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Writing Support

The Graduate School offers writing support for students in partnership with the Thompson Writing Program and English for International Students. Resources include academic courses, individual writing consultations, and additional support for international students. Students can also take advantage of online resources to support their development as writers.


Through The Graduate School's partnership with the Thompson Writing Program, graduate students can enroll in classes that support them in developing as writers. Below you'll find the current list of course offerings.

GS 805 Writing in the Natural Sciences (1 credit)

Major concepts for effective research-based scientific writing. Topics include: genres of scientific research writing; structure and function of research reports; grant proposals; introductions and literature reviews; writing methods; presenting results; designing diagrams, figures and tables; citations; writing with equations; sentence style and clarity; paragraphing for flow; plagiarism and text recycling. Priority for advanced PhD students in the natural sciences with specific writing projects/needs. Permission of instructor required. Earns 2 RCR credits.

Instructor: Dr. Cary Moskovitz, Associate Professor of the Practice, Thompson Writing Program
Offered beginning Fall 2016; next offering planned for Spring 2018

Questions? Contact Dr. Hugh Crumley, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, at

GS 810 Grant and Fellowship Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences (1 credit)

Major concepts for effective persuasive writing for grant and fellowship applications in humanities and social sciences disciplines. Topics include: overview of funding opportunities in the humanities and social sciences; structure of grant proposals; structure of fellowship applications; effective writing for an interdisciplinary audience; writing methods; editing and revision strategies; plagiarism and text recycling. Permission of instructor required. Earns 2 RCR credits.

Instructor: Dr. Eliana Schonberg, Director of the Thompson Writing Studio and Assistant Professor of the Practice, Thompson Writing Program
Pilot offering Spring 2017; next offering planned for Spring 2018

Questions? Contact Dr. Melissa Bostrom, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development, at

Other Duke Courses and Resources

MGM 702: Papers and Grant-Writing Workshop introduces students to grant and fellowship writing in the biomedical sciences. Offered in fall. See the full description on the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology course listing site.

BIO 706: Grant Writing provides hands-on instruction for preparing grant proposals; preparation and revision of an NSF-format proposal; evaluation and critique of proposals prepared by fellow class members.

The Pratt School of Engineering offers scientific and technical writing courses for doctoral students each semester. Learn more on the Pratt Science Writing Workshops website.

School of Medicine doctoral students can participate in the annual Gopen Writing Seminar "Writing from the Reader's Perspective" sponsored by the SOM Office for Faculty Development. The three-part seminar series is generally held in October/November, with registration announced 6-8 weeks before the event. Learn more from the OFD website.

If your department or program offers a course or regular workshop series on writing, please contact to request that it be listed here.

Individual Writing Consultations

Through a partnership with the Thompson Writing Studio, all students in The Graduate School can work with highly educated writing consultants through individual writing consultations. Consultants help at any stage of the writing process – from brainstorming and researching to drafting, revising, and fine-tuning a final draft. The Thompson Writing Studio asks that graduate students limit themselves to scheduling one appointment per week and come for any additional appointments on a walk-in basis. Graduate School students can schedule an appointment online and learn what to expect from a writing consultation.

Support for International Students

In addition to the resources listed above, students whose first language is not English may take advantage of classes and services available through the English for International Students (EIS) program. For more information, visit the EIS website.

Questions? Contact Dr. Brad Teague, Assistant Dean and Director, English for International Students, at

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity Resources

Duke's institutional membership in the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) provides access to a Dissertation Success Curriculum, complemented by an accountability forum. The 14-Day Writing Challenge is another structured accountability program for any kind of writing. The NCFDD Library provides archived versions of many past webinars on writing as well.

Find information about how to claim your Duke membership to NCFDD here, and read a post by recent alumna Christina Davidson on the value she found in NCFDD as a graduate student on the Professional Development Blog.

Other Online Resources

  • Cornell University Graduate School's Productive Writer monthly newsletter is free and open to all graduate students, whether they're writing writing papers, proposals, theses, or dissertations.
  • Academic Coaching & Writing, a for-profit business, periodically offers free webinars on topics of interest to graduate student writers.