduction to Graduate Writing, which focuses on the literature review genre, the genre used early and often in graduate school, and continues with courses focusing on the gatekeeping texts of dissertation proposals and theses and dissertations. In the professional track, we have fielded Professional Publications, Grant Proposal Writing (see Appendix 4: sample syllabus), and Professional Presentations courses. The Writing Residency course allows students to focus on whatever graduate or professional text they are currently writing. The graduate courses normally apply an ABC grade scale (see Appendix 5: rubric). Grades serve as critical motivational factors for students not accustomed to the rigors of graduate writing—a trial offering of grant proposal writing as a pass-fail course resulted in lower quality work than expected. Most students voluntarily enroll in classes; however, a few are nudged by their advisors or departments. These semester-long courses intersperse classroom instruction with peer review and individualized meetings with the instructor as the class schedule in Appendix 6 shows. Class sizes have ranged from 6 to 34 students with a current average of 12-14 in spring and fall classroom-based courses. We typically have more requests for enrollment in the tutorial class than we can accommodate.

As students carry out the goals of the courses and do field work on the writing in their fields, they study the genres they are writing using rhetorical analysis rubrics. They typically get feedback on their texts from peers, departmental advisors, and Graduate Writing Program faculty using rubrics such as the one provided in Appendix 5. With the rhetorical-genre approach, students learn a meta-discourse for talking about writing, which enables them to work more effectively with faculty members in their fields. Junior faculty tell us they wish they had had this instruction when they were in graduate school. The overt instruction in scholarly and professional writing thus diminishes the fault lines separating faculty and students in graduate education.

We have witnessed other positive byproducts of the rhetorical genre approach. First, such courses prepare students for the writing they will need to do later as scholars, non-profit employees, city managers, and researchers within industry; second, it prepares them to mentor the writing of others. For those who do become professors, a third potential benefit exists: these interdisciplinary classrooms prepare students to become ideal Tenure and Promotion committee members because they learn about disciplinary differences in writing while doing peer reviews where they work closely with graduate students in other fields. Students unfailingly praise peer reviews by students from other disciplines in the course post mortem. These graduate students to begin the shift from a student to a professional identity.


In our workshops for students and faculty, we employ the rhetorical-genre approach to writing in sessions where that is appropriate, providing questions for querying generic texts in order to both understand disciplinary expectations and see ways to be creative with genres. These workshops are led by both lecturers and academic staff members. Workshop topics range from Writing in the Sciences to Writing Comprehensive/Qualifying Exams to Pre-Writing to Advisor Advising and typically grow out of either what we observe in classes or requests from KU faculty or departmental chairs. The number of workshops varies with staffing, though currently we offer about six per semester. For faculty, we offer sessions on Mentoring Graduate Writing, Providing Feedback on Graduate Writing, and on Advisor-Advisee Relationships.

Population We Serve

In the beginning, some KU faculty and administrators assumed that the program would attract only the least proficient writers. This is, however, not the case. Of the students we serve, perhaps one fourth have not enjoyed the advantage of strong, ongoing instruction in writing in their undergraduate programs and need to work very hard to meet graduate writing expectations. One half will meet writing hurdles quite easily with our instruction. The final one fourth write nearly as well as university faculty members; they take courses primarily to finish their degrees as quickly as possible or strengthen their skills for their professions ahead. We prefer that students begin with a classroom-based course for efficiency in teaching the principles of rhetorical genre studies.

We currently serve 70% domestic students and 30% international students, disproving any assumptions that only non-native speakers of English feel the need for graduate writing instruction. At KU, students enroll in courses that reflect the genres they are writing; thus, the course on literature reviews enrolls students early in their academic careers, while students may sign up for classes supporting the writing of dissertation proposals, theses, and dissertations when they are writing those projects. Students writing articles or funding proposals tend to seek us out when their degrees are in full swing or towards the end of their degrees. Students tend to enroll to complete degree milestones or as a step in joining their future communities of practice. In terms of process, they contact us to get a permission number and fill out an information sheet which we screen for correct placement in our classes. Students note the benefit of instruction concurrent with writing what are often high stakes genres. Because of this, the students we have taught are our strongest advocates, with faculty advisors a close second.

The GWP’s Contribution to the Institution

Shifting demographics in the graduate student population and increased demands on faculty time have led to institution-wide failures where time-to-degree and completion rates are concerned. This increasing pressure on faculty to bring in research dollars, conduct interdisciplinary research, become more entrepreneurial, and publish more has resulted in less time available for mentoring. At the same time, graduate student demographics show much greater diversity in age, gender, race, marital status, education, and work experience than previously. The typical graduate student is no longer the young, white male supported by family or spouse. Faculty report feeling unprepared to guide the writing of the more diverse population (Paré, Making Sense). Funding is often a major issue for today’s students: with full-time year-round employment of graduate students reaching almost 50% outside the institution becoming more common (Davis), students also have less time available for their studies. As institutions, we recruit a diverse graduate student body then wring our hands about the very students we admit. We fail to update our graduate curriculum to address today’s institutional missions, today’s graduate education, today’s student population. Graduate studies faculty worldwide report a lack of pedagogies for mentoring graduate students (Aitchison and Lee 266). It is no surprise that students are more likely to become casualties in their graduate programs. Formerly accepted as just part of the risk of graduate school, these institutional failures are no longer palatable since we understand the lifelong consequences of students failing in graduate school (Lovitts 6-7). Our program seeks to avoid these failures but also adds value to degrees for some of the strongest students by giving them a leg up on publishing, getting funding, and making final degree documents as strong as possible.

At KU, both faculty and students value the overt writing instruction the GWP offers. This is not surprising since overburdened faculty have difficulty adding individualized teaching of academic and professional writing to the other demands on their time (Blackmore & Sachs; Epstein; Thomson & Kamler). To further complicate the mentoring of writing, to quote Paré, “the ability to write well does not confer the ability to teach others to write” (Making Sense 108). What if an advisor struggles with writing and/or with mentoring the writing of these genres? Some who struggle with their own writing are able to mentor writing well, while some strong writers struggle with the mentoring role, not feeling equipped to, in essence, teach writing. Some advisors who are great mentors are so overbooked that they do not have time to enact their usual great mentoring. Some faculty mention their own lack of training in mentoring graduate writing at the very time when a greater need exists for in-depth feedback and instruction: this is a recipe for disaster. When students fall through the cracks in this way, institutions suffer consequences in terms of time to degree, low completion rates, and students dropping out. Students suffer failure. Society loses valuable human resources. With these costs at stake, why has it taken so long for graduate writing instruction to emerge?

Institutions grapple with difficult questions around the mentoring of writing: Should all faculty mentor graduate writing? Should we train faculty to do this in-depth mentoring of writing? Is it efficient to ask graduate professors and advisors to teach writing to their advisees individually? Do the existing divisions for teaching, research, and service serve graduate students well? KU’s GWP emerged as one means of improving degree completion rates while lightening the load on faculty.

To be sure, only departmental faculty advisors can know the research territories and potential niches a student’s text will address, the accepted methodologies, the key players in the field, the expectations of the committee and department, and the level of confidence that should be used in making the central claim or claims. But faculty advising can be—and, in the face of the research pressures placed on faculty today, often must be—supplemented effectively with writing instruction and/or consultations if we want strong future stewards of our disciplines (Golde and Walker). In this capacity, the GWP works to bridge the gap between what faculty expect and what students know about the writing in their discipline, using the rhetorical genre studies approach. Allison Carr, a graduate student in English, argues that to be fit for graduate work in English Studies, a writer must be more than talented with words, “(o)ne must also be a critical thinker and reader, observant of disciplinary trends in scholarship, able to distinguish not only what concepts and ideas make an article worthwhile and provocative (or not) but also what rhetorical and structural elements make it effective or not” ( Micciche and Carr 481). Rhetorical genre studies makes graduate and professional writing something one studies and practices, something that is transferable across genres and disciplines.

