The Center offers numerous resources to graduate students. In addition to the Colloquium Series, graduate students can benefit from the Center library, conference fellowships, and informal reading groups. The Center also offers an extensive collection of resources for taking the Special Field exam and writing the dissertation. See below for more information on these resources.
Chip Bruce, Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, has developed several webpages of resources for graduate students. See, especially, his pages on general advice, financial support, doing research, and research writing.
The Center library offers an extensive collection of books, journals, dissertations, videotapes, and CD-ROMs available for checkout. You can view the library holdings here or browse them at the CWS office, room 288 English Building. Materials can be checked out through Teresa Bertram.
A list of conferences in writing, rhetoric, communication, writing programs and centers, English studies, education, applied linguistics, popular culture, and digital humanities can be found at our Selected Conferences page.
Conference fellowships ($100.00 per year) are available for graduate students affiliated with the Center for Writing Studies. To be considered, writing studies applicants must meet the following criteria: 1. The student must be registered during the academic year the grant is received and in good academic standing. 2. The student must be invited as a participant to the conference and must supply evidence to support that fact. 3. The student must be a Center for Writing Studies student and must have a Center for Writing Studies faculty member sign the application form. 4. CWS graduate students are eligible for one conference fellowship per academic year. Download the application form.
Please refer to our Dissertation Writing Resources.
In addition to the great resources offered by the Director of Job Placement at the University of Illinois, below are links to other sources that deal with issues of employment, tenure, promotion, and technology in Writing Studies.
9 Interviews is a Perkle Production and Brandy Parris / Spencer Schaffner collaborative project. It provides a hilarious take on MLA interviews and is creatively designed by one of our own faculty members.
"Tenure and Promotion Cases for Composition Faculty Who Work with Technology." This site is sponsored by the CCCC Committee on Computers in Composition (the 7 Cs).
Computers and Composition had a special issue on Tenure in 2000, 17.1, on making one's scholarship count.
Center students often form informal reading groups for a wide variety of purposes: individual classes, Special Field exam preparation, dissertation writing, the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), etc. If you are interested in organizing or joining such a group, just ask!
Students in the Writing Studies program occasionally take a class outside the department. Some common choices are Gender and Women's Studies (GWS), Communication, Curriculum and Instruction (CI), and Library and Information Science (LIS).
You can talk to your advisor if you'd like to take a class in one of these departments. You can also talk to other Writing Studies students about things like courses and instructors.
If you want to take a class outside of the college of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), like an LIS class, you will have to email the instructor of the class to get special permission before you are able to register.
Graduate students enrolled in the Department of English are required to pass a Special Field Examination, which is comparable to the preliminary oral exams required by other departments across campus. The Special Field examination is designed to probe students' knowledge in one or more areas within the larger field of Writing Studies. See our Special Field Exam Resources for more information.
If you enter the Writing Studies program as a Masters student, you'll have to apply to Stage II after taking 8 courses. This commonly occurs in your third or fourth semester in the program. During your third semester, you will get a letter asking you to apply to Stage II. If you will be completing your 8 classes during that third semester, you can apply that semester or defer until your fourth semester. If you choose to defer, you will have to talk to the Graduate Advisor of the English department to get special permission.
Applying to Stage II can feel scary, and it is a necessary step in order to stay in the program, but the process is routine. You will have to submit your CV, a statement of intent, and two letters of recommendation. Ask two professors you've taken classes with to write your letters. You should also ask them to look over your CV and statement and give you some feedback.
Our new partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago is underway. Below are some reflections from Christa Olson on the administrative process, which will no doubt continue to improve:
An unofficial guide to registering for courses at UIC
In order to register for courses at UIC, UIUC students need to submit a request form. This form is different from the Intercampus Registration form available online (if the form you end up with asks for the signature of a Dean, you have the wrong form). The English Graduate Studies office may have the form. Otherwise, the Office of Admissions and Records should have it.
Once you’ve submitted the form, it takes 4-6 weeks for your registration to show up on the UIC professor’s class list. In your Enterprise records online, the course will show up as CIC 390.
After the semester ends, you must submit a petition (Graduate Student Petition Form) to the Graduate College to have the credit and grade for your UIC course show up on your UIUC transcript as something other than CIC 390 with a grade of DFR.
The petition requires:
- A brief justification for transferring the UIC credit to your UIUC graduate program.
- An official UIC transcript showing your grade; request a UIC transcript.
As long as you have the official transcript sent to a UIUC department (having it sent to Teresa Bertram is best), the transcript should be free. After filling out the form, select “pay by check” and print the form. Write a note indicating that the transcript is going to UIUC and fax it to the number indicated.
- Signatures and statements of approval from the English graduate studies director and your advisor (I also had Dr. Hawisher add her signature for good measure).
Several weeks after you submit the petition, you should get an email confirming that the Graduate College received the petition. The transfer credit should show up on your records within 4-6 weeks. The credit will not replace the CIC 390, which will remain with its DFR grade, but will appear as a separate line in a section labeled as transfer credit.