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Article Title

Writing for the Future

Department

English

Disciplines

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Liberal Studies

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to ask whether graduate students who have finished their undergraduate study at Boise State University (BSU) feel they were adequately prepared to meet research writing challenges at the graduate level. Professors have also raised questions about the level of preparedness incoming graduate students should have. With BSU set to implement a new approach to learning writing across the curriculum, this study may aid in defining at-risk areas in research writing, identified by both graduate students and faculty. Surveys were given to graduate students who had completed their undergraduate degree at BSU as well as to faculty teaching graduate courses. The purpose of the survey is to get students to self-assess their level of preparedness and identify specific areas of research deficiency. The survey given to the faculty was much the same but with an emphasis on evaluating the writing of incoming graduate students in general. Follow-up interviews enabled a more in-depth exploration of topics covered in the surveys. Data from the surveys were analyzed and correlated with the outcomes of the new Communication in the Discipline (CID) courses to identify possible areas of writing need and to determine whether the new CID courses might fill those needs. I hypothesize that there will be areas in which both students and professors want improvement in the undergraduate teaching of research writing and that the CID course outcomes can specifically address some of the identified areas of need. This research project has the potential to identify areas of current need, as well as to provide a base from which follow-up research may evaluate the ongoing success of the Boise State CID courses from the student’s perspective.

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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Clyde Moneyhun