Our approach to teaching writing is hands on and pragmatic; we practice pedagogy in action as Danby and Lee describe it (8-10). Doctoral pedagogy is both a social activity and a rhetorical activity in which we guide students’ field work on writing and foster more fruitful conversations between students and their advisors. We provide students with rhetorical questions to ask first of texts then of advisors so they can develop a common understanding of the text to be written. Students might ask, should my article introduction begin with the broader research territory or with the specific niche I’m addressing? What types of data or evidence are favored in research in this field? What should my cast of characters, i.e., pronouns, be in my dissertation? If I use we, does it denote I, the research group, researchers in the field, or the author(s) and readers? How do I join the ongoing conversation on this topic? How will I shape the literature into a cohesive argument for my research? In the GWP methodology, graduate writing is a three-legged stool, where the student, the research advisor, and the writing instructor are each one leg of the stool. In our instructional practice, we usually meet only with the student. As part of that process, though, we may review the research advisor’s comments on drafts, and we frequently send students to their advisors with questions. However, when the student does not seem to know exactly what the task is, the student is resistant to feedback, or it is not clear to us what the priorities are for a student’s writing, we may ask for a meeting with both the student and the advisor to clarify the task, the expectations, the deadlines, and the roles each of us will play.

Rhetorical questions strengthen and facilitate the mentoring relationship between students and advisors and make meetings about comprehensive exams, proposals, theses, and dissertations more fruitful. Students are, in essence, assigned a conversation with their advisor. They bring the answers to a class or small group discussion; these questions launch an in-depth rhetorical genre studies conversation in class. It certainly increases students’ awareness of the rhetoric of their fields. The questions provide a way to elevate and focus conversations early in the writing process. In addition, GWP faculty send students back to their advisors with questions regarding theory, methods, and content as needed. For faculty new to mentoring, these questions serve as models for how to overtly mentor writing by addressing the specific writing issues students tend not to know. This approach encourages students to take ownership of their texts and become junior scholars in their relationships with their advisors, asking questions about disciplinary cultural values, conventions, and how to tailor their texts for their own purposes (see Appendix 2 for an example of such questions). By leading such a conversation, students develop their own voices, a useful first step in developing their professional identities, an axiological concern.

Understanding the Challenges the GWP Addresses

Graduate students may face some or all of three major challenges as they in write graduate and professional genres: it is difficult for students to know disciplinary expectations, especially those that are part of the hidden curricula. Some students may experience cultural challenges as they learn the writing of a North American European-centric writing tradition. Some may experience the disciplinary expectations as elusive. Other students may be trail blazers in writing up multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary research and thus face the challenge of writing in new contexts where traditions are less well defined.

Disciplinary Discourses and the Hidden Curriculum

To illustrate the challenge graduate students face in learning how to write new genres, I share an experience from teaching our entry-level graduate writing course, GS 750: Introduction to Graduate Writing. In this class, I ask students to become ethnographers, to do fieldwork on the genre of literature reviews in their fields in order to write better literature reviews as their final papers. First, they conduct a rhetorical analysis of a sample literature review or review article from their fields, and then they interview faculty members in their departments on the use of literature reviews and the characteristics reviews might possess. Students ask questions including those below:

  • “Am I providing a historical overview, describing the current status of research and/or theory, or defining a gap in the literature?”
  • “Am I summarizing whole texts or just the parts related to what I will use in my research?”
  • “How much analysis or critique is appropriate?” “Where should that appear?”
  • “How do I effectively synthesize the literature I’m reviewing?”
  • “How do I construct an argument, i.e., lead my reader through the literature in a review?” “How strong should this argument be?”
  • “What guidelines or criteria should I use that evaluate competing theories and prior research?”

These questions are the ideal lead-in for discussing the purposes of literature reviews and the types of arguments literature reviews make while simultaneously providing students with discipline-specific information they can use while shaping their literature reviews. Students share what they learned with the larger class. Though everyone is writing a “literature review,” the class quickly discovers that everything from verb tense to heading style to rhetorical purpose is up for grabs. In science literature reviews, past tense is often preferred to show this research was conducted in the past. In humanities, present tense allows the author to present recent research as part of a current debate that the author is taking part in. Thus, students learn how to investigate writing conventions and departures from conventions in samples from their fields and to ask why certain conventions are employed or ignored.

From English literature students, we learn that literature reviews appear first in the guise of seminar papers where the seminar paper may be used to show you have learned. Such papers differ sharply from those written for a journal or conference that initiates or joins a conversation in the field (Micciche and Carr 483). Compared to seminar papers in other fields, they are heavy on analysis and argument, incorporate both primary and secondary literature, and tend to be extensive. In Special Education at KU, early literature reviews may be a report on the status quo with little if any overt argumentation; such reviews may incorporate headings and perhaps point to a gap in the research at the end. Also known as research syntheses, these reviews loom large in the process of reporting on early reading in the field and as comprehensive exams. Boote and Beile noted that graduate students in education receive little training in how to analyze and synthesize the research literature in the field. Engineering offers another twist; these reviews frequently cover previous approaches to a design problem or issue, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these previous approaches, and discuss individual design components, all to frame and justify the current approach or model. In KU’s anthropology department, PhD students write a literature review-based field statement before launching on a dissertation. This discipline-specific type of literature review often contains a rich description of the cultural context/setting, a rather detailed explanation of the problem or issue and how it has come about, a discussion of a promising theoretical approach, and what previous research has shown. If you believe, as I do, that graduate students may not know these expectations when they start writing such projects, how can writing instructors and advisors make these aspects of writing manifest? It is here that students learn how to inhabit their professional way of knowing, doing, and being, and to place themselves within the theoretical and research terrains.

The final case most clearly illustrates the more complex issue of the hidden curriculum of graduate studies. At the point when anthropology graduate students are asked to write field statements, they have most likely never read one. Like comprehensive or qualifying exams in other fields, these field statements and the knowledge needed to produce them are part of the hidden curriculum. Students are expected to know the unstated disciplinary standards and cultural expectations for these documents without being taught what they are (Boote and Beile). The task for graduate departments, mentors, and writing instructors is to make this hidden curriculum explicit. For students relatively new to graduate study, even the term “literature review” might seem opaque. Certainly, the standards and expectations of a literature-review-style comprehensive exam remain a mystery. These new forms of literature reviews often differ dramatically from the literature-review-style papers students have written previously as class or seminar papers, if indeed they have written such papers. In fact, comprehensive exams or field statements may be students’ first attempts to integrate theory and prior research. Writing a strong field statement or comprehensive exam is not only a question of the higher quality of writing expected, but also a matter of constructing an argument that shows the status of current research, how theory and research point to a certain approach, the gap or a/the next logical step in research, and what theoretical lens or methodology is most promising.

In our courses, students learn to ask pertinent questions such as those outlined earlier within their rhetorical contexts. In the Grant Proposal Writing course, in contrast, students might need to ask whether the committee that vets the proposal will be specialists in this area of research? What argument would make this application for funding most compelling for this particular funding entity? What verb tenses predominate in the proposal narrative or its equivalent? What others are used? Why is each used? Where it is used? Are hedges used? How do I show that I’m a good risk, that I’ll complete the project? How do I establish my authority? In a thesis and dissertation class on the other hand, students might ask whether they are writing an ILMRD (introduction, lit review, methods, results, discussion)-style thesis or dissertation, one that has thematic chapters, or one that uses separate articles as chapters. How does verb tense vary by chapter? Why do they vary in this way? How strong should my claims or conclusions be? By asking such questions of faculty advisors, students receive concrete advice on how to perform a professional identity in a text, how to join their niche-specific conversation.

