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Washington State University
Donna M. Campbell Courses & Resources

English 512: Introduction to Graduate Study (Fall 2020)

English 512, Introduction to Graduate Study
Fall 2020
Thursdays 1:30-2:20 via Zoom

1 Credit

Dr. Donna Campbell

Zoom link for class is in Blackboard:

Office Hours: Wednesdays 2-3; Thursdays (before our class) 12:30-1:30; and by appointment.

About the Course

English 512 is a practical introduction to the materials and methods of graduate study in English. It includes the following topics:


  • Introduction to research methods, ethics, and issues (such as seeking IRB approval)
  • Campus centers (CDSC, etc.) and their resources
  • Reference management tools (Mendeley, Zotero, Endnote) and their uses
  • Reading scholarly articles (arguments, contexts, theories)
  • Writing seminar papers: finding your voice, making a persuasive argument, literature reviews, and so on
  • Writing for the profession: calls for papers, conference proposals, brief biographies, and other materials
  • Job market preparation: how to assess your goals, read a job ad, create a curriculum vitae (cv), and write a cover letter for academic and broader forms of employment
  • Conversations with and presentations by faculty through the colloquium series and through faculty visits to the class


All readings are in Blackboard (Perusall). Selections are from the following books:

Rogers, Katina L. Putting the Humanities PhD to Work. Duke U P, 2020.

Semenza, Gregory Colón. Graduate Study in the 21st Century: How to Build an Academic Career in the Humanities. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.


Date Topic Assignments
1 8/27 Introduction
2 9/3 Charting your Path:

·      Go over degree plans in class

·      Read Rodgers, Introduction

·      Post to Blackboard: 500 words on your ideal and alternate career paths (vision statement)

3 9/10 ·      Research methods and resources I: MLA, CompPile, listservs, etc.

·      Common research databases.

4 9/17 ·      Reference management tools: Endnote, Zotero, Mendeley
5 9/24 ·      Project and time management, productivity, and writing processes
6 10/1 ·      Reading scholarly articles (arguments, contexts, theories)  Bring an article to class for analysis
7 10/8 ·      Research Methods II: IRB approval

Guest: Johanna Phelps

8 10/15 ·      Writing seminar papers I: finding your voice, making a persuasive argument, literature reviews, and so on  Semenza, Chapter 5, “Writing the Seminar Paper”
10 10/22 Conferences

·      Reading and writing calls for papers, brief bios, putting together and submitting panels, and other materials

·      Conference etiquette: introducing yourself, asking questions, networking, tweeting, followup, meetings with publishers

·      Travel funding

 Find a CFP in your discipline or bring an abstract to share
11 10/29 ·      Writing for publication: abstracts and journal submission. Semenza, Chapter 10, “Publishing”
12 11/5 ·      Public engagement (L.A.Review of Books, Avidly, Lithub) and social media (Twitter)

·      Connecting with those in your field when you can’t travel


13 11/12 Employment materials:

·      Where to find position listings and job ads

·      Applying for postdocs and other positions

·      Responding to job ads, drafting your CV, and writing your personal statement and/or cover letter

Rodgers, Chapter 5, “Putting your PhD to Work”
14 11/19 ·      Workshop on employment materials

·      Guest: Prof. Patty Wilde, WSU-TriCities

 Bring your CV and cover letter to class, along with a job ad

Bring revised or updated version of your original vision statement

15 11/26 Thanksgiving Break
16 12/3 Sharing of final materials  Bring your vision statement
17 12/10 Optional Individual Conferences


Requirements and Assignments


This class is graded on a contract system, according to the number of items completed.


A         =          Completed CV and cover letter

Attend at least one colloquium or online scholarly presentation beyond this class

Attend at least 11 of the 14 class sessions

Complete all the reading and writing assignments


A-        =          Completed CV and cover letter

Attend at least one colloquium or online scholarly presentation beyond this class

Attend at least 10 of the 14 class sessions

Complete the majority of the reading and writing assignments


B+       =          Completed CV and cover letter

Attend at least one colloquium or online scholarly presentation beyond this class

Attend at least 9 of the 14 class sessions

Complete at least half of the reading and writing assignments


B          =          Completed CV or cover letter

Attend at least 8 of the 14 class sessions

Complete at least some of the reading and writing assignments


B-        =          Completed CV or cover letter

Attend at least 7 of the 14 class sessions





Plagiarism Policy (supplement to WSU Statement on Academic Integrity below). Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of someone else’s words or ideas. This definition includes not only deliberately handing in someone else’s work as your own but failing to cite your sources, including Web pages and Internet sources. Plagiarism also includes handing in a paper that you have previously submitted or are currently submitting for another course.

