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Transitioning to Graduate School Writing

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on 13 September 2017

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Transcript of Transitioning to Graduate School Writing

Transitioning from College Writing to Graduate Writing
The University Writing Center
The Learning Commons at PCL
M-Th 10-8; F 10-4
Sun 1-7PM
The University Writing Center
Any UT student from any department
One-on-one expert writing help
45 minute personalized consultations
Any piece of writing at any stage
Today's Agenda


University Writing Center
PCL 2.330 - 512-471-6222 - uwc.utexas.edu
Created by Mary Hedengren, Spring 2016
Revised by Sara Saylor, Fall 2016

Thanks to Thomas Lindsay, Brianna Hysslop

Information, writing help, teaching resources, and
online appointment-scheduling
available at:
Writing in
For consultations...
Make an appointment
at uwc.utexas.edu
Be sure to bring...
The writing prompt, CFP, job description, etc.
Your brainstorming notes
Your current draft
Advisor comments
And/or any other materials related to the piece of writing.
Bank of stock frames:
In college...
Did you feel you were a successful writer?
What kinds of writing were most common?
Who were the audiences for your writing?
What kind of feedback did you get?
Did you write drafts?
Did you work alone or with others?
In grad school...
Do you expect to be a successful writer?
What kinds of writing are most common?
Who are the audiences for your writing?
What kind of feedback do you get?
Do you write drafts?
Do you work alone or with others?
Do you have any anxieties or concerns?
of Graduate Writing
But I...
need to write a long thesis!
Many graduate programs end with a dissertation, thesis, or other project that is longer than anything you've written, and/or going to take more time than anything you've written.
Break the project into
several small projects
: three 15-page papers is less daunting than one 45-page paper.
internal deadlines
: When will you have your chapters done? When will you write the introduction?
track of all your research
and citations in a separate document or with a tool like Zotero.
Graduate Writing
Research your audience.
When in doubt,
Rules to Live By:
College writing vs. graduate writing
Problems of graduate writing
Solutions to those problems
Approaching graduate writing:
Critical questions
for Graduate Writers
But I...

can't even get started.
Graduate students often have hard time with writers block because there isn't a strict deadline for things like submitting an article or finishing a dissertation. Even with conference proposals, some graduate writers think, "Maybe next year..."
Yeah, but...
when will I find the time?
Instead of having a class and deadlines, most graduate writing projects are up to you to manage. That means you have to practice good time management and create a structure that works for you.
But listen...
I have multiple projects to complete.
You might have course papers, conference proposals, articles and a thesis to write at the same time. It's a lot to keep in your mind, especially when many of the projects come up at the same time and are entirely up to you to organize.
Could you try...
Schedule your writing time
as if it were a class. Don't let anyone interrupt.
Try a
writing group
or even just an "accountability buddy" that you check in with weekly or monthly.
Set small-, medium-, and long-term
for how much writing you want to finish.
Reward yourself
when you achieve them.
Could you try...
Start with "what I'm trying to say is..." and write without an audience.
Talk it out.
Record yourself describing your project aloud. Better yet, have a friend or writing consultant take notes.
Draw your argument
. Diagram with pencil and paper or use digital tools to visualize.
Could you try...
Make a
of each project, and the deadline and degree of difficulty for each.
Keep a digital or physical
to put in all deadlines, external and internal.
. It can be tempting to spend hours on a minor project to procrastinate a more important project you don't want to write.
Could you try...
Be productive, not perfect.
That magical writing time may never materialize.
PCL Learning Commons Resources

The Public Speaking Center

UT Librarians by appointment

UT Libraries "Chat with a librarian"

The University Writing Center
Full transcript