Cultural Context in Graduate Writing

Covert disciplinary expectations are not the only contextual challenge that students face in learning to write these new genres. Whether these students are from Iran or the graduate of a local college for Native Americans, they are usually asked to meet the expectations of a specific academic cultural context: that of northern Europeans in the U.S. education setting (Crowley cited in Liu 80). When I ask international students how literature reviews in research articles from mainstream U.S. journals differ from those reviews published in their fields at home, these students note substantial differences. Chinese and Korean scholars note the relative scarcity of citations in Chinese and Korean research articles; Ukrainian scholars have mentioned the differences in who is seen as central to the field. Other students tell us that the overt evaluation they see in literature review sections in research articles in U.S. journals would not be seen in articles published in their native languages. Native American graduate students note a bias against indigenous methodologies unless they are in a field such as indigenous studies where there is a greater likelihood that these methodologies will be seen as legitimate. (For supporting research on cross-cultural contrasts, see Bloch and Chi; Lee; Jensen; Hyland, Boasting and Hedging, Hedging, Writing; Yakhontova.) Some of these students lack experience conducting critical reviews: they need to learn how to synthesize bodies of literature, how to critique previous research, how to place this work in the theoretical terrain. These students often lack the tools for making the expected sense of a body of literature, for developing privileged kinds of research questions and hypotheses.

Differing cultural beliefs about what constitutes good research and good writing have resulted in unequal access to English-medium publishing as Swales (Genre Analysis, Research Genres), Flowerdew, and Wood point out. While we might assume that linguistic differences pose the greatest challenge for international students, the challenges of developing research topics, research questions, and arguments loom even larger in our experience working with international students. They must not only demonstrate linguistic competence, but also master differing cultural beliefs about what constitutes good research and good writing. This cultural competence plays a critical role in whether non-native speakers of English get their degrees at U.S. universities and publish in English-medium journals. In learning to write scholarly and professional genres, international graduate students must successfully balance disciplinary expectations, the culture of publication, and their individual purposes to publish in the U.S. U.S. residents who are not a part of the northern European culture may face similar cultural challenges in creating agency and a voice while seeking a balance of conforming and resisting in their own work. They must decide when and how to apply indigenous knowledge and fight for decolonizing methodologies, such as the insider ethnographies that Linda Tuhiwai Smith advocates. Their writing instructors and advisors are challenged to see mentoring in post-colonial terms (Manathunga and Grant). Such international and multicultural students may also pose greater challenges to advisors where local level issues are concerned.

In the Graduate Writing Program, we acknowledge the value of home country/culture methodologies and research styles, while offering guidance for getting publications accepted by U.S.-based journals and succeeding in defenses. We teach students to recognize cultural differences through rhetorical analyses of genres; this leads to fruitful discussions on how everything from rhetorical moves to citation traditions represents a cultural as well as a disciplinary value. International students tend to note the differences between the U.S. genre and the same genre at home. In our class discussions, we explore the multiple rhetorics that students can choose to apply in specific contexts. Students explore how to foreground or background their voice, establish their authority, and convince a specific audience of their claims.

Interdisciplinary fields

In interdisciplinary fields, students often face even greater challenges deriving from the plethora of theories, approaches, methodologies that are encompassed in this larger research territory. The challenge may manifest itself in choosing even the citation style. Students may be told to simply choose a citation style. This is misleading, however, since citation styles reflect specific epistemic, methodological, axiological, and ontological ways of being (Frick 127-29). Students may not understand the implications of their choices. In North American doctoral programs, this information could be taught in a program’s or department’s methodology course, where the problem statement, theory, research question or hypothesis, methodology, publication target, and citation style can be presented as integrated issues and where the socio-rhetorical context can be made evident. In settings where PhDs do not enroll in coursework, a greater burden is placed on the research supervisor to show students how to enact a scholarly or professional role, we might call that “doctorateness,” in their research and writing.

In our individualized sessions with students, we may discuss borrowing strategies from the rhetoric of another discipline or from the home culture rhetoric for a specific purpose and have the writers ask their advisors whether a specific strategy is contextually appropriate. For example, I have often shown students from across the university an Applied Behavior Sciences framework for comparing research studies since it facilitates a careful comparison of previous studies on issues such as context, population, research question, methodology, key findings, interpretation, analysis in a database or table. Thus, we serve as brokers for crossing disciplinary and cultural boundaries, helping students decide which ones to cross.

Successes, Limitations, and Next Steps


In a five-year program review (Graduate Writing Program), we compared PhD degree completion rates for our students and those of the university as a whole. We found that degree completion rates went up with even a single enrollment in our program in three of four years where we had enough enrollments to do an informal comparison. In this comparison, our students were compared to their cohorts to determine completion rates. Of the four years when we could make a comparison, the GWP rates were substantially higher for three years: the GWP percentages were 58%, 63%, and 47% (2001, 2003, 2004) while those for the larger cohort were 49%, 39%, and 26%. The percentages for 2002 were tied. As we followed these cohorts, the statistical picture became more muddied. As time went on for these same cohorts, GWP students showed less of an advantage over the larger group. We believe this is because in the later time frame the GWP enrollments included more students who had been given a “finish or else” mandate, i.e., more students who had been around longer and who were already on a “won’t finish” path. Time to degree proved impossible to examine. Time-to-degree statistics are only meaningful by school or department since time to degree figures vary so much by school and discipline. When we divided our students out by school, the numbers within schools did not support even an informal comparison. At the time of writing, 60-110 graduate students have enrolled voluntarily in fall and spring semesters. Of the 1037 students we have served, approximately 30% have enrolled in more than one class, reflecting a belief that our instruction has been helpful.

Advantages and challenges of current administrative structure

Students have noted the advantages of interdisciplinary, semester long courses organized around genres. They have noted especially the importance of talking to someone outside their disciplines in their initial conceptual work on a text. Domestic and international students both bring strengths to the process and are thus best taught together; their strengths complement each other nicely. The strongest student in a given class may be domestic or may be international, and both benefit from our teaching approaches. We teach a functional grammar, meaning that we teach the language of precision, the language of argument, the language of placing one’s self in the field, the language of creating authority when we are teaching the more abstract concepts. Finally, having semester-long courses seems to work well for following students through a document like a dissertation proposal or an article or a chapter or two chapters of a dissertation.

However, interdisciplinary teaching of advanced writing also poses specific challenges. Instructors must be open to disciplinary definitions of good research and good writing, not just what is good writing in their own disciplines. New instructors need very explicit training and learning experiences as background for working across disciplines. A course like grant proposal writing is, in fact, more difficult to teach as an interdisciplinary course since the instructor has to get familiar with opportunities and resources in many arenas. There is an urgent need for instruction that prepares potential graduate writing faculty. Such instruction might include courses in composition studies, discourse analysis, text analysis, rhetoric of science, genre studies, or rhetorical genre studies.

Limitations and Ideal administrative structure

The GWP is an entrepreneurial program. With the separation of International Programs and what is now Graduate Studies in 2006, questions about where the program should live, where the courses should be offered, and what the funding basis should be have loomed large. For those considering starting such a program, these issues will be of paramount importance. Such instruction is probably best placed in graduate studies or in Education or the college of liberal arts and sciences to establish the academic nature of the work. While we have established our academic credibility at KU, it was a rather lengthy process since the program was started in an IEP. In beginning a graduate writing program and writing a mission statement, it is helpful to involve the graduate, academic, and research arms of institutions in the conversation. Such conversations would outline the mission, structure, and funding as well as the desired credentials for those mentoring graduate writing. Should all six elements of support—instruction, consulting, intensive writing events, workshops, writing groups, and departmental and faculty support be included? If not, which of the six are to be covered?

An informal survey of graduate writing support across institutions, including instruction, showed that graduate writing instruction and centers are housed in the Office of Academic Affairs, in Graduate Studies, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, in Education, and in Student Success. The highly academic nature of such instruction suggests this work is an academic not a student service endeavor. Academics and professions use writing to share knowledge but more importantly to transform and create knowledge. For graduate students it is certainly a matter of identity building. It is what academics and professionals do (Paré, Personal Interview). As such, graduate writing instruction should be something that both academic and research arms of universities care about.

