Graduate Writing Lab Books?

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Graduate Writing Lab Books?

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1ecoody
Abr 2, 2007, 4:32pm

I am a Masters of Divinity student (with PhD dreams) in the process of starting a writing help-center at Iliff School of Theology. There are many non-traditional students that need a bit of a refresher in writing to cope with the masters-level work. Plus, many students are becoming ministers-- performers, teachers, and counselors rather than specifically writing professionals.

Can anyone suggest a favorite writing guide or help manual for them? Any books on writing I could recommend to these wise and struggling students?

(http://iliffwriting.googlepages.com)

2Leel
Abr 2, 2007, 11:41pm

A book used in my PhD prep for writing course,The Joy of Scholarly Writing (an oxymoron if there ever was one!), "Revising Prose" by Richard Lanham. I found it extremely helpful. Having started college at 42, master's at 44, and now doctorate with a 30 year hiatus, I can only say that wsriting gets easier the more you do it. It's like any skill: practice makes perfect.

3ecoody
Abr 3, 2007, 5:33pm

Revising Prose looks like just the kind of book I need to get a few of these people out of their rut. I especially appreciate that you found it helpful, although your profile suggests scholarly writing is not your focus. That's just the kind of thing I need. Thank you Leel. Not aiming for perfection, but readable writing sure would make the world a better place.

4Leel
Abr 3, 2007, 9:25pm

Don't be deceived by my profile. I have been known to write the scholarly item or 2. More to the point, my fellow students were writing dissertations of every stripe: anthropology, ancient history and modern, and theology (among others), since ours is a university which houses a school of Methodist theology.

5jawallac27
Abr 3, 2007, 9:53pm


This topic hits home with me. I started my grad career last September after being away from school for 20-something years. Last semester wasn't too bad - it was a creative writing class, so I did fine. But this semester I've had to relearn how to write critical papers. I was very lucky to have had an excellent instructor in high school; the class was harder than any college-level writing course. Not only am I struggling with 'remembering' how to write critical papers, but I also have changed -embraced spirituality- and am having to write academically about beliefs that I 'gknow' and now have to back up! It's a real challenge. For example, my final paper this semester revolves around Zen Buddhism and the concept of consciousness as it relates to a specific poet.

Anyhow, here are some thoughts regarding what I've come to use -- I'm sure you're visiting plenty of the online sites that other schools have.

A good MLA handbook would be helpful on the bookshelf, though I usually use an online reference rather than a book.
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
and more specifically for MLA http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/

www.dictionary.com
www.thesaurus.com

CITATIONS: http://www.citationmachine.net/

BOOK RAGS is interesting; you can see snippets of 'guides' to potential papers (or you can buy the actual guides) -- http://www.bookrags.com/

Very helpful would be a simple refresher - googling specific types of papers gives interesting results:
"How to write a literary criticism" http://www.42explore.com/litcrit.htm
(I've also had luck googling the particular poem I'm criticizing.)

Graduate level writing guidelines:
http://info.umuc.edu/ExecutivePrograms/writing.html
http://www.gwu.edu/~gjackson/writingguidelines.PDF

How to write a thesis: http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/thesis_statement.shtml

Hope this helps a little.....Sorry I don't know of any specific books (most of my books are about creative writing, not academic writing.)