Graduate Success Strategies – GRST 501

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This elective course is designed to give students the skills they need to complete successful written projects in graduate-level courses. Students who pass the course will demonstrate proficiency in the following areas: grammar, punctuation, syntax, diction, organization, revision, documentation, and topic development.




As Christian scholars, we bear a particular responsibility to please our heavenly Father and represent Him well in our academic pursuits. To this end, GRST 501 students will discover the mindset and habits necessary for success and receive personal care concerning their graduate-level writing.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify and change personal habits and attitudes that may be detrimental to their academic success.
  2. Locate and use university academic, social, and spiritual support services as needed.
  3. Choose, restrict, organize, and support a writing topic and/or thesis.
  4. Locate, evaluate, and integrate credible sources accurately and effectively.
  5. Write for a clear purpose and to a specific audience, using correct grammar, syntax, and word choices.
  6. Write in the style of their selected discipline, as evidenced in professional journals, and use discipline-specific documentation (APA, MLA, Turabian, AMA, or Bluebook formatting).
  7. Explain the correlation between biblical values and the attitudes and habits necessary for academic and lifelong success.

Course Assignment

Online textbook readings, lecture presentations, and links to support services

Soft Skills Self-Assessment (replaces Course Requirements Quiz)

Per the course e-text, this assessment will help students “identify behaviors and beliefs [they] may wish to change in order to achieve more of [their] potential in college and in life” (Downing). The assessment will reveal to students aspects of their mindset that may hinder academic success.

Course Paper Approval Form

In Module/Week 1, students will identify an upcoming assignment due in a concurrent course that they will use for GRST 501 and receive GRST instructor approval of the topic, length, format style, and number of sources. Papers from prior courses will NOT be accepted.

Course Paper Thesis/Outline/Annotated Bibliography

In Module/Week 3, students will submit a thesis statement, two-level outline, and an annotated bibliography for at least four credible, scholarly sources.

Course Paper Rough Draft

In Module/Week 5, students will submit a draft to the GRST instructor and the Online Writing Center that must have a body at least four pages long that cites at least four sources, and must be formatted according to its required style (Turabian, APA, MLA, or AMA, etc.) or according to the student’s selected discipline. Students are encouraged to submit the draft earlier than the given due date.

Course Paper OWC Feedback

In Module/Week 6, students will also submit the OWC tutor-reviewed draft received back from the Online Writing Center (OWC). It is encouraged that students submit the Course Paper draft to the OWC earlier than the Week 5 due date, as feedback from the tutor may take up to one week.

Course Paper Revision and Report

In Module/Week 7, students will submit the final version of the Course Paper that has been thoroughly revised according to the OWC tutor’s and GRST instructor’s feedback. The Revised Course Paper must have a body of at least four pages long that cites at least four sources, and must be formatted according to its required style (Turabian, APA, MLA, or AMA, etc.) or according to the student’s selected discipline. On this final draft, students must earn a 3 or higher in each rubric category in order to demonstrate their ability to write on a graduate level and thereby pass the course. In addition to the Revised Course Paper, students must answer ten Revision Report questions about what they learned from their revision experience.

Quizzes (5)

The quizzes are designed to encourage recall of important points from assigned readings and presentations, as well as to spotlight various university support services and resources.