Survive and Thrive by Building Your Writing Skills

Submitted on November 14, 2016
Picture of UA student writing on a piece of paper

From grant proposals and everyday emails, to papers for class or publication, to your dissertation or first monograph, good writing skills are a “must have” for every graduate student. Effective communication is key to success both in and outside academe. Whether your projected career is in industry, business, government, education, the nonprofit sector, or virtually any other branch of the labor force, employers attach a premium to strong writing skills. The University of Arizona offers graduate students and postdoctoral scholars a cornucopia of resources for improving your writing. Here are just a few.

The Writing Skills Improvement Program offers numerous services. Their resources include tutoring, workshops, summer writing institutes, and graduate writing groups.

Graduate Writing Oases, a new initiative of the Graduate Center, provide three-hour blocks of time and support so that graduate students and postdocs can work on projects in a quiet community of fellow writers. The Oases are located at various campus sites each week. During the first hour, a writing specialist from the Writing Skills Improvement Program or the Think Tank will be on hand to offer suggestions and support.

The University Libraries provide help with research, writing, and publishing. See their For Grad Students webpage for details.

The UA Think Tank’s Writing Center offers drop-in and scheduled tutoring with certified peer tutors.

The Graduate Center partners with the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, whose office has developed excellent programs about grant writing and publishing. The presentations are scheduled throughout the academic year and are free for graduate students and postdocs.

The Graduate College’s Office of Fellowships and Community Engagement (OFCE) has a strong record of helping graduate students and postdoctoral scholars write successful grant proposals. Do you need a more compelling “Broader Impacts Statement”? Do you want to communicate specialized information to a general audience? Contact the OFCE.

For many other great online writing and research resources, visit the Writing and Publishing section of the Graduate Center’s Resources page.