Writing for the Masters in Education: Educational Leadership and Special Education

Masters programs in the School of Education require graduate students to have a solid writing foundation, including the ability to write brief summaries and compose analyses of graduate-level texts; evaluate the trustworthiness of information sources; justify a point of view with clear, specific supporting examples and/or reasons; organize information and present it in written form; prepare written presentations that are informative, professional and research focused; and write clearly with attention to the mechanics of standard English.

By your graduation from the program, we expect you to have developed your writing skills further. Our graduates should be able to:

  • Write clear and concise, long and short compositions with various constituent groups in mind (e.g., students, families, community and school board);
  • Be able to analyze and summarize ideas concisely from graduate-level texts;
  • Evaluate ideas in a text, using concepts from other reading;
  • Analyze your own experiences and beliefs;
  • Defend ideas, using citations;
  • Ground analyses in theory, citing sources;
  • Compare and contrast ideas raised in several sources;
  • Synthesize research findings and recommendations;
  • Organize expository pieces that link educational concepts and research to professional practice; and
  • Use the power of ethics, logic and emotion in persuasive writing.

Types of Writing

Through long and short written compositions, students in the MA in Education program complete the following writing types in order to promote new learning and show their understanding of the material:

  • summaries, analyses, application, synthesis and evaluations of ideas presented through lecture and written course materials;
  • summaries of ideas that come from experiences and course readings and application of these concepts in brief written compositions;
  • longer works that unify concepts from these briefs into a broad analysis of their philosophy and vision of educational leadership;
  • concise analyses of articles and cases that defend their points of view in brief persuasive compositions;
  • field notes of student, teacher and school leader behavior, including summaries and written analyses using concepts from lectures and course readings;
  • A mock school improvement plan that is composed collaboratively, describing a course of action toward student achievement, justifying components of the plan, and citing a variety of sources;
  • An introspection paper on diversity;
  • Weekly “thinking papers” on class learning and specific questions; SCHOOL OF EDUCATION: MASTERS IN EDUCATION CI WRITING GUIDE 62
  • A mid-term paper on issues of diversity in the 21st Century; and
  • A final self-assessment of the class.

You will also use writing to educate others, especially your classmates, and plan for teaching. These kinds of writing include the following:

  • Written presentations;
  • Written reports and individual /group presentations;
  • Instructional plans for individual students and for groups of students; and
  • A collaborative presentation on a current issue in education.

Recommended Practices

Students are provided rubrics for all major written requirements listed above. You should use these rubrics to analyze your work prior to submission. The instructor will provide you with feedback using the same rubric.

When necessary, students are able to resubmit assignments until they master the standards for written assignments. Your instructor will provide note-taking devices and discussion protocols to help you probe course material to sufficient depth. Instructors will also model effective writing strategies, such as peer review of rough drafts and using revision techniques.

Beyond these supports, you are advised to seek assistance from the instructor on an individual basis when you need help.


In the MA program you will use APA format; Strunk and White’s Elements of Style is a recommended resource as well.

The Writing Lab at Purdue offers an unusually wide selection of handouts, exercises, and self-tutorials on topics including punctuation basics, resume writing, writing research papers and documentation across academic disciplines. (CI Writing Center web link)