MLA 2016 Special Session: Graduate Student Research Writing Pedagogies (Austin, TX 1/7-10)

full name / name of organization: 
Gretchen Busl
contact email: 

Graduate student writing is a topic receiving increasing attention in academic writing research; however, this discussion is happening primarily outside disciplinary fields, within the realms of writing centers, teaching and learning centers, and graduate schools. This session aims to bring the conversation directly to the MLA fields, and ask how we can best support the graduate student writers within our departments.

The issue of graduate research writing is clearly connected to the most pressing concerns in graduate education today. There can be no doubt that graduate student attrition and time-to-degree are affected by graduate students' research and writing capacities, and that competition on the post-PhD academic market puts pressure on graduate students to professionalize earlier and produce increasingly more peer-reviewed work.

This "Case-Study-Themed Session" aims to offer best practices and innovative approaches to integrating formal and informal writing instruction into the graduate curriculum. Questions this session might address include:

How do graduate students socialize into academic writing and learn the writing practices specific to MLA disciplines? How can we improve these processes?

How can we integrate writing instruction into existing courses, or supplement coursework in ways that do not overly burden already stressed graduate students?

What innovative mentoring practices can contribute to graduate student success in writing?

Please send 250 word abstracts to gbusl(at) by March 15, 2015