PhD Writing Support

Pam Bourjaily and PhD studentsThe Frank Business Communication Center provides summer writing support and instruction to Tippie Ph.D. students after their first or second year in their doctoral program.

Doctoral students are nominated by their departments to participate in a summer-session program equivalent to a 2-semester-hour course that emphasizes the development of analytical writing skills.

Summer-session students learn writing strategies for how to maintain research relevance and rigor without excessive use of jargon. The course also addresses clarity, brevity, and the role of narrative in creating a coherent and readable paper.

All summer session participants are expected to be working on improving a paper-in-progress or part of their dissertation (or dissertation proposal) during the summer session and submit both a baseline writing sample prior to the session start and a final writing sample of their work-in-progress in the last week of the course. Students also present their papers-in-progress for extensive workshopping as part of the course curriculum.

This summer, 10 students are participating in the 8-week summer session (June 15-August 6); this year's course is supported by the Sharon Scheib Professional Writing Initiative.

A total of 24 students participated in the 2014 summer sessions, supported by a Tippie Educational Excellence grant. Two sessions were offered, one in the first 6-week summer course session period (May 19-June 27) for 4 hours/week and one in the 8-week summer course session period (June 16-August 8) for 3 hours/week.

Students with questions about the program should contact Frank Center director Pamela Bourjaily (

PhD Students


Students who have completed the 2014 Ph.D. summer writing support program who would like to continue workshopping with their peers who have also completed the Ph.D. summer writing program should contact Frank Center director Pamela Bourjaily ( to arrange for a monthly small group workshopping schedule during the academic year.



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