Week 1 GWC Discussion Questions

After reading the introduction and Chapter 1 in Writing the Successful Thesis and Dissertation and Unit One in Academic Writing for Graduate Students (excluding the Task and Language Focus sections), choose two of the following questions and answer them in depth. Be sure to use terms and concepts from the text to support your answer. These answers require at least a paragraph answer if not more.

Introduction — Clark mentions that within academia, a common misconception about graduate student writing is that graduate students should be able to simply write a thesis or dissertation without any additional help, and that previous coursework should adequately prepare a graduate student to write. Thinking about your own experienes, in what ways have you had to deal with this erroneous "sink or swim" approach? Have you had some experiences in which you were given further advice and/or preparation for our writing projects? How might you be able to assist other graduate students that come into the GWC and face these same challenges?

Chapter 1—What is your greatest fear about writing your own thesis or dissertation? What is the worst that could happen? How will you overcome that fear? How might you help other graduate students overcome these same fears?

Unit One —Unit One explains the importance of considering audience, purpose, organization, style, flow, and presentation when writing an academic paper. You are meeting with a student whose advisor has told her that her thesis is "bad" and it requires editing. The student thinks this means that you should just edit her paper for her, but you realize that one "higher order concern" in her thesis is that she is not considering her audience. How do you reorient the student’s focus to “higher-order concerns”, yet still address the student's concerns about "grammar"?