Writing at the graduate level: What tasks do professors actually require?
Published on Jul 1, 2007in Journal of English for Academic Purposes1.73
· DOI :10.1016/j.jeap.2007.09.008
Abstract This paper presents a case study of writing tasks in graduate courses at a large, American university. The study investigates writing tasks across the curriculum and draws implications for curriculum design in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Using actual course syllabi for task analysis, the researchers analyzed 200 course syllabi from 20 academic departments covering a wide range of disciplines. Findings indicate that library research papers and project reports are the most commonly assigned tasks across the curriculum. This study also found that professors in the social sciences, arts, and humanities assign a wider variety of writing assignments and more writing assignments in general than do professors in the sciences, math, and engineering. Finally, while many courses in the sciences, math, and engineering require no writing assignments at all, each of these departments does have at least some courses requiring extended writing.