At KU, the GWP and the Writing Center are currently separate entities. Institutions could gain effectiveness and efficiency by placing all Graduate Writing endeavors in a single unit with a strong theoretical base and a practical bent. Writing Center-style consultations and tutorials could provide a great training ground for writing instructors if these consultants and instructors also receive in-depth training in the content and methods of rhetorical genre studies, curriculum development, providing feedback.


As institutions, we are indeed preparing the stewards of our disciplines, both inside and outside the academy. Let the approach to graduate writing be thorough enough to reflect that high stakes goal. Other institutions have successfully implemented their own approaches. Harvard, for example, has published excellent handbooks for their graduate students in which students are introduced to the scholarly life, graduate research and writing, and what they need to do to succeed beyond graduate study. Dissertation boot camps are sponsored by institutions across the country, from UCLA to the University of Delaware to Penn to Temple. Scholar retreats are offered by institutions ranging from Texas A&M to Denver to the University of Texas, Austin. Other universities have started specialized graduate writing centers, among them UCLA, Yale, and Texas Christian University. KU provides comprehensive instruction as well as consultations, intensive writing events, workshops, writing groups, and departmental and faculty support.

Writing is inextricably linked with knowledge communities, bringing content knowledge, critical thinking and research to bear on the challenges the world faces. Being able to write a literature review—an uptake in a genre set that includes theoretical pieces, research articles, other reviews, conference presentations, and commentary—is a complex task worthy of instruction. Funding proposals, articles, book chapters, and dissertations are no less critical to preparing future knowledge workers.

Done well, writing is how a researcher places herself in the larger community of practice, how she creates her professional identity, how she acquires funding for research that benefits us all. Graduate writing instruction has a place in today’s universities, and rhetorical genre studies is an ideal framework for initiating conversations about disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and writing practices, helping students map out careers and fostering future generations of successful academics and professionals.


  1. Appendix 1: Course and Workshops Offered by KU Graduate Departments
  2. Appendix 2: Rhetorical Analysis of Dissertation Proposals, Theses, Dissertations
  3. Appendix 3: List of GWP Course Descriptions
  4. Appendix 4: GS 720 Grant Proposal Writing Spring 2013
  5. Appendix 5: Rubric
  6. Appendix 6: Class Schedule

Appendix 1: Course and Workshops Offered by KU Graduate Departments

Class Type


Non-Credit Workshops{1}

Introduction to Graduate Studies



Research Methods









Proposal, Thesis, or Dissertation Writing



Job Search



Grant Writing












Appendix 2: Rhetorical Analysis of Dissertation Proposals, Theses, Dissertations

  1. Discipline: What is your discipline?
  2. Sample: Is the sample document a thesis or dissertation? A proposal?
  3. Length of document: How many pages are in the body? The appendices? The reference list?
  4. Sentence and paragraph length: How long are sentences on average (how many lines)? How many paragraphs are there on average per page?
  5. Chapters: Is it an ILMRD-style{3} thesis/dissertation? If not, what are the chapters? Explain what is done instead of the missing chapters (i.e., if there is no methods chapter, where and how is the methodology covered)?
  6. Evidence: What counts as “data” or evidence in your field?
  7. Verb Tense: What verb tense is used for the intro, lit review (if there is one) or for the background section, for the methods (if they exist), for reporting results, for the discussion? If you are in a field where topic chapters are used, how is verb tense done? What do you think the rationale is for that?
  8. Passive voice: Is passive voice used in your field? When? Is every sentence in that section passive? If not, how/when is it varied?
  9. Hedges and politeness strategies: Are hedges (e.g., perhaps, suggests) used in the literature review? In the discussion chapter? If so, describe the purposes they are used for?
  10. Level of formality: How formal is the document (very, somewhat, informal)? How can you tell?
  11. Cast of characters: What is the cast of characters? Describe when I, we, you, and they are used? Who is the referent for each? How is the writer him/herself referred to?
  12. Voice and authority: To what extent is the author’s voice in the text? What allows/prevents it from coming through? Do you think writers are encouraged to their own voice in this field? How is authority established?
  13. Definitions: How are definitions of terms accomplished in your field?
  14. Lies My English Teacher Taught Me: What do you notice in the text that violates rules/guidelines provided in freshman composition or in ESL writing textbooks?
  15. Acknowledging sources: When do the first citations appear? Are direct quotations used? If not, what kind of information is used from previous authors? How is it cited? How do you make sure you are not overusing sources?
  16. Bibliographic style: What bibliographic style is used (e.g., APA, Chicago, MLA, ACS)? Does this style include the use of footnotes? If so, what specifically goes in footnotes? What goes in the text?

This assignment borrows from Jensen, Claim Strength and Argument Structure in International Research Articles; A Case Study Using Chinese, Ukrainian, and U.S. Chemistry Texts and from Lacy Johnson’s adaptation of Lunsford, Understanding Disciplinary Discourse. The St. Martins Handbook. 3rd ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 1995. 698-706.

Appendix 3: List of GWP Course Descriptions

Orientation to Graduate Studies

(Not currently offered)

Credit hours: 1

Designed for incoming graduate students, this course consists of a series of workshops focused on strategies and tools for success in graduate school and beyond. You will learn how to use software to advantage as well as how to approach professional research and writing demands.

Introduction to Writing

(Offered every semester)

Credit hours: 3

This class is for graduate students who want to hone their reading and writing skills early in their degree programs. You will learn to analyze the structure of professional texts and gain practice in the basic genres of academic writing. The final product, a literature review or a proposal, may vary in format by discipline but must integrate material from original research and focus on a central problem or research question. You will receive individualized feedback on genre expectations, organizational strategies, using sources effectively and ethically, and grammar, editing, and usage via one-on-one conferences/ tutorials. You will submit a portfolio and a reflection paper at the end of this class.

Thesis & Dissertation Writing

(Offered spring and fall semesters)

Credit hours: 3

For many graduate students, writing proposals, theses, or dissertations is the most challenging writing task they have faced. By analyzing samples from your field and learning the traits of these documents or chapters, you will be able to meet your department’s expectations for structure and content in writing your own texts. You will receive feedback on these texts regarding the rhetorical structure, expected elements, and the more discrete skills of grammar, editing, and proofreading in individualized lessons with course instructors. You will submit a portfolio and a reflection paper at the end of this class.

Dissertation Workshop

(Offered every semester)

Credit hours: 3

This interdisciplinary writing workshop will allow students working on their proposals, theses and dissertations to write in a supportive and focused environment. This course also includes weekly one-on-one conferences with the Workshop leader and mini-seminars on such topics as how to be more efficient with your writing, how to avoid typical roadblocks, how to stay motivated, and how to shed stress.

Thesis and Dissertation Tutorials

(Offered every semester)

Credit hours: 3-6

Designed for students who are writing theses, dissertations, and other graduate texts including journal articles, comprehensive exams, book chapters, and grant proposals, these weekly one-on-one tutorials allow writers to focus on their own areas of concern in writing. You may be asked to read about the individual chapters you are writing or to analyze a sample from your field to provide the background knowledge to meet disciplinary expectations. Students cite the weekly deadlines, careful feedback from instructors, and guidance in writing such long documents as reasons for taking the class.

Grant Proposal Writing

(Offered fall and spring semesters)

Credit hours: 3

This graduate-level interdisciplinary class addresses a great need in graduate education via several major components. As a student, you will receive classroom instruction on the basics of grant proposal writing and attend a series of lectures by experts in writing and reviewing proposals. You will also identify grant sources, complete a series of exercise to build your grant writing skills and write a short, informal grant application as well as a longer, more formal proposal. You will receive feedback on the proposals you write from course instructors as well as other grant writing experts.

