Fall 2023 Courses

The Writing Center manages a range of professional development courses designed to help students at the Graduate Center in their careers and professional activities. While topics vary, each class shares the common purpose of providing a low-stakes, low-workload space in which students can gain relevant practical experience alongside knowledgeable faculty and a community of peers.These courses do not carry credit, are ungraded, and do not appear on the student’s transcript.Students register for these courses as they do their academic classes: log into CUNYFirst; go to Student Center and select “Search,” which takes you to the “Search for Classes” page. Select the institution (Graduate Center), the term, and enter the course number (listed below).
Note: Because these courses are zero-credit, Level 3 students are eligible to enroll.

Writing for Government and Non-Profits (PDEV 79408)

Are you in a humanistic discipline and thinking about career pathways in the non-profit and government sectors? This non-credit, online course introduces students to career opportunities in writing for non-profit organizations and governments and explains how to leverage the knowledge and skills gained in a graduate program in order to obtain and succeed in these roles. Students will learn how to write in these professional contexts and have an opportunity to gain feedback on their work. We will meet and learn from professionals with doctoral degrees who are currently working in these fields. The course will be led by Graduate Center alumna Kara Alaimo, who has worked as a communicator in the United Nations, U.S. government, and Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

NOTE: Students who enroll in this course and maintain their attendance will earn a $300 stipend at the end of the summer term.

Professor: Kara Alaimo

Time: Thursdays, 9:30-11:30 AM (online)

Writing the Dissertation (PDEV 79407)

Writing the Dissertation is a course that supports you through the writing process as you work toward completing the dissertation. Designed to help you with everything from writing schedules to chapter drafts, the course aims to demystify what makes a great dissertation happen. You will be writing and sharing your work in the form of outlines, chapter abstracts, and of course completed chapter drafts; you will also prepare timetables for a sane schedule of work and write an “elevator speech” summary of your project for interviews and your CV. You will get a chance to critique completed dissertations in your disciplines and will also have time to review the common practices of academic discourse and rhetoric. We will also discuss how all students, especially historically underrepresented graduate students, can use mentoring, writing groups, and other strategies to achieve their academic writing goals.

Section 1

Professor: Dave Hershinow

Time: Mondays, 11:45 AM-1:45 PM (online)

Section 2

Professor: Elizabeth Dill

Time: Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00 PM (in-person)

Effective Academic Writing for Native English Speakers (PDEV 79403)

This course grounds students in the fundamental elements that inform all argument-based academic writing in order to help them better understand and navigate the sometimes bewildering array of genres in which they are expected to write, from seminar papers and conference presentations to grant applications and dissertation proposals to theses, dissertations, job letters, abstracts, and journal articles. At once a seminar and a workshop, this course combines opportunities for peer review with instruction in the genres of academic writing,

revision techniques, advanced outlining, the art of the paragraph, methods for overcoming writer’s block, and other skills. The syllabus will be developed in coordination with students’ stated interests and needs.

Professor: Maria Jerskey

Time: Thursdays, 2:00-4:00 PM (online)

Effective Academic Writing for Multilingual Students (PDEV 79403)

This course is a workshop that aims to help non-native English-speaking students take control of their writing process as they move forward in their graduate studies. We look at the conventions that shape academic writing, keeping in mind that these conventions vary from discipline to discipline and from genre to genre. We focus on the writing process by looking at various steps we can take in order to create “effective academic writing,” with emphasis on discussing writing in progress. Students work on improving writing projects connected to their coursework. We deal with grammar and other writing convention issues as needed.

Professor: Sharon Utakis

Time: Tuesdays, 11:45 AM-1:45 PM (online)

Teaching Strategies (PDEV 79401)

This course provides Graduate Center students from all disciplines with community and structure to help them prepare for and reflect upon their development as teachers. Our work will proceed from an understanding of the social contexts of teaching, as well as the positionalities of graduate student instructors and adjuncts. Short theoretical readings will help guide participants’ exploration and development of their teaching philosophies and materials. The course curriculum and structure will be responsive to the group’s needs, and the moments when we teach. Foundational topics explored in the course will include classroom community, student-centered and active learning approaches, accessibility, course design and policies, lesson planning, assignment design, assessment, educational technologies and online learning, cultivating student writing, affective responses in classroom settings, and culturally responsive pedagogy.

Professor: Sule Aksoy

Time: Fridays, 9:30 AM-11:30 AM (online)