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K-State Today

December 9, 2020

Graduate-level advanced writing course offered for cross-disciplinary students in spring 2021

Submitted by Cydney Alexis

In spring 2021, the English department is offering an advanced graduate course for cross-disciplinary students at the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy levels.

The ideal students for this course are those who wish to have dedicated space and time to work on their degree projects with a faculty writing specialist mentor, improve their agility in academic writing and develop  — or enhance — a strong and healthy writing practice.

Class writing projects will be students' program writing projects; those working on theses and dissertations will produce writing toward those projects. Those not at the project stage will complete assignments required by their coursework or field.

As reading is critical to developing writing skills, students will be required to read academic texts about writing from a variety of disciplines. In addition, participants will read advanced writing texts such as "Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace" and "How to Write a Lot." Participants will learn about writing hygiene, steps toward producing successful master's and doctoral writing projects, and means for developing a positive identity around writing.
Participants should expect to rigorously read, write and collaborate.

The class will be online and will have a hybrid asynchronous/synchronous structure — 60% asynchronous/40% synchronous — with most work happening asynchronously, but some class meetings occurring via Zoom — about two per month.

Past offerings of this course have garnered positive reviews both from advanced writers looking to sharpen their practice as well as inexperienced or struggling writers looking to build awareness and confidence in negotiating academic writing conventions. All are welcome.

Comments from previous students

"I entered this course with the intent to learn what is writing style and how can I improve my style? I also brought a literature review project that was intended to expand my knowledge of my research subject. During the course I didn't just cover these basic goals, I also gained a new appreciation for writing as a process of thinking and reflecting. I have gained a new enthusiasm for writing, and have begun writing for fun in my spare time, something which I wouldn't have imagined myself ever doing."

"I have never thought of taking a writing class in my whole life as a student; however, taking this class is one of the wisest choices I have ever made. Writing is important, not only to undergraduates but also to graduate students and even faculty. I really appreciate having this opportunity to learn and substantially increase my writing skills."

"This class has changed my mindset on what it is to be a writer. Before this course, I believed that I was not a good writer and that I was ill-prepared for my career as a research scientist. Not only has this course taught me the strategies for becoming a better writer, but it’s also given me the tools to continue to improve my writing in the future. This class is one of my all-time favorite courses. I have learned so much, and it has changed my mindset."

How to enroll
Students who are interested in enrolling in ENGL 604 — cap of 15 — should email Cydney Alexis at calexis@k-state.edu.