A Novel Course Sequence on Critical Thinking, Publishing, and Publication Ethics for Engineering Graduate Students

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


We teach two, one-credit graduate courses for engineering (STEM) graduate students at the University of South Carolina aimed at improving the ability of graduate students to publish peer-reviewed papers and to do so while conforming to ethical standards of publication and research. The first course, which is for new graduate students, teaches critical reading and analysis of the research literature in their field. In this first course we also address the ethical issues of plagiarism and how to properly cite, paraphrase, and summarize information. The second course, for graduate students preparing to publish, teaches students how to write a journal paper or proposal for review. The ethical issues addressed in this second course are authorship, review standards and processes, and avoiding data falsification and data fabrication. The theoretical underpinning of both the reading and writing courses is the Paul-Elder model of critical thinking (Paul & Elder 2012).

We will present the critical thinking model along with the course materials including course syllabi, typical assignments, resources for publication ethics, and methods for effectively assessing student work. We will specifically discuss how the courses have been designed to work within the constraints of typical graduate degree program requirements and within the resource constraints of engineering graduate programs.

APA Citation

Matthews, M. A., Kunz, G., Freeburg, D., & Brock, K. (2019, November). A Novel course sequence on critical thinking, publishing, and publication ethics for engineering graduate students. In 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting. AIChE.