Graduate student writing support at the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication

by Patty A. Kelly, PhD, Program Manager at the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication

As Program Manager for the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication (CWSC), I design and deliver writing-focused programming for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members. I hold a doctorate in rhetoric, writing, and discourse studies, and I use evidence-based pedagogies from writing studies to provide services that enhance scholarly communication.

The CWSC supports a diverse community of writers at UBC, at various levels of proficiency, across many types of writing situations: academic, creative, professional, and technical. Faculty who work with graduate students could recommend CWSC writing-focused programming to their advisees, particularly those students producing a manuscript-length research project, those building their academic profile through the peer-review publication process, and those multilingual speakers for whom English is an additional language. This summer, the CWSC offers the following workshops and services at no cost to graduate students:

Writing Consultations: May 21 – August 17

Currently, the CWSC has 4 graduate Writing Consultants – two enrolled in doctoral programs – who provide one-one-one writing consultations. A 30-minute consultation consists of a conversation about a specific writing task. Students bring a draft of a thesis, dissertation, or research article, for example, to the consultation and engage in dialogue about the draft. The consultation is inquiry-based—on both sides. The ability to book two consultations per week provides substantial support for graduate students seeking to make progress on a writing project during the summer.

Book a writing consultation.

Graduate Writing Community: Tuesdays, 2pm – 4pm (May 14 – August 27)

Eury Colin Chang (PhD candidate, Department of Theatre and Film) facilitates the weekly writing community at Koerner Library. Research shows that joining a Writing Community helps graduate students establish an individual, regular writing practice in a supportive environment, while increasing productivity, building networks, and reducing isolation.

Register for the above events at library events.

Research Commons Writing Workshops

This summer I deliver three workshops at the Woodward Library that focus on particular elements of scholarly writing that play a vital role in the communication of research: Abstracts; Lay Summaries; Literature Reviews.

Register for the above events at library events.

Graduate Writing Retreat: June 10, 11, & 12

The three-day Graduate Writing Retreat, co-hosted with Graduate Pathways to Success, offers students dedicated time to make progress on a writing project in a relaxing, contemplative, and collegial setting. In addition to catered lunch, coffee, and snacks, the Retreat includes embedded pedagogical support such as one-on-one writing consultations.

Register for the above events at library events.

Knowledge Translation: Designing Authentic Writing Assignments: Wednesdays, 10am – 12pm (July 3, 10, & 17)

As co-facilitator of this faculty workshop with Dr. Jonathan Otto, Lecturer in Arts Studies in Research and Writing, I welcome doctoral students to this event.

In this 3-part workshop, participants interact with educators from a range of disciplines to design authentic writing assignments. The workshop emphasizes the socially situated nature of academic literacy, and views academic writing as a complex social activity that is content- and context-contingent. This approach locates writing squarely in the social world—in disciplinary and professional communities. The primary aim of this approach is to facilitate knowledge translation, knowledge uptake, and academic literacy through authentic assignment design. Jonathan Otto and I model writing assignments in several academic genres, while accounting for disciplinarity, and participants receive feedback from peers on assignment design.

Register for the above events at library events.

CWSC Website Resources

CWSC resources position writing as a recursive process, and provide opportunities for students to critically reflect on their own writing practices and knowledge-making endeavours in their respective disciplines. A video series introduces students to some fundamentals of academic writing and research, including “Writing in Situations,” an interview with Dr. Anthony Paré, and “Writing with Integrity,” a conversation between Dr. Susan Porter and Dr. Beth Haverkamp.