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Graduate Student Writing Groups

Whether you are just beginning writing papers for graduate courses, preparing a talk for a conference, working on your thesis, planning your prospectus, or drafting chapters of your dissertation, you need not finish these projects by yourself. Graduate students have high expectations for quality research and writing but also need for ongoing support throughout the writing process.

Spring Writing Groups

All groups are currently on hiatus until the beginning of spring semester. If wishing to join a group in spring, you may ask to be put on a list of interested students or you may start your own group and ask the Writing Center for resources and help with running your group. Also stay tuned for a spring writing group information session. Contact Amanda Hemmingsen (amandahem6@ku.edu) for information.

Why join a Graduate Student Writing Group?

Writing Groups provide graduate student writers with a community of writers and several complementary types of support, including;

  •    Feedback on your writing
  •    Encouragement to set and accomplish goals
  •    Resources for resolving conflict and solving problems
  •    Aid in overcoming "writer's block" and other writing challenges
  •    A sense of accountability

KU Writing Center staff help the group identify needs, organize agendas, choose a group structure, and provide resources as needed. Group members offer each other  interdisciplinary writing feedback and peer support for setting goals, solving problems, and working efficiently and effectively as writer-researchers.

Writing Groups

We offer a variety of writing group options, free of charge, for KU graduate students, KU staff members, and recent KU alumni who have completed Masters and PhD programs.

Face-to-Face Writing Groups

Face-to-face writing groups are traditional groups that allow students to meet at scheduled times to share their work. Members offer feedback and peer support for setting goals, solving problems, and working efficiently as writer-researchers. Each group is unique, choosing its own structure and method for sharing work and feedback.

Online Writing Groups

Online writing groups are similar to traditional writing groups, but they are conducted online via videoconference (Google+ Hangouts). This option is good for writers in remote areas or those who are unable to meet for regular face-to-face meetings. Each group is unique, choosing its own structure and method for sharing work and feedback.

Start Your Own Group

Have a group of friends or colleagues interested in creating a writing group but not sure where to start? The KU Writing Center can help coordinate, offer support, and even provide a trained facilitator. This option is ideal for writers who are collaborating on special writing projects including journal articles and/or class projects, or who are from the same department.

Group Guidelines

When participating in a group led by the KU Writing Center we ask that you:

  • Make an engaged commitment to the group: join with the intention of showing up every time (barring travel or illness) and providing feedback to others in the group.
  • Let your group and facilitator know whenever you must be absent, as far in advance as possible.
  • Respect the guidelines, structure, and schedule created by your group.
  • Treat others in your group with respect and give only constructive feedback.
  • Let your group members and facilitator know if you decide you can no longer participate.
  • Let your facilitator or Amanda Hemmingsen know if you have any troubles or concerns with your group so that we can help.
  • Fill out a survey whenever you finish participating in a group. This allows us to continue to improve our writing groups program.

Participant Testimonials

"It held me accountable for completing my writing tasks each week. Keeping focused on writing while still doing benchwork to collect data can be quite difficult." - Student in Molecular Biosciences

"Most of all, I found the feedback from other group members helpful on my written work, their comments and suggestions." - Student in Political Science

"I found the group very helpful. It lights a fire under you to get things done." - Student in Philosophy

"I greatly appreciated hearing about the experiences of other graduate students in their struggle to get feedback from their advisors, schedule time with faculty members, etc. because I realized I am not the only doc student struggling with such issues." - Student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

"Writing groups are a very good way to stay focused, build camaraderie, and gain insight that can be helpful in the writing process." - Student in Educational Psychology and Research

Quick Question?

Not sure how to cite a source in a particular style? Want to double-check punctuation in a sentence?    Ask a writing consultant! Allow 24 hours for a response.

Do you have a question about the Writing Center or our services? E-mail us.

Meet the writer: Charlesia McKinney. Graduate student at KU, pursuing an MA in rhetoric and composition, focusing on cultural rhetoric, feminist rhetoric, and afrocentric pedadogy. KU Writing Center consultant. “If I could give a piece of advice to a large group of people, I would ask this question: ‘Are you doing something in your life today that would have an impact 3,000 years from now?’ In many ways, I think we should live that way: that we should have a focus beyond our lifetime or even the next, but on what matters for many years to come.” Want to hear more from Charlesia? Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @tonitaxcherea #writersofku #thisiswhatawriterlookslike
RT @KansanOnCampus : "I have this thing where I want to save the world, but I can't. So I do [nursing]." Look for #DITL - 3/31! #UDK #HONY h…
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