Graduate Level Writing and Critical Thinking

In many ways, the graduate school experience can feel like round two of college—registering for courses, learning the campus layout, taking exams and writing papers. However, academic standards are much higher for graduate students than their undergraduate counterparts.

Students who come into the MALS program after a lengthy hiatus from academia, or if their prior scholarly endeavors were seated firmly in the structure of a single discipline, might feel intimidated by the elevated expectations for their writing. Graduate level work must show a deeper and more complex level of exploration, analysis, and comprehension, and the workload typically proves considerably more demanding in terms of complexity and volume than what is required for undergraduates.

Graduate level writing must also meet higher standards for style, diction, and thoroughness of analysis and development. Perhaps the most fundamental skill students will need to develop as a graduate level writers is that of critical thinking—and writing.

Critical Thinking Demystified Handout