Engaging Graduate Students throughout the Research Writing Process

Regina Chanel Rodriguez, Bryant Griffith, Lucinda M. Juarez


The purpose of this article is to encourage graduate students and committee members to examine how they approach research writing, and whether or not their approach propels or hinders graduate candidates from moving forward in their research.   We reflect on our experiences as PhD candidates and a graduate research committee chair in order to spark a discussion about the value of the research writing process and how that process should incorporate best practices in order to allow graduate candidates to explore questions in their field without having to fear perfection or judgment along the way.  We explore themes that were created after collecting and analyzing data on a professional songwriter’s process and how those themes are applicable to the completion of graduate-level research.  After reflecting on the research and the process of writing up research, we created five pointers that can be applied to graduate research writing (A) low-stakes writing is an integral part of the process, (B) trust is vital, (C) co-writes/collaborative creativity and conversation drive the process forward, (D) take small risks, and (E) know the genre.   Writing is possibly the single most important skill a graduate candidate will have to develop and refine during his/her program.  Taking highly effective writing strategies and applying them to graduate level programs could prove to be beneficial to all parties involved.


Research Writing; Writing Process; Graduate Courses; Research; Education

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

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