WTS Dissertation Groups
The Writing Tutorial Services (WTS) Dissertation Groups are designed to better address the needs of graduate students as they write their dissertations. The program also aims to help introduce students to resources available to them in the library and on the web.
The groups are founded upon two basic principles:
1) Daily writing produces better quality work while also minimizing stress.
2) Group accountability helps reinforce motivation.
These strategies can be especially difficult to implement while teaching or balancing family life. In order to help you integrate these skills into your writing practice, we provide weekly writing-based workshops that focus on the special needs of dissertation writers.
Structure of the Groups
Group work (~1 hour). This will usually be facilitated by a WTS graduate tutor who will discuss writing and motivational strategies and allow each member of the group to share their progress since the last meeting and set goals for structured writing time. If you have topics you think would make for productive discussion in the groups, you’re welcome to share them with your facilitator—proposing suggestions for a session or even proposing to lead a session about technology or methods you’re familiar with is a great way to infuse the groups with new ideas.
Structured writing time (2 hours). All members of the group will spend the remaining two hours of the session working on their individual projects. While this time will be focused on individual work, the WTS tutor and other members of the writing group will be nearby to answer any questions and offer support.
Please note that these groups are not intended as peer review groups; sharing work with group members, if desired, may be arranged personally, outside of group meeting time.
Usually about 5-10 minutes before the end of the session, the facilitator will regroup everyone for a chance to share individual progress towards goals and to set goals for the coming week.
List of Possible Topics
· Training yourself to write every day
· Overcoming procrastination
· Understanding different stages of revision
· Time management strategies
· Setting an overall timeline and sticking to it
· Navigating demands of multiple readers/audiences
· Types of reading and feedback (structural, surface-level, etc.)
· Tips for communicating with advisors
· Strategies for effective freewriting
· Effective note-taking during the research stage
· Integrating previous projects (conf. papers, etc.) into a chapter
· Converting chapters into papers for conferences and/or publication
· Strategies for dealing with writer’s block
· Strategies for starting a content-based dissertation group within your department
Attendance and Punctuality
In these dissertation groups, punctuality is more than just a gesture of courtesy towards your facilitator. Committing to attend your sessions every week at the allotted time trains you to approach writing in a disciplined and serious manner—an attitude that will benefit you in the future.
We realize that weather, travel, and parking regulations can make things difficult, but please take your commitment to the group seriously and make arrangements that allow you to reliably arrive on time. Please remember that the WTS Dissertation Groups are becoming more competitive--participants that are repeatedly tardy or absent will not be selected to continue in future semesters.
The Writing Log
In order to encourage you to set daily goals and to measure your progress, we require that you fill out a writing log before and after the two-hour writing session. You will use one web document for the entirety of the semester. This document has been uploaded to a folder on Box, which you can access at box.iu.edu.
Preparation for Week 1 Meeting
For the first week of meetings, we ask that you prepare a short (~3 minute) description of your dissertation. This speech should be clear to someone outside of your own field while still conveying the major ideas and argument of your project.
Writing Group Location and Schedule
Applications are due December 8, 2014.
WTS Dissertation group Information is also located here: http://www.iub.edu/~wts/dissgroups.shtml
APPLICATION FORMS are available here: https://iu.box.com/WTS-Diss-Group-App-Info
Questions should be directed to Laura Clapper <CWPhrly@indiana.edu>.