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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.

Fall Writing Groups

In October a mid-semester group will begin (date/time/location TBD). Please plan on attending the writing groups information session (see below) if interested in the October group. Please note that members must be present on the first day each group meets. All groups are run by graduate writing consultants who are trained as writing group facilitators. If interested in any of these options and for more information please email Claire McMurray at mcmurrayclaire@ku.edu

Writing Groups Information Session

Interested in learning more about group options, how groups work, or how to start your own group? Attend an informational session on Thursday, Sept. 25, 12-1pm in Anschutz 421. Interested student attending the session will have the option of joining a Writing Center group that will begin in October.

Why join a Graduate Student Writing Group?

Graduate Student 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 provide each other with 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 alum 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 facilitate.
  • let your facilitator or Graduate Writing Specialist (mcmurrayclaire@ku.edu) 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?

Do you have a quick writing question? Not sure how to cite a particular source? Want to double-check correct semi-colon usage?  Ask a writing consultant.

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

Walk-ins are welcome at res halls! The Writing Center is at Hash, Oliver, GSP and McCollum two nights a week: http://ow.ly/BMC06
Walk-ins are welcome at res halls! The Writing Center is at Hash, Oliver, GSP and McCollum two nights a week: http://t.co/TyNwqVlwbl


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