Correlations between graduate student writing concepts and processes and certainty of career trajectories

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


At the graduate level, most milestones are based on the ability to write for an academic audience, whether that be for dissertation proposals, publications, or funding opportunities. Writing scholars often discuss the process by which graduate students learn to join their academic 'discourse communities' through academic literacies theory. Graduate attrition researchers relate the feeling of belonging with persistence in doctoral programs; however, there has not to date been any research that directly studies engineering writing attitudes and perceptions with student career trajectories, persistence, or attrition. To meet this need, this paper presents research from a larger study analyzing graduate level engineering writing and attrition. The explicit objective of this paper is to present quantitative data relating current graduate engineering students' attitudes, processes, and concepts of academic writing with the certainty of their career trajectory. Five scales measuring aspects of writing were deployed to engineering programs at ten research intensive universities across the United States, with a final total of n=621 graduate student respondents that represent early-career, mid-career, and late-career stages of the graduate timeline. Results indicate that graduate student processes and conceptions of engineering writing correlate with the likelihood of pursuing careers in various engineering sectors after completing their graduate degree programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Education
Subtitle of host publicationFostering Innovation Through Diversity, FIE 2018 - Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538611739
StatePublished - Jul 2 2018
Event48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2018Oct 6 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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