At the Center for Writing & Rhetoric, we know that one of the most challenging aspects of completing a graduate degree is successfully negotiating the period after coursework. Instead of working to complete a paper on a subtopic, you are now asked to pass exams, complete culminating projects, and produce longer writing and more extensive research. As your audience expects you to complete the transition from student to scholar and make a meaningful contribution to your field, the structures that coursework provided disappear. This is where we can help.
- Monthly weekend Dissertation Bootcamps all year
- Monthly one-day Writing Retreats all year
- Qualifying Exam Preparation Weekends in both fall and spring
- A Weeklong Dissertation Bootcamp during summer
- Ongoing facilitation of writing groups
- Writing consultations and email reviews of your work at any stage
- A trove of relevant online resources
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Weekend Dissertation Boot Camps
Dates for online Summer & Fall 2020 Weekend Dissertation Bootcamps
- August 8 & 9
- September 12 & 13
- October 10 & 11
- November 7 & 8
Can I come?
Current CGU students who are ABD are eligible to attend the weekend boot camps. Space is limited and application review is generally first-come, first-served — but we do consider other factors to ensure that as many students as possible can participate. Proposal and Master’s thesis students will be considered after all ABD students’ applications have been reviewed.
How do I know if i’ve been accepted to attend?
We normally notify all applicants of their status via email on the Wednesday prior to the weekend camp. If we are unable to accept you, we can place you on a waiting list and will notify you of any spaces that become available as soon as possible.
Registration opens two weeks prior to each session.*
Mark your calendars! We are excited to offer additional opportunities for you to write with us! This year, we will be offering writing retreats–a single day writing session–for all students. These retreat days will follow the same schedule as Dissertation Bootcamp days (8:30am to 4:30pm).
Dates for online Summer & Fall 2020 Writing retreats
- July 25
- August 22
- September 26
- October 24
- December 5
Registration opens two weeks prior to each session.*
If you are interested in signing up, fill out this form.
Why participate in an ongoing writing group?
- Committing to a writing group helps to hold you and your peers accountable for showing up and working on your writing projects.
- Engaging with peers who are actively working on writing projects can provide a supportive atmosphere where you can share tips and tricks for best writing practices.
- The routine of setting goals each meeting can help you to create a habit of recording your priorities in a way that facilitates realistic daily task lists.
- Group discussions about the research and writing process provide a space for reflexive discussion that can aid in the development of a writing strategy toolbox to use when writing outside of your group meetings.
- The writing group provides a time and space to push your writing and explore other ways of approaching your writing project in a supportive setting amongst peers.
How to participate in an ongoing writing group?
- Committing to a writing group requires that you are dedicated to the team of peers with which you write. It is important to maintain a regular meeting schedule that participants adhere to. This will help to get you writing on days you would rather procrastinate.
- The group facilitator is responsible for sending out reminders, following-up with group members who are absent, and guiding the process of the meeting. The facilitator role can be assigned to one group member or alternated between members. In any case, there should always be someone in charge of keeping time and managing the process.
Where do we meet now that CGU is following an Online Flex model?
- Depending on your group’s preferences, members can participate virtually through Zoom, Google, Skype, or any other online meeting space that the group agrees upon.
- Meeting goals can be shared virtually through group participation in a single Google doc or spreadsheet with other group members. This could work as an ongoing log so that members could see what others are working on and members could reference their progress by referring to previous meeting notes as time goes on.
- The group should connect via an online platform at the start of each session, discuss their daily goals, and move into the writing block.
- The group can determine whether to stay logged in or to log off during writing blocks. Everyone should log back in during the break and closing to discuss their progress and action steps for the next meeting.
Qualifying Exams Preparation Weekend
For most doctoral degrees, qualifying exams are the first major milestone that must be completed after coursework. The challenge of demonstrating breadth of knowledge in a field as well as preparedness for a culminating project is complicated by the shift in structure of the post-coursework phase. One proven method of maintaining productivity and motivation during this transition is to participate in community events that are designed to reduce distraction, facilitate peer engagement, and provide a source of accountability.
The Center for Writing & Rhetoric is happy to announce that in addition to our dissertation bootcamps, writing retreats, and writing groups, we will now also be offering an event just for students at the qualifying exam stage. Designed for students doing timed exams, written assignments, dissertation chapter drafts, and portfolios, the event will provide the options of either dedicated work time with peers or a combination of work time and facilitated sessions on exam preparation topics.
The inaugural event in Fall 2020 will be entirely online on Friday, October 16th to Sunday, October 18th from 8:15am to 4:30pm each day.
Summer Dissertation Boot Camp
How is it different from the weekend boot camp?
Along with meeting for five days rather than a weekend, Summer Dissertation Bootcamp participants benefit from a number of other features, including guest faculty and peer speakers addressing issues such as the writing process and staying motivated, as well as group discussions, expanded planning work, and 25+ hours of writing time.
Can I come?
Like the weekend bootcamp, there is an application process for the week-long bootcamp, but it requires submission of a detailed work plan and confirmation from your advisor that you have discussed your plan with them. Only current CGU students who are ABD or in the proposal phase may apply.
How do I apply?
- Eligible students must submit an application which includes a brief statement on how you hope to benefit from the Boot Camp and a detailed Writing Plan for the week.
- You should discuss your proposed writing goals with your dissertation advisor.
- Your advisor must email the CWR (email@example.com) with confirmation that they have reviewed your writing plan with you. An application will not be considered complete until we receive confirmation from an advisor.