Graduate Success Strategies – GRST 501

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/08/2022

Course Description

This course is designed to empower graduate students with the mindset, resources, and writing skills they need to take charge of their academic and lifelong success. It helps students identify areas of potential weakness in attitudes, habits, and writing skills and equips them with the self-awareness, knowledge, and tools necessary for academic and vocational advancement.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


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

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Soft Skills Self-Assessment Assignment

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 Assignment

The student 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, and Annotated Bibliography Assignment

The student will submit a thesis statement, two-level outline, and an annotated bibliography for at least four credible, scholarly sources.

Course Paper: Draft Assignment

In Module 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: Online Writing Center Feedback Assignment

The student 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 Assignment

The student 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.