Graduate Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum

Guest editors: Marilee Brooks-Gillies, Elena G. Garcia, Soo Hyon Kim, Katie Manthey, Trixie G. Smith, Shari J. Wolke, Michigan State University

Writing instruction and support—and research—often focuses on undergraduate students, but graduate students need instruction and support, both formally and informally, and bring their own complex identities into liminal academic spaces, too. David Russell in Writing in the Academic Disciplines discusses how writing instruction has historically been pushed to the margins in academic disciplines, especially for graduate students who are often expected to be expert academic writers of a variety of specialized genres—such as academic articles, conference proposals and papers, and grant applications. Since disciplinary communities "have rarely integrated systematic writing instruction into their curricula to initiate the neophytes consciously into the written conventions of a particular field" (Russell 17), graduate students seek out university resources, activities or other thirdspaces (Soja and/or Grego and Thompson) offered outside their departments, such as writing center consultations, writing groups, and writing workshops, and often develop their own "underground" support systems.

This call seeks to extend the conversation begun by Russell and others (Bazerman, Casanave, Prior, Roozen) by requesting articles that discuss existing writing learning practices that graduate students engage in and those that propose new approaches to graduate writing instruction and support. We invite proposals for articles that explore questions such as the following, as well as others related to the topic of graduate writers and graduate writing across the disciplines.

  • How do graduate students learn the writing practices of their disciplines? How are students socialized into disciplinary writing? How do graduate students take on the task of writing in discipline specific ways? How do research methods and methodological paradigms affect writing?
  • What are the practices of graduate writers? That is, how do graduate students write? What do they write? Where do they write? Whom do they write with? Do these practices tend to vary by discipline? How do disciplinary conventions, practices, and/or expectations affect the writing behaviors of these emergent pre-professionals?
  • What are the writing histories of graduate writers? What informal and formal writing instruction have they received as graduate students? To what extent has the mentoring they received focused on discourse and/or discipline-specific textual practices?
  • How do graduate writing experiences intersect with the pedagogy of graduate instructors and teaching assistants? Do graduate writers share what they learn about their own writing with students they teach? How will the writing experiences of graduate students transfer into their roles and practices as future faculty members in a variety of disciplines? How might these experiences influence their desire to revise disciplinary attitudes and the writing instruction offered to students they (will) work with?
  • How do graduate students’ coursework writing experiences transfer into their exam and dissertation writing experiences? How do the complex contexts of "dissertation writing" influence how graduate students write?
  • In what ways do universities provide services, resources, and support for graduate students? What departmental or disciplinary services, resources, support do they use? How do support-services within the university contribute to student writing abilities and perceptions? What partnerships exist across campuses?
  • What specific support exists for diverse speakers/writers and how do graduate students use these resources? How do disciplines, languages, and (dis)abilities affect graduate writing? How do identity markers affect graduate writing: e.g., gender, sexuality, family life, culture, class?

How can graduate students use talking as a tool for writing and participating in their disciplines, so their voice is within the piece itself? In what ways do grad students use other writing tools or methods—digital and material technologies, reflection, mapping, software programs—to aid their writing processes?

These questions are meant to provide a general direction for articles. Proposals for related topics and issues are most welcome.

Deadline for Proposals: January 15, 2013

Notification of Acceptance: February 15, 2013

Manuscripts Due: August 15, 2013

Publication: Spring 2014

Proposal Format: Please submit a 500-word proposal explaining your topic, the theoretical and/or experiential base on which you will draw, and your plans for the structure of your article. Proposals and manuscripts should follow APA documentation style (with the single exception that ATD includes authors' first names). Send your proposal electronically (in MS Word format) to guest editor Katie Manthey at, and the editor of ATD, Michael Pemberton ( Please be sure to include your full contact information.