  • For a first offense, any paper plagiarized in whole or in part will receive an “F” (0 points), and the incident must be reported to the WSU Center for Community Standards, formerly the Office of Student Conduct.  You will NOT be allowed to rewrite the plagiarized paper for a better grade.
  • Penalties for a second offense can range from failing the course to suspension from the university.




WSU Policy on Workload: For each hour of lecture equivalent, students should expect to have a minimum of two hours of work outside class. For this class, you should expect to work a minimum of 6 hours per week. Online Courses:  Students should expect to spend a minimum of 9 hours per week for each online 3-credit course, engaged in the following types of activities: reading, listening to/viewing media, discussion, or conversation in the LMS or other academic technology, conducting research, completing assignments and reviewing instructor feedback, studying for and completing assessments, etc.


WSU COVID-19 Policy. Students are expected to abide by all current COVID-19 related university policies and public health directives, which could include wearing a cloth face covering, physically distancing, self-attestations, and sanitizing common use spaces.  All current COVID-19 related university policies and public health directives are located at  Students who do not comply with these directives may be required to leave the classroom; in egregious or repetitive cases, students may be referred to the Center for Community Standards for university disciplinary action.


WSU Statement on Academic Integrity. Academic integrity is the cornerstone of higher education. As such, all members of the university community share responsibility for maintaining and promoting the principles of integrity in all activities, including academic integrity and honest scholarship. Academic integrity will be strongly enforced in this course. Students who violate WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy (identified in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 504-26-010(4) will receive [insert academic sanction (e.g., fail the course, fail the assignment, etc.)], will not have the option to withdraw from the course pending an appeal, and will be reported to the Center for Community Standards.


Cheating includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration as defined in the Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26-010(3). You need to read and understand all of the definitions of cheating.  If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course, you should ask course instructors before proceeding.

If you wish to appeal a faculty member’s decision relating to academic integrity, please use the form available at Make sure you submit your appeal within 21 calendar days of the faculty member’s decision. See also


WSU Policy on Students with Disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities or chronic medical or psychological conditions. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit your campus’ Access Center/Services website to follow published procedures to request accommodations. Students may also contact their campus offices to schedule an appointment with a Disability Specialist. All disability related accommodations are to be approved through the Access Center/Services on your campus. It is a university expectation that students visit with instructors (via email, Zoom, or in person) to discuss logistics within two weeks after they have officially requested their accommodations.
For more information contact a Disability Specialist on your home campus:

  • Pullman, WSU Global Campus, Everett, Bremerton, and Puyallup: 509-335-3417 Access Center( or email at


WSU Statement on Safety and Emergency Notification. Classroom and campus safety are of paramount importance at Washington State University, and are the shared responsibility of the entire campus population. WSU urges students to follow the “Alert, Assess, Act,” protocol for all types of emergencies and the “Run, Hide, Fight” response for an active shooter incident. Remain ALERT (through direct observation or emergency notification), ASSESS your specific situation, and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety (and the safety of others if you are able).

Please sign up for emergency alerts on your account at MyWSU. For more information on this subject, campus safety, and related topics, please view the FBI’s Run, Hide, Fight video and visit the WSU safety portal.

Full details can be found at


WSU Policy on Accommodation for Religious Observances or Activities. Washington State University reasonably accommodates absences allowing for students to take holidays for reasons of faith or conscience or organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. Reasonable accommodation requires the student to coordinate with the instructor on scheduling examinations or other activities necessary for course completion. Students requesting accommodation must provide written notification within the first two weeks of the beginning of the course and include specific dates for absences. Approved accommodations for absences will not adversely impact student grades. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Students who feel they have been treated unfairly in terms of this accommodation may refer to Academic Regulation 104 – Academic Complaint Procedures.


WSU Policy on Excused AbsencesSection 73 of WSU’s regulations does not permit instructors to request official documentation to allow excused absences except for military personnel and those traveling on WSU business; hence no other excused absences are permitted by WSU policy. The attendance policy for this course has been relaxed from previous versions of the course to include an additional absence to make up for this decreased flexibility in policy.


WSU Policy on Discrimination. Discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct (including stalking, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence) is prohibited at WSU (See WSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment (Executive Policy 15) and WSU Standards of Conduct for Students).

If you feel you have experienced or have witnessed discriminatory conduct, you can contact the WSU Compliance & Civil Rights (CCR this year, formerly CRCI, formerly OEO, formerly CHR) and/or the WSU Title IX Coordinator at 509-335-8288 to discuss resources, including confidential resources, and reporting options. (Visit for more information).


Most WSU employees, including faculty, who have information regarding sexual harassment or sexual misconduct are required to report the information to CCR or a designated Title IX Coordinator or Liaison.  (Visit for more info).


Additional Resources for this class


Alt-Academy: Alternative Academic Careers for Humanities Scholarship by Bethany Nowviskie, available at


Critical Digital Pedagogy, ed. Jesse Stommel et al.