October 27, 2017: Brainstorming on a Writing Class

A Class Offering In Support of Graduate Student Writers (So Everyone)

Dr. Jimmy Brancho is a 2017 graduate from the U-M Chemistry Department. He has been a noteworthy writer for public science, and now works as a Lecturer III at the Sweetland Writing Center. The department is collaborating with Sweetland to offer a graduate level writing class.

Jimmy spent half the time introducing his own career story, and setting up the rationale for good writing — good communication.

The life of a graduate student is fraught with demands, and some of those demands are a little more unexpected than others. Many graduate students report feeling overwhelmed by the process of writing their research up for publication and/or preparing written documents for candidacy or thesis examinations. First of all, writing is hard. Second, undergraduate science education often does not adequately address practical academic writing. Third, the scientific research paper is a confusing genre that it takes time and effort to learn.

He presented an outline for WRITING 400: Academic Papers and Presentations in Natural Science, an upcoming course offering of specific interest to graduate students in chemistry.

The attending group contributed many ideas to help shape the new course, including addressing issues about writing for the public and the demands from integrating ESL writers into such a course.

The course will be offered for the first time in Winter 2018.