Graduate transitions: Canadian master's and PhD writing experiences
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This exploratory study researches the experiences of Canadian graduate students as they pursue writing tasks for their degree. A better understanding of the difficulties Canadian graduate students experience in completing key components of their programs, as well as of the supports both existing and needed, could enable supervisors, administrators, and graduate students themselves to more expediently overcome barriers to timely degree completion. The research uses a case study design based on qualitative focus group interviews to provide detailed information regarding both interdisciplinary and single discipline Master’s and PhD students’ perceived experiences with their academic writing tasks and available supports. The approach is informed by academic literacy theory. Graduate students who participated in this study identified transitions related to the pressure to publish and professionalize, and to the misalignments between their own and supervisory and institutional expectations, which resulted in some interrogation of institutional norms. They utilized Writing Centre, online and supervisory supports, but called for additional ongoing and peer support. The study has implications for the development of new, collaborative, and peer-based writing supports, as well as identifying future research areas related to interdisciplinary degrees and continuing stages of transition.
Identifier (Other)DOI: 10.31468/cjsdwr.853