Module Outline

Module 1:  Exploring the university, Understanding graduate-level writing*

  1. Welcome to SBU
  2. Basics of graduate education (new words, types of writing, culture)
  3. Introducing yourself (and your research interest)
  4. Treasure hunt: Learning about support on campus
  5. Asking questions, joining the conversation

Module 2:  Learning the fundamentals of academic writing

  1. Reading strategically
  2. Making reading-to-writing connections
  3. Writing well: invention/fleshing out and organization/outlining
  4. Writing well: thesis statement and topic sentences
  5. Writing well: flow and focus

Module 3:  Learning research-based writing skills

  1. Research 1: citing effectively (technical, rhetorical, ethical)
  2. Research 2: documenting sources
  3. Research 3: avoiding inadvertent plagiarism
  4. Research 4: writing abstracts
  5. Research 5: writing lit review

Module 4: Doing genre- and discipline-specific writing

  1. Textual analysis (abstract)
  2. Understanding genre
  3. Outline of the thesis/ dissertation proposal
  4. Tips and tricks for writing the thesis/dissertation
  5. Thesis/Dissertation writing habits

Module 5: Writing skills for teaching assistants

  1. Writing (or  understanding) course description and objective
  2. Writing (or understanding) course policies — and what they say about US higher education culture
  3. Responding to student emails (and understanding interpersonal relationship and power dynamics in the university)
  4. Commenting on student writing (tutoring techniques, written feedback)
  5. Grading papers

Module 6: Learning writing skills for publication

  1. Analyzing call for abstracts/ manuscripts
  2. Writing effective abstracts
  3. Writing effective introductions and conclusions
  4. Responding to editors
  5. Editing and proofreading

Module 7: Writing skills for professional communication

  1. Writing effective emails in professional contexts
  2. Writing teaching (philosophy) statement
  3. Writing research statement
  4. Writing the cover letter (job application)


Module 8: Review and reflection* 

  1. Review resources, reflect on your experience
  2. Complete a survey


The following modules are under discussion or construction:

Module 10: Cross-cultural communication in graduate school

Module 11: Social media, multimedia, and academic/professional communication in graduate school

Module 12: Technical writing skills

Module 13: Professional communication skills for the industry

Module 14: Creating and curating a professional profile online (writing skills) 

Module 15: Social-media writing skills for professional networking 


*Note: Students taking this module for credit should follow the instructions within Blackboard. You should also submit all work from within the course shell on Blackboard (not here on the open-access website).

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