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The Graduate Writing Facilitators of the GRIC are graduate students of the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez that come from various concentrations and disciplines of study. They have been trained to offer academic services of oral and written communication in English. The multidisciplinary diversity of our Facilitators is meant to attend to the needs of every graduate program of UPRM and its students.
Support in the development of ideas and outlines for writing drafts (pre-writing).
Assistance in the revision and editing of academic work in English, such as: articles, proposals, abstracts, posters, personal essays, cover letters, theses, dissertations, resumes and curriculum vitae, etc.
Mentoring and support in oral communication in English through practice sessions, in preparation for professional interviews, academic presentations, talks, workshops, seminars, speeches, thesis and dissertations oral exams, etc.
Individual sessions in regards to aspects of oral or written communication in English, such as: grammar, style, tone, audience, various styles, organization, structure, etc.
Writing clinics in English scheduled during the academic year over different topics, such as: the academic writing process, preparing academic abstracts, the inclusion of evidence, references and citations in academic writing, preparation of posters, tone and audience in scientific writing, revision of literature, etc.
Context: The University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus
Graduate students at UPRM are by and large Spanish-dominant students with varying degrees of competence in English. Graduate programs that expect their students to write, present and publish their research in English should consider the following:
There is no standard requirement of evidence of English proficiency for admission into graduate studies at UPRM. Some programs require that international students provide scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in their application package but do not establish a minimum score for admission. Most programs do not require the TOEFL, and, at present, no graduate program requires that students submit their Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. As a result, the only measure of a student’s English proficiency considered in the applicant evaluation process is the writing sample, which is not required by all programs.
Graduate curricula at UPRM do not include required courses in scholarly communication in English. Students are generally expected to learn these conventions as they are learning course-specific content with minimal guidance on how to effectively communicate that content to an academic audience in their own writing and presentations.
The English Department at UPRM offers an English course for international graduate students. It is highly popular and well regarded but basic in scope and unable to provide the support that many international students, and many students who are from Puerto Rico, need in order to overcome the challenges they face when expected to produce academic work in English.
As a result, students who are required to demonstrate their mastery of their respective fields of study in a language (English) and a style (academic, scientific, scholarly) that they do not fully command seek sources of support outside of their programs of study.
Likewise, faculty and advisors who expect their students to produce scholarly work in English, urge graduate students to pursue additional training and assistance in order to develop the communicative skills needed for scholarly at success.
The Graduate Writing Facilitators (GWFs) at the Graduate Research and Innovation Center (GRIC) have been chosen and trained to provide individualized, peer-consultations, in a collaborative learning environment, to UPRM graduate students who are working to improve their scholarly communication abilities in English.
These are resources recommended by the GWF that address 10 aspects of the academic research and writing process. At the bottom of the list you will find a video that explains the usefulness of each of these resources.
Each session with a Facilitator has a maximum duration of 50 minutes and it must be held in the GRIC.
Each student can reserve a maximum of two (2) sessions per day and four (4) session per week.
The sessions should be reserved forty-eight (48) hours in advance.
If a user wishes to cancel a session for whatever reason, this should be done no less than twelve (12) hours before the actual session.
The user should choose the Facilitator that they wish to coordinate their visit.
To coordinate an appointment based on a certain hour and without any preference to the Facilitator, press the button at the end of this section.
To coordinate an appointment with a Facilitator, press the button “Schedule Appointment” which appears in the box of the selected Facilitator.
Choose the day you are interested in having a session and then verify the availability of the chosen Facilitator.
Select the hour that better suits you.
Fill out the rest of the application.
Press “Confirm Appointment.”
You will receive an email confirming the appointment with the Facilitator.
To ensure that the we are ready to welcome users for their first session, we request that users complete the following form prior to meeting with a Graduate Writing Facilitator of the GRIC: https://uprm.libwizard.com/f/registrogwf
Remember that users must have access to the GRIC to use its services. For more information, please revise the section Access to GRIC in the Instructions tab.
Second and Following Sessions:
In the template used to request a session, users should indicate the purpose of their visit. This will help the Facilitator to better serve them.
Users must remember that if it is their first time having a session in the GRIC, they must complete this form; otherwise, the appointment will be canceled.
The GWFs are:
Collaborators, alongside GRIC staff, faculty, advisors and mentors in the ongoing process of developing UPRM’s graduate students’ competencies in scholarly English.
Graduate students at UPRM, enrolled in graduate programs in English, Engineering and Science.
Fully bilingual (English-Spanish) speakers and writers with previous experience in college-level tutoring, teaching and/or in academic research production in English (conference presentations, panel presentations, paper writing, etc.).
Trained to facilitate academic English writing and oral communication consultations with peer graduate students at UPRM.
Trained and supported to design, develop and conduct workshops on a plurality of topics pertaining to the development of scholarly communication skills of graduate students at UPRM.
The GWFs are committed to:
Responsibly and professionally provide consultation services to graduate students at UPRM following the guidelines established in (cite libguide).
Ensuring that graduate students regard GWF consultations as a peer-mentoring process in which both facilitator and students are engaged in the revision and learning processes.
Creating a comfortable collaborative learning environment in which the student feels free of judgment and eager to learn.
Helping students develop scholarly English communication skills by actively learning from peer consultations so that they can become better editors of their own writing.
Working together to plan and prioritize students’ English communication needs so they can: (1) take account of their strengths and shortcomings; (2) actively engage in the process of overcoming the latter on their own and by their own initiative; (3) responsibly prepare for consultations with GWFs; (4) maximize their learning during the consultations; (5) be accountable to their own learning process by taking ownership of their work.
Recommending additional resources and activities to help students improve their academic English communicative abilities.
Providing, in collaboration with GRIC staff, workshops for graduate students on diverse topics pertaining to academic English communication.
The GWFs are not:
English-as-a-Second-Language or English-as-a-Foreign Language teachers trained to provide general English education to UPRM graduate students.
Language instructors capable of improving graduate students’ English language proficiency in the context of time-limited consultation sessions (each consultation lasts a maximum of 60 minutes).
Experts in the fields of study of the graduate students who seek their services. Disciplinary content-based revisions are the responsibility of the student, in collaboration with his/her mentor or advisor.
Authorized to revise manuscripts in absentia, nor to assume authorship of the manuscripts brought to GWF consultation sessions.
Professional copy editors or proofreaders who revise or rewrite student drafts in order to “perfect and polish” them as final submissions.
Accountable for students’ inability to understand that improving their scholarly communication abilities in English is not limited to attending consultation sessions but depends on their active participation in their own learning process with the support of their mentors or advisors.
Responsible for the fact that student manuscripts are not flawless after they have attended one or several GWF consultation sessions. (Please see the Context section.)
The GWFs understand that graduate students at UPRM have varying degrees of competencies in scholarly English. We urge faculty to consider realistic expectations for each one of their students as well as to support and guide each one of them in their respective processes of becoming discipline and/or field specific scholarly writers in English.