In addition to taking advanced courses, graduate students navigate a potentially challenging transition of learning to write for publication. We, the authors, explored solutions to this transition with a study designed to explore the research questions: How does a systematic effort to help doctoral students enter a community of writers via writing center collaboration influence doctoral students’: (1) proficiency with academic writing, (2) writing apprehension, (3) self-efficacy as writers, and (4) comfort with “going public” with their writing? We used a collaborative, multi-layered self-study research approach because it allowed us to focus on critical examination of teaching practices that are of interest to the practitioner/researcher and to the greater educational community. Authors/participants include the co-director of a university Writing Center; two professors of a doctoral-level qualitative research methods course; four doctoral students who participated in a series of writing center collaborations; and one master’s student who served as a writing center consultant. These four perspectives provide unique insights into how writing center collaborations supported graduate students in developing their writing proficiency and efficacy, helping to initiate them into a community of writers who “go public” with their scholarship.


Writing, Writing Center, Qualitative Research, Self-Study, Graduate Students, Writing Apprehension

Author Bio(s)

Sara Winstead Fry, PhD is a Professor of Education at Boise State University in Idaho. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: sarafry@boisestate.edu.

Melissa Keith is Director of the Boise State Writing Center.

Jennifer Gardner, EdD is an Assistant Professor in the Teacher Education Division at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho.

Amanda Bremner Gilbert, EdD is an independent researcher

Amanda Carmona teaches English at Meridian High School in the West Ada School District.

Sabrina Schroder is a Critical Reading teacher at Hillside Junior High in the Boise School District.

Audrey Kleinsasser is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wyoming.

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