Alisa Belzer Advances Student Academic Writing in Hong Kong

Dr. Alisa Belzer, Associate Professor at Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE), traveled to Hong Kong to lead workshops at the Hong Kong Institute for Education last October. Belzer led four workshop sessions, which focused on supporting academic writing of doctoral students at the English-speaking university. Junior faculty and doctoral students participated in interactive, hands-on activities aimed at finding and solving student difficulties.
“Students there face many of the same writing issues that students face at Rutgers, with the added burden of composing academic writing in, what is for many students, their second language,” noted Belzer. “For example, many students have trouble articulating an academic argument. It was very rewarding to introduce the students and faculty to new ways of grappling with the challenges of academic writing.”
Belzer covered a variety of topics including: articulating an argument, increasing writing coherence, and using citations appropriately. She encouraged students and faculty to read academic texts written by experts in their field not only for information but also as writing models in order to gain insight as to what high quality writing looks like. She suggested developing  templates based on these academic texts to help structure their writing. The workshops also stressed the importance of peer and faculty feedback and explicit discussion about ways to enhance academic writing skills.
Belzer is an expert in adult education and literacy. She has worked intensively on improving graduate student writing and has led faculty development sessions to help faculty embed writing instruction in their classroom work. Dr. Belzer is also the program coordinator for the Masters in Education in Adult and Continuing Education – offered in both a hybrid and online format.
To find out more about Alisa Belzer, visit her profile on the GSE website.