Graduate Program

Dissertation Writing Workshop

Course No: -----
Index # - -----
Distribution Requirement:  -----
Monday – 4:30 p.m.
MU 305

Dissertation Writing Workshop

Emily Bartels

This seminar is open to advanced graduate students who are working on some stage of the dissertation, from the prospectus on. Using your own writing-in-progress as our weekly texts, our goal will be to explore the ways that your arguments in particular and arguments in general are put together. We will consider the logic and impact of your stylistic as well intellectual choices, looking at how such features as word choice, subordination, conjunctions, parallelism, sentence length and variety, transitions, repetitions, chronology, and voice give shape to your thought. Although your main task will be to write and revise some substantial part of your dissertation, we will use a number of writing exercises to experiment with various strategies of expression. If we do our jobs well, by the end of the seminar you will not only have produced a polished writing sample; your writing (and so, thinking) skills should be significantly stronger. For the first class, seminar participants should prepare a brief paragraph of no more than 150 words, setting up the question that your dissertation or dissertation chapter will take on.

Note:  The GEC is now recommending strongly that all students in the fourth year enroll in the Dissertation Writing Workshop, as a way to facilitate the timely completion and revision of the first chapter. Students who submit their proposal in September of the fourth year would normally enroll in the DWW in the spring of the fourth year; MA-track students who submit their proposal in April of the third year would enroll in the fall of the fourth year. We also believe that it would benefit students to enroll a second time, in a later year, but we are emphasizing the fourth year and prioritizing those students in the enrollment process.