GWI Mission and Philosophy


The Graduate Writing Initiative guides, supports and evaluates UMKC’s resources and programs for graduate writers, and provides resources for faculty working with graduate students. We do this by:

  • Identifying writing and research needs of graduate writers;
  • Collaborating with graduate writers, departments and offices across campus;
  • Providing resources and learning opportunities, with the goal of improving understanding and mastery of writing by focusing on skills like:
    • reflecting on the writing process;
    • analyzing and writing in new academic modes;
    • providing and receiving feedback with peers;
    • developing language to talk about writing.
  • Supporting writing through multiple channels and formats, thereby accommodating writers’ learning styles, program and department expectations, progress toward degree, location (on campus vs online), demographics, and life/work balance scenarios;
  • Connecting graduate writers with peers, aiding in socialization in the academic community, providing mentorship opportunities, and supporting graduate writers in securing and maintaining momentum.

The UMKC Writing Studio, The School of Graduate Studies, UMKC Libraries, and faculty, staff and graduate writers from departments across campus collaborate to provide these resources.


The Graduate Writing Initiative’s approach to supporting graduate writers draws from a wide range of administrative and pedagogical influences to support the goal of providing a diverse set of supports that meet graduate writers where they are in ways that benefit them.

We believe that writing is a complex and highly contextual endeavor that requires disciplinary, genre, and rhetorical knowledge, as well as skills and habits of mind specific to success in each domain. As such, we draw on influences from genre and transfer studies to ensure we’re helping graduate writers find success with their specific disciplinary needs.

We also draw on the highly collaborative nature of writing center work as an influence for how to create partnerships with students, faculty, and staff across campus.

The GWI is dedicated to supporting all students in all disciplines and takes particular care to support those from traditionally marginalized populations, international students, and speakers of world Englishes.