Professional Publications

(Not currently offered)

Credit hours: 3

In an increasingly competitive academic job market, candidates must demonstrate not only the capacity for innovative research, but also a strong record of production and publication in their fields. Through a combination of visits to the University of Kansas Press, presentations by widely-published senior KU faculty, and workshops with editors of academic and literary journals, this course will support graduate students in their publication efforts. As a student, you will 1) identify appropriate academic markets for your work; 2) prepare a manuscript for publication; 3) self-promote and 4) identify popular publication opportunities and potential paying markets.

Writing Residency

(Offered summer semesters)

Credit hours: 3

This course will provide intensive writing support to continuing graduate students working on long documents. All students enrolled in the course will convene weekly in a 3-hour interdisciplinary workshop, where students will discuss their respective works in progress. Additionally, students will attend brief one-on-one conferences with the course instructor twice a week for the duration of the session.

Appendix 4: GS 720 Grant Proposal Writing Spring 2013

Welcome to GS 720: Grant Proposal Writing. This course is designed to provide you with the skills you need to apply for grants during graduate school and beyond. One of the myths about grant proposal writing courses is that they are “how to” courses without practical application. This is not the case. In fact, you will be completing two funding proposals. I really look forward to working with you because writing grant and funding proposals is something I am passionate about!

Resources you will use

  • Blackboard site (readings, samples, tips)
  • A grant writing text or handbook of your choice
  • Guidelines for grants you are applying for, criteria for evaluation if available
  • Sample proposals for your grants/funding sources (for you and for me)

Organization of the course

This course has three modules:

  • Weeks 1-3: Class Introduction, Grant Seeking, Conceptualizing Your Project(s)
  • Weeks 4-7: Grant Proposal 1
  • Weeks 8-16: Grant Proposal 2 and Final Portfolio

Goals, Objectives, and Outcomes

Overall: You will demonstrate strong writing skills in your final portfolio and enact professionalism in the class. The three modules have the following goals and objectives.

Module 1: In this module you will

  • Learn how the class is structured and how we will work together to meet the goals and objectives
  • Locate appropriate funding opportunities and demonstrate this in interview notes and a 5-entry grant opportunities assignment
  • Clarify the project or activity you will seek funding for

Module 2: In this module you will learn the basic rhetorical strategies and writing skills necessary and demonstrate these skills in creating Grant Proposal 1. For this first proposal, you will

  • Describe your project clearly in a pre-proposal and proposal
  • Edit and revise effectively using feedback from peers and from the instructor for your rough, first, and final drafts
  • Follow (informal) grant guidelines and instructional tips, demonstrating this in the final draft of Grant Proposal 1
  • Develop a basic budget showing sources for the figures included even if your proposal does not require it

Module 3: In this module you will produce Grant Proposal 2 developing more sophisticated rhetorical strategies and writing skills. You will also put together your final portfolio, your self-evaluation, and a reflection.

  • Develop a strong argument in your narrative or “main body”
  • Clearly delineate how the goals, objectives, and/or aims will accomplished in your methods section
  • Develop a strong CV, resume, or biosketch appropriate for specific proposal or application and write effective cover letters even if not required for your particular funding source
  • Develop a detailed and effective budget
  • Edit and revise proposal drafts using feedback from peers, the instructor and other expert readers

Conferences and feedback on proposals

Submit your assignment to the appropriate drop box on Blackboard a minimum of 36 hours before we meet. You will meet with the instructor to discuss your proposals and written texts approximately every two weeks at the scheduled times and dates. There will also be peer reviews of your proposals and a review by an expert from your department.


Grades in this class will be graduate student grades, where the expectations are that final drafts are polished. Even early drafts should be proofread carefully. Your grade will be based on professionalism (10%), homework assignments (10%), and a final portfolio of your writing that is graded per the criteria included in the syllabus (80%).

Professionalism: Your professionalism will be evaluated based on in all aspects of class participation: class and conference preparation; class and conference attendance; collegial interactions with peers, guest speakers, and the instructor, and timely submission of drafts for conferences and assignments for grading.

Assignments: The specific writing tasks are described in the syllabus. In order to do well on these assignments, you will do research on funding for your project, read about grant proposal writing, read and analyze sample grant proposals, and submit your work for review by peers, your instructor, and a departmental expert. You will do rhetorical analyses of samples provided and of a successful proposal for the grant you are applying for if one is available. You will improve revision, organization, and argument-making skills through peer reviews and one-on-one conferences with the instructor.

Final portfolio: You will submit a portfolio by Wednesday, May 8 by 9:00 a.m.. This electronic portfolio will include the following material.

  1. Cover sheet
  2. First drafts of grant proposal 1 and grant proposal 2
  3. Final drafts of grant proposal 1 and grant proposal 2
  4. The expert review of grant proposal 2
  5. Your reflection
  6. Your self-assessment

Disabilities Assistance Statement

Any student with a disability that may prevent him or her from fully participating in this course should contact me as soon as possible. We will discuss steps for you to take to ensure that you may participate fully in this class. You may also go directly to Disability Resources, 22 Strong Hall. (Their website is A staff member at the Disability Resources office will talk to you about getting documentation for your disability and making plans to get you the classroom accommodations you need to be successful at KU.

KU Academic Misconduct Statement

Please see KU’s Code of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities.

Appendix 5: Rubric

Name _______________ Evaluator _______________

Grading Criteria

A = Yes

B = Kind of

C = No

1. Genre expectations: Your proposal meets the genre expectations and follows guidelines to the letter.

2. Compelling: Your proposal would pass the 10-minute scan test.

3. Goals and objectives: Your research/ project goals and objectives are transparent.

4. Argument: Your argument is clear, concise, cohesive, and convincing; it tells exactly what you want to accomplish and why it should be funded.

5. Narrative: The organization of your narrative is clear and easy to follow, and the cohesion is strong.

6. Revision, editing, and proofreading: Your language is mostly accurate, with few language, format, and punctuation errors, and those present do not interfere with communication.

7. Use of Instruction, Peer Comments, and Instructor and Expert reviews: You have used the conference instructor’s and your peer departmental reviewer’s comments and suggestions to advantage.

8. Assignments: Other assignments were complete and submitted on time.

9. Professionalism: You demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of class participation.


Appendix 6: Class Schedule

Week + Dates



Week 1

Jan. 22 - 25

  • Bring a laptop. You’ll be writing a diagnostic.
  • Read the Myslivy, Shubert, and Morgan samples of Grant Proposal 1 from the Samples tab on BB.
  • Choose one of the Grant Proposal 2 samples to read.
  • Bring copies of what you read to class to take notes on.
  • Be prepared to answer questions on the grants.
  • Read the class syllabus and bring a copy to class.

Jan 24th (2:30—4:30)

GS 720: Class and Assignments Intro

Introduction: Introduce us to your experience with grants, writing proposals, what you want to fund, your concerns about writing grant/funding proposals.

Introduction to class structure and key assignments: Grant Funding Proposal 1 and Grant Funding Proposal 2 and how they drive the class structure.

  • Teach BB submission process.
  • Discuss assignment for interview with department representatives.
  • Grant Seeking and Need statements.
  • Diagnostic: Problem or Need Statement.
  • Discuss Grant/Funding Proposal 1 in detail: budget requirement

Week 2

Jan 28 - Feb 1

  • Conduct interviews and be prepared to discuss what you learned in your interviews.
  • Bring laptop to class this week.
  • Read Grant Seeking Ch. 4-5 on finding grants.
  • Bring ideas for the two grants you will apply for in terms of topics and type of funding.
  • We will have a Community of Science (COS) workshop where you will search for funding sources.
  • Due in class: Submit a hard copy of interview notes in class. You should bring a second copy to use now and later.

Jan. 30

GS 720 Class: COS, Conceptual Conversation, Conference times, Discussion from interviews

  • Conference times selected.
  • Discuss what you learned in your interviews with a partner. What grants/funding sources will work for you?
  • Discuss grant/funding opportunities assignment related to COS searches and Ch’s 4 and 5.
  • Strategies for finding funding sources/partners to collaborate with.
  • Introduce conceptual conversation and pre-proposal.
  • Conceptual conversation with a partner.
  • Begin writing pre-proposal in class if time.
  • Discuss preparation for conferences.

