Course Description

Improve Your Writing Skills for Graduate School Success: the Introduction to Graduate Writing Online Course is Ideal for International Scholars

For international students attending a Master’s or Doctoral (Ph.D.) program in the U.S., communicating through writing and presenting research are required skills, whatever the discipline.

Offered through the University of San Diego’s English Language Academy, Introduction to Graduate Writing is an online graduate-level writing course that provides international scholars with the background, instruction, and practice needed to successfully write research papers.

Who is the Graduate Writing Skills Course For? 

Introduction to Graduate Writing is designed for non-native, English-speaking international students who wish to prepare for the rigors of writing research papers in a graduate-level academic program at a U.S. college or university, but who prefer to do so in an online, asynchronous format. Even though others may also benefit from this course, it is primarily geared toward international scholars with an advanced proficiency in English.

Why This Program Is So Helpful for International Students 

Writing is typically the most difficult part of learning another language, and is often a challenge for native English speakers as well. Yet, writing effectively is a requirement for success in any academic environment, especially when attending a graduate-level program. Additional support during the demanding process of writing high-quality research papers can therefore make a significant difference in a student’s academic success while pursuing an advanced degree.

Student Learning Outcomes 

Thoughtfully designed by USD’s English Language Academy to help participants boost their writing skills for the graduate school environment, this course engages students in honing their ability to:

  • Understand the writing process and method, as measured by written assignments, reading responses, and a final project
  • Identify stylistic differences between multiple types of writing (genre) and be able to adjust tone appropriately (using clear scholarly language)
  • Use the Copley Library catalogue to identify and locate relevant articles, books, and online resources in their field
  • Identify and use appropriate sections of journal articles and other sources to support written assignment claims
  • Implement APA 7th Edition style guidelines correctly in all written work and discern examples of academic dishonesty (plagiarism)
  • Improve use of basic writing skills including grammar, mechanics, sentence and paragraph information flow, as well as document structure

How you Will Learn [Online Learning Course Format & Materials]

Online courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that allow you to structure your education to suit your schedule while keeping you on pace toward achieving your educational goals. USD online courses offer the same high-quality content and expert instruction as the courses held on-campus.

This 7-week course is taught in an online fixed-date format. This means the course has fixed start and finish dates similar to classroom courses, but as an online student, you will have access to your classroom at any time and can view your assignments, syllabus and course resources from any computer connected to the Internet.

Course materials and instruction are presented online via: 

  • Recorded mini-lectures
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Reading analyses
  • Discussion boards

Completed assignments are submitted and then evaluated by your instructor, who provides interaction and feedback between assignments. (See information about the technical requirements for our online courses.)

Experienced Instructors 

The USD English Language Academy faculty members who teach our graduate writing program are experienced in effective online teaching techniques. Our instructors, each of whom hold a Master’s degree or higher, are subject matter experts.

Why Choose the University of San Diego? 

The University of San Diego’s English Language Academy is a member of the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP) and the Association of International Educators (NAFSA). USD’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission (WASC).

Additionally, University of San Diego is ranked among the Top 100 U.S. colleges and universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q: Why should I choose the English Language Academy (ELA)?

A: The University of San Diego’s English Language Academy offers intensive and rigorous language programs for students who are serious about pursuing a graduate degree at an American college or university. Instructors are dedicated to helping students achieve their academic and personal goals.

Q: How long is the course?

A: This is a 7-week course that is taught in an online fixed-date format. As an online student, you can access your classroom at any time and view your assignments, syllabus, and course resources.

Q: How do I enroll in a course?

A: From the course description page, you can enroll in individual courses of your choice. You can also enroll by calling us at (619) 260-4585 or toll free at (888) 321-6658 during business hours, M-F, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM (PST), or emailing us at EnglishAcademy@sandiego.edu.

Learner Outcomes

Our graduate-level writing skills course is laser-focused on teaching participants how to write academic essays, specifically research papers. To get the most out of the course, students should already have solid writing skills and be ready to take the next step.

Introduction to Graduate Writing will cover:

  • The style and language of graduate writing
  • Understanding genre (form, content, and style of writing)
  • Conducting research and evaluating sources
  • Understanding APA style, commonly used in academic writing
  • Writing with sources and attribution
  • Synthesizing sources/annotating a bibliography
  • And more

Course Details

Course Format: This course is offered in an asynchronous, online format.

Curriculum: This online course is made up of seven one-week modules.

Instructors:  USD faculty, experienced in online teaching techniques, provide a stimulating online learning environment.  All instructors hold a Master's degree or higher.

Program Requirements: Advanced level of English proficiency.


Advanced level of English proficiency.

Applies Towards the Following Certificate(s), Professional Programs and Series

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Online Fixed-Date
Jul 05, 2022 to Aug 22, 2022
Course Format
Course Fee(s)
Section Fees
Section Notes

No application required.  Please choose "Add to Cart."

Required fields are indicated by .