Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts

Degree Name

Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media

First Advisor

Kevin Dvorak, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Shanti Bruce, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Juliette Kitchens, Ph.D.


Graduate programs and writing, Health care science and writing, Dentistry and writing, Professional writing, patient notes


Expectations for writing at the graduate level are high, yet research reports that many graduate academic writers find the process difficult and tend to struggle with writing. Institutions of higher education have focused on addressing writing at the undergraduate level but have devoted little effort to addressing the specific writing needs of graduate students, particularly in the health sciences. This research addresses this gap in the Health Sciences. This research includes interviews with twelve faculty members in the College of Dental Medicine at Nova Southeastern University about their expectations for writing at the postgraduate level. The study was not only concerned with academic writing, but also with professional writing, such as patient notes and referral letters. The results of the interviews were aligned with current literature in that postgraduate dental graduates also struggled with writing and could benefit from writing support. The faculty members were also able to share ten specific areas of writing where students needed assistance. Two outcomes that could benefit from future research are the areas of professional writing and writing for second language students.