<COS panel with Dan Coonfield>

(Watson Training Lab, rm 419)

Week 3

Feb 4 - 8

Due 36 hrs before conference:

  • Post your Pre-proposal + Grant Guidelines for Grant 1 via the “Week 3” Conference link located in the Conference Dropboxes folder under the Assignments tab.
  • Also post a copy of your current CV or resume at that tab to introduce yourself.

Feb 6

Individual Conference 1: (No Class)

Peer Review Session

Grant Proposal 1 Conceptual Conversation + Rough Draft of Body of Proposal

  • Classroom available for writing.
  • Advanced conceptual conversation with conference instructor + feedback on what you have written.
  • What will you emphasize and how will you organize what you say and format it to advantage?

Week 4

Feb 11 - 15


  • Read FLAS sample & guidelines from under the Foundations, Fellowships, and Travel Grants tab and in the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships folder.
  • Bring FLAS samples and guidelines and samples read for previous class.

2) Grant Opportunities Assignment

Due to Grant Opportunities BB tab by Friday at 1:00.

Feb 13

GS 720 Class: Writing Effective Short Grant/Funding Proposals + Grant Proposal Writing I

  • Researching need: statistics, current research status
  • Discuss short guidelines using FLAS guidelines. Derive key characteristics of strong proposals from FLAS and GP 1 samples read for week 1.
  • Do an argument analysis.
  • Discuss mini-budgets using samples: what are the required components? How do you show your budget is accurate/reliable?
  • Grant Proposal 2: start choosing funding source nowstart work on getting guidelines and samples.
  • <Finding Funding Opportunities Panel: Opportunities and Tips for Being Successful>

Week 5

Feb 18 - 22

Due 36 hrs before conference:

  • Post complete draft of Grant Proposal 1 to the “Week 5” conference link located in the Conference Dropboxes folder under the Assignments tab.

Feb 20

Conference 2: Full Grant Proposal 1

(No Class)

Peer Review Session

  • Classroom available for writing.
  • Final Conference for Grant Proposal 1 with Budget.
  • Report on where you will seek funding with your Grant Proposal 2 Conceptual conversation next conference.

Week 6

Feb 25 - March 1


  • Read a minimum of 1 article on grant writing, one you find online, one recommended by your advisor, or one from the Tips tab of BB.
  • Read Destination Dissertation, Ch. 9” on editing under the Readings tab on BB.

Due in class:

  • Bring at least 1 question for guiding our class discussion on a notecard or small piece of paper.
  • Bring a copy of your Grant Proposal 1 text for peer review in class.

Feb 27

GS 720 Class: Principles of Grant Proposal Writing II + Previewing Details of Grant Proposal 2

  • Grant Proposal Writing: Discuss principles from articles (think about what was advocated, the rationale, whether that sounds right to you).
  • Discuss principles of editing as presented in Destination Dissertation Ch. 9.
  • Peer review of Grant Proposal 1.
  • Grant Proposal 2 Assignment Details
  • Long Guidelines: How to approach them.

<Keys to Using Guidelines: Panel>

Week 7

March 4 - 8

Due 36 hrs before conference:

  • Submit guidelines + sample grant for Grant Proposal 2 to BB through the “Week 7” link located in the Conference Dropboxes folder under the Assignments tab.
  • Also submit an abstract describing the project you plan to fund in the same place.

Due by class time:

  • Submit first draft of Grant Proposal 1 via Grant Proposal 1 Assignments tab (graded).

March 6

Conference 3 (No Class):

Peer Review Session

Grant Proposal 2: What are you applying for? What do you want funding to do?

  • Classroom available for writing.
  • Grant Proposal 2: Conceptual Conversation based on a Pre-proposal.
  • Set Out a Plan of Work for Completing the Formal Proposal on Time
  • Bring Agency Guidelines or be prepared to call them up on your laptop.

Week 8

March 11 - 15

  • Find an article on writing resumes, CVs, or biosketches, whichever you’ll write for Grant Proposal 2, read it, and bring to class.
  • Read How Panels Work found under Readings Tab on BB.

Due in class:

  • Bring a sample CV/biosketch/resume from your advisor or another faculty member and bring your own.
  • Read Ch. 5 of Johnson-Sheehan on Developing a Project Plan located under the Readings tab.
  • (What are these parts called in your grant/funding proposal?)
  • Bring at least one question you would like to see discussed in this part.

March 13

GS 720 Class

  • CVs, Resumes, and Biosketches : principles
  • Peer review
  • Objectives and Specific Aims
  • Project Plans and Methods: What will this look like for you?

<Reviewer Panel>

Week 9

March 18 - 22

Spring Break

Week 10

March 25 - 29

Due M by 9:00:

  • Final Draft of Grant Proposal 1

Due 36 hours before conference:

  • Post original and revised CV/ resume/ biosketch (revised from class session) to the “Week 9” link located in the Conference Dropboxes folder under the Assignments tab.
  • Post Pre-proposal with methods and specific aims.

March 27

Conference 4: (No Class)

Peer Review Session

  • Classroom available for writing.
  • CV/Resume/Biosketch: What changes did you make and why?
  • Who will review your completed Grant Proposal 2?
  • Pre-proposal with Methods and Specific Aims

Week 11

April 1 - 5

  • Read Ch. 8 of Grant Seeking on Narratives.
  • Bring one editing concern or question + a current draft of your proposal.

April 3

GS 720 Class: Plan of Work, Schedule, Narrative

  • Plan of work and schedule
  • Narratives: What other names are given to the main body of funding proposals?
  • Other Key Parts


Week 12

April 8 - 12

Due 36 hours before conference:

  • Post draft including objectives, specific aims, methods and narrative to the “Week 11” link located in the Conference Dropboxes folder under the Assignments tab. Date the draft.

April 10

Conference 5: (No Class)

Objectives, Specific Aims, Methods, Narratives

Peer Review Session

  • Classroom available for writing.

NB: Schedule “Week 14” conferences for week 13 or week 15.

Week 13

April 15 - 19

Due for class:

  • Read Ch. 12 of Grant Seeking on Budgets.
  • Bring draft of proposal for peer review.
  • Grant Proposal 2 + review sheet to experts no later than Friday the 19th.

April 17

GS 720 Class

  • Discuss Expert Review Assignment
  • Front and back matter.
  • Introduce 3 C’s.
  • Do a peer editing session based on identifying the argument and the 3 C’s.
  • Address questions about proposals.

Week 13 makeup for wk 14 conferences post to week 14 drop box in BB

<Budgets: Panel >

Week 14

April 22 - 23

Due 36 hours before conference:

  • Full draft of proposal to class
  • Workshop Proposal

NB: Electronic copies of review sheets on BB located in the Expert Reviews folder under the Samples tab.

April 24

Conference 6: HELD wk 13 or wk 15

  • Complete Draft of Proposal

What will you finish or revise before submitting to your expert on Friday?

  • Student-led workshop using expert review criteria or actual criteria: submit notes to the week 14 drop box in BB.

Week 15

April 29 - May 3

Due M, 1:00

  • Expert Review due to you and to me.

Due in class:

  • Bring laptop.
  • Bring your copy of the expert review AND a copy of your proposal with changes made in response to review in bold.

May 1

  • Using Expert Reviews to Improve Your Grant: What can you improve in the time we have?
  • Partner reads and responds to changes you made from expert review.
  • Editing workshop or write-in.

Week 15 conferences use week 14 drop box in BB

Week 16

May 6 - 9

M 12:00 Final Portfolio due under the “Final Portfolio” link in the Assignments tab by Wednesday May 8th at noon.

