English, Department of


Date of this Version



College English, Volume 64, Number 3, January 2002


Consider the following scenario: You arrive at graduate school in time for the three-day orientation, which consists of a series of workshop "training" to be a scholar. One half-day session covers the conference proposal and presentation; another trains new students to write seminar papers; a third focuses on the prospectus and dissertation; yet another teaches the composition articles for refereed journals. At the end of three days, you are ostensibly "trained" in the basics required to contribute to your profession as a scholar and researcher. While you might continue to develop these "skills" as you advance through exams, dissertations, and professional forums, your program can rest assured that it has done its duty by you, having covered the fundamentals and thereby "orienting" you.