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.
Summer Graduate Writing Groups
We are no longer accepting participants into our summer graduate writing groups. For all groups participants meet 2 hrs/week with other students in a group led by a trained Writing Center facilitator. Each group decides upon its own structure and schedule together. Many groups decide upon a format that combines workshopping members' writing and providing members time to write during the meeting. Groups tend to be small: 6-7 members at most. We try to group members according to field of study (hard sciences, humanities, or social sciences) when possible. Please contact Claire McMurray (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested in starting your own group or joining a group in the fall.
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.
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.
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.
"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