May 8

GS 720 Class

  • Final Class Meeting: Evals
  • What Worked/Didn’t Work for You


  1. Non-Credit Workshops include all seminars, webinars, workshops, and practicums offered to students for no KU credit. (Return to text.)
  2. Courses under Professionalism include general courses on career issues and professional standards. (Return to text.)
  3. This refers to a thesis or dissertation that has the following chapters: an introduction, literature review, methods, results, and discussion. (Return to text.)

Works Cited

Aitchison, Claire, and Alison Lee. Research Writing: Problems and Pedagogies. Teaching in Higher Education 11.3 (2006): 365-278. Print.

Artemeva, Natasha. ’An Engrained Part of My Career’: The Formation of a Knowledge Worker in the Dual Space of Engineering Knowledge and Rhetorical Process. Genre in a Changing World. Eds. Charles Bazerman, Adair Bonini, and Debora Figueiredo. Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse, 2009. 279-294. Web. 18 August 2013.

Artemeva, Natasha, and Aviva Freedman, eds. Rhetorical Genre Studies and Beyond. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Inkshed Publications, 2006. Print.

---. Approaches to Learning Genres. Rhetorical Genre Studies and Beyond. Eds. Natasha Artemeva and Aviva Freedman. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Inkshed, 2006. 9—101. Print.

Atkins, Owen, Sylvie McGee, and Polly Trout. Proposal Writing 101: Essential tools for presenting your funding request. Center for Nonprofit Success. The Studio, Seattle, WA. 17 Jan. 2012. Seminar.

Bawarshi, Anis S., and Mary Jo Reiff. Genre: An Introduction to History, Theory, Research, and Pedagogy. West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press, 2010. Print.

Bazerman, Charles. Constructing Experience. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois UP, 1994. Print.

---. "Genre and Cognitive Development: Beyond Writing to Learn." Genre in a Changing World. Eds. Charles Bazerman, Adair Bonini, and Debora Figueiredo. Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse, 2009. 279-294. Web. 16 August 2012.

---, Adair Bonini, and Debora Figueiredo, eds., Genre in a Changing World. Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse, 2009. Web. 16 August 2012.

Berkenkotter, Carol, and Thomas N. Huckin. Genre Knowledge in Disciplinary Communication: Cognition/Culture/Power. Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum Assoc., 1995. Print.

Blackmore, Jill, and Judyth Sachs. Performing and Reforming Leaders: Gender, Educational Restructuring, and Organizational Change. Albany: State University of New York P, 2007. Print.

Bloch, Joel, and Lan Chi. "A Comparison of the Use of Citations in Chinese and English Academic Discourse." Academic Writing in a Second Language: Essays on Research and Pedagogy. Eds. Diane Belcher and George Braine. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1995: 231-74. Print.

Boote, David N., and Penny Beile. Scholars Before Researchers: On the Centrality of the Dissertation Literature Review in Research Preparation. Educational Researcher 34.6 (2005): 3 -15. Print.

Busch, Daryle. Personal Interview. 3 March 1999.

Carter, Michael. Ways of Knowing, Doing, and Writing in the Disciplines. College Composition and Communication 58.3 (2007): 385-418. Print.

Carter, Michael, Miriam Ferzli, and Eric N. Wiebe. "Writing to Learn by Learning to Write in the Disciplines." Journal of Business and Technical Communication 21.3 (2007): 278-302. Print.

Davis, Jessica. School Enrollment and Work Status: 2011. American Community Survey Briefs. U.S. Department of Commerce. U.S. Census Bureau. October 2012. Web. 12 July 2013.

Devitt, Amy. Generalizing About Genre: New Conceptions of an Old Concept. College Composition and Communication 44.4 (1993): 573-586. Print.

--- "Intertextuality in Tax Accounting: Generic, Referential, and Function." Textual Dynamics of the Professions: Historical and Contemporary Studies of Writing in Academic and Other Professional Communities. Eds. Charles Bazerman and James Paradis. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991. 336—57. Print.

--- "Teaching Critical Genre Awareness." Genre in a Changing World. Eds. Charles Bazerman, Adair Bonini, and Debora Figueiredo. Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse, 2009. 337-51. Web. 18 August 2012.

Devitt, Amy, Mary Jo Reiff, and Anis Bawarshi. Scenes of Writing: Strategies for Composing with Genres. New York: Pearson Longman, 2004. Print.

Ehrenberg, Ronald, et al. "How to Help Graduate Students Reach Their Destination." Chronicle of Higher Education. 12 October 2009. Web. 6 June 2012.

Engström, Yrjö. Interactive Expertise: Studies in Distributed Working Intelligence Research Bulletin 83. Helsinki: University of Helsinki, Department of Education, 1992. Web. 27 July 2013.

Evans, Terry. Boundary Riders and Boundary Breachers: Understanding Doctoral Workers. Postgraduate Supervision Conference. April 2013. Stellenbosch, South Africa. Unpublished conference paper.

Epstein, Debbie. Geographies of Knowledge, Geometries of Power: Framing the Future of Higher Education. New York: Routledge, 2007. Print.

Feng, Shengli. Personal interview, 1 Dec. 2005.

Flowerdew, John. "Discourse Community, Legitimate Peripheral Participation, and the Nonnative-English-Speaking Scholar." TESOL Quarterly 34.1 (2000): 127-150. Print.

---, and Matthew Peacock. Research Perspectives on English for Academic Purposes. Eds. Michael H. Long and Jack C. Richards. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Print.

Foss, Sonja K., and William Waters. Destination Dissertation: A Traveler’s Guide to a Done Dissertation. Lanham, Maryland: Rowmand & Littlefield, 2007. Print.

Freadman, Anne. "Anyone for Tennis?" Genre and the New Rhetoric. Eds. Aviva Freedman and Peter Medway. London: Taylor & Francis, 2003. 43-66. Print.

Freedman, Aviva. Interaction between Theory and Research: RGS and a Study of Students and Professionals Working ‘in Computers.’ Rhetorical Genre Studies and Beyond. Eds.Aviva Freedman and Natasha Artemeva. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Inkshed, 2006. 101-17. Print.

---. Pushing the Envelope: Expanding the Model of RGS Theory. Rhetorical Genre Studies and Beyond. Eds. Aviva Freedman and Natasha Artemeva. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Inkshed, 2006. 121-41. Print.

Frick, Liezel. Facilitating Creativity in Doctoral Education: A Resource for Supervisors. Doctoral Education in International Context: Connecting Local, Regional, and Global Perspectives. Eds. Vijay Kumar and Alison Lee. Serdang, Malaysia: Penerbit Universiti Putra Malaysia Press, 2011. 123-137. Print.

Glen, David. Help to the Finish Line: Ways to Reduce the Number of Ph.D. Dropouts. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 31 March 2010: n.p. 2 June 2010. Web.

Golde, Chris M., and George E. Walker. Envisioning the Future of Doctoral Education: Preparing Stewards of the Discipline. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006. Print.

Graduate Writing Program. Institution-wide Approaches to Improving Graduate Writing. Survey. U of Kansas, 2012. Print.

Graduate Writing Program. Program Review. Report. U of Kansas, 2010. Print.

Grant, Barbara. Challenging Issues: Doctoral Supervision in Post-Colonial Sites. Acta Academica Supplementum 1(2010): 103-129. Print.

Green, Bill. Unfinished Business: Subjectivity and Supervision. Higher Education Research and Development 24.2 (2005): 151-163. Print.

Hyland, Ken. Boosting, Hedging and the Negotiation of Academic Knowledge. Text-Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse 18.3 (1998): 349-82. Print.

---. Disciplinary Discourses: Social Interactions in Academic Writing. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2004. Print.

---. Disciplinary Discourses: Writer Stance in Research Articles. Writing: Texts, Processes and Practices. Eds C.N. Candlin and Ken Hyland. London: Longman, 1999. 99—121. Print.

---. Hedging in Scientific Research Articles. Philadelphia: John Benjamins,1998. Print.

---. "Writing without Conviction? Hedging in Science Research Articles." Applied Linguistics 17.4 (1996): 433-454. Print.

