The Writing SySTEM: A Systemic Approach to Graduate Writing Instruction and Intervention

By Russell Mailen, PI

Many graduate students are expected to conduct experiments and run tests in the lab and must eventually write papers on their results. However, limited and inconsistent guidance is often provided to graduate students on how to write papers. A multi-disciplinary team of Auburn University scientists and writing experts have a proposed solution. The Writing SySTEM: A Systematic Approach to Graduate Writing Instruction and Intervention is a four-step program designed to develop the communication/writing skills of research-minded graduate students.

The Writing SySTEM comprises four components:

(1) workshops to teach writing skills and promote the recruitment of diverse participants into other components,
(2) discipline-specific graduate writing courses,
(3) peer writing groups, and
(4) writing resources hosted on a publicly available Open Educational Resource site. Students may electively participate in any of the components.

The goal of this research is to determine how components of the SySTEM, individually or in concert, affect STEM writing abilities by evaluating students from small (biosystems), medium (aerospace), and large (civil) graduate engineering programs at Auburn University.


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