Jensen [Sundstrom], Christine. Claim Strength and Argument Structure in International Research Articles: A Case Study Using Chinese, Ukranian, and United States Chemistry Texts. Diss. The University of Kansas, 2005.

Johns, Ann M. Genre Awareness for the Novice Academic Student: An Ongoing Quest. Plenary Address. American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference. Costa Mesa, CA. 25 April 2007.

Kamler, Barbara, and Pat Thomson. The Failure of Dissertation Advice Books: Toward Alternative Pedagogies for Doctoral Writing. Educational Researcher 37.8 (2008): 507-514. Print.

Lee, Allison, and Susan Danby. Preface. Reshaping Doctoral Education: International Approaches and Pedagogies. Eds. Allison Lee and Susan Danby. London, UK: Routledge, 2012. xxiii - xxvii. Print.

Lee, Sun. Contrastive Rhetorical Study on Korean and English Research Paper Introductions. Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics 4.2 (2000): 316-336. Print.

Lillis, Theresa, and Mary Jane Curry. Academic Writing in a Global Context: The Politics and Practices of Publishing in English. London: Routledge, 2010. Print.

Liu, Barbara Little. More Than the Latest Pc Buzzword for Modes: What Genre Theory Means to Composition. The Outcomes Book: Debate and Consensus after the WPA Outcomes Statement. Eds. Susanmarie Harrington, et al. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2005. 72-84. Print.

Lovitts, Barbara. Leaving the Ivory Tower: The Causes and Consequences of Departure From Doctoral Study. Lanham: Rowan & Littlefield, 2001. Print.

Lunsford, Andrea. The St. Martin’s Handbook. 3rd ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 1995. Print.

MacDonald, Susan Peck. Professional Academic Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1994. Print.

Manathunga, Catherine. Post-Colonial Theory: Enriching and Unsettling Doctoral Education. Doctoral Education in International Context: Connecting Local, Regional, and Global Perspectives. Eds. Vijay Kumar and Alison Lee. Serdang, Malaysia: Penerbit Universiti Putra Malaysia Press, 2011. 123-137. Print.

McWilliam, Erica. Forward. Reshaping Doctoral Education: International Approaches and Pedagogies. Eds. Lee, Allison and Susan Danby. London, UK: Routledge, 2012. xvii-xxvii. Print.

Miao, Desui. Personal interview, 12 Dec. 2005.

Micciche, Laura R., and Allison D. Carr. Towards Graduate-Level Writing Instruction. College Composition and Communication 62.3 (2011): 477-501. Print.

Miller, Carolyn R. Genre as Social Action. Genre and the New Rhetoric. Eds. Aviva Freedman and Peter Medway. London: Taylor & Francis, 1994. 23-42. Print.

Myers, Greg. Writing Biology: Texts in the Social Construction of Scientific Knowledge. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 1990. Print.

Ochsner, Robert, and Judy Fowler. Playing Devil's Advocate: Evaluating the Literature of the WAC/WID Movement. Review of Educational Research 74.2 (2004): 117-40. Print.

Paré, Anthony. Genre and Identity: Individuals, Institutions, and Ideology. The Rhetoric and Ideology of Genre. Eds. Richard Coe, Lorelei Lingard, Tatiana Teslenko. Creskill, NJ: Hampton. 2002: 57-71. Print.

---.Making Sense of Supervision: Deciphering Feedback. The Routledge Doctoral Student’s Companion: Getting to Grips with Research in Education and Social Sciences. Eds. Pat Thomson and Melanie Walker. New York: Routledge, 2010: 107-115. Print.

---. Personal Interview. 19 March 2013.

---. Slow the Presses: Concerns About Premature Publication. Publishing Pedagogies for the Doctorate and Beyond. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2009. 30—46. Print.

---, and Graham Smart. Observing Genres in Action: Towards a Research Methodology. Genre and the New Rhetoric. Eds. Aviva Freedman and Peter Medway London: Taylor & Francis, 1994. 133 - 45. Print.

---, Doreen Starke-Meyerring, and Lynn McAlpine. The Dissertation as Multi-Genre: Many Readers, Many Readings. Genre in a Changing World. Eds. Charles Bazerman, Adair Bonini, and Debora Figueiredo. Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse, 2009. 179—194. Web. 18 August 2012.

Penrose, Ann M. and Steven B. Katz. Writing in the Sciences: Exploring Conventions of Scientific Discourse. 3rd ed. New York: Longman, 2010. Print.

Rose, Mike, and Karen A. McClafferty. A Call for the Teaching of Writing in Graduate Education. Educational Researcher 30.2 (2001): 27-33. Print.

Russell, David R. Rethinking Genre in School and Society: An Activity Theory Analysis. Written Communication 14.4 (1997): 504-34. Print.

Smit, David W. The End of Composition Studies. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2004. Print.

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Books, 2005. Print.

Starke-Meyerring, Doreen, et al. eds. Writing in Knowledge Societies. Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse, 2011. Web. 5 June 2012.

---, and Anthony Paré. The Roles of Writing in Knowledge Societies. Writing in Knowledge Societies. Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse, 2011. 3-28. Web. 5 June 2012.

Sullivan, Dale L. Displaying Disciplinarity. Written Communication 13.2 (1996): 221—250. Print.

Sullivan, Patricia A. Writing in the Graduate Curriculum: Literary Criticism as Composition. JAC 11.2 (1991): 283-99. Print.

Sundstrom, Christine Jensen.Crossing Boundaries: Unleashing Creativity, Creating New Research Loci, and Rethinking the Players. Postgraduate Supervision Conference. April 2013, Stellenbosch, South Africa. Unpublished conference paper.

---. Graduate Writing Support Program: The Least We Owe International Graduate Students. International Students: Strengthening a Critical Resource. Eds. Maureen S. Andrade and Norman W. Evans. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2009. 157 - 69. Print.

Swales, John M. Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990. Print.

--- . Research Genres: Exploration and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990. Print.

---. Research Into the Structure of Introductions to Journal Articles and its Application to the Teaching of Academic Writing. Common Ground: Shared Interests in ESP and Communication Studies (Developments in English Language Teaching). Eds. Ray Williams, John Swales, and John Kirkman. London: Janus, 1984. 77 – 86. Print.

Swales, John M., and Christine B. Feak. Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1994. Print.

Tardy, Christine M. Building Genre Knowledge. West Lafayette: Parlor Press, 2009. Print.

Thomson, Pat, and Barbara Kamler. It’s Been Said Before and We’ll Say It Again–Research Is Writing. The Routledge Doctoral Student’s Companion: Getting to Grips with Research in Education and Social Sciences. Eds. Pat Thomson and Melanie Walker. New York: Routledge, 2010: 149-60. Print.

UCLA Graduate Writing Center. About the Graduate Writing Center. UCLA 2007-2009. Web. 22 June 2012.

Wardle, Elizabeth. ’Mutt Genres’ and the Goal of FYC: Can We Help Students Write the Genres of the University? College Composition and Communication 60.4 (2009): 765-789. Print.

Wood, Alistair. International Scientific English: The Language of Research Scientists around the World. Research Perspectives on English for Academic Purposes. Eds. John Flowerdew and Matthew Peacock. Cambridge University Press, 2001. 71-83. Print.

Yakhontova, Tatyana. ’Selling’ or ‘Telling?’ The Issue of Cultural Variation in Research Genres. Academic Discourse. Ed. John Flowerdew. London: Longman, 2002. 216-232. Print.

Zhu, Wei, and Rui Cheng. Negotiating the Dissertation Literature Review: The Influence of Personal Theories. Learning the Literacy Practices of Graduate School: Insider's Reflections on Academic Enculturation. Eds. Christine P. Casanave and Xiaoming Li. Ann Arbor, MI: U of Michigan P, 2008. 134-49. Print.

Bookmark and Share

Return to Composition Forum 29 table of contents.