The Writing Oasis provides a space for accountability, productivity, and peer support. As one participant described the experience, “It’s like going to a gym and taking a group class instead of running alone on the treadmill.”
At the start of each Writing Oasis session, students share their writing goals with a group of peers. Participants then write for a predetermined amount of time, with break periods embedded, to achieve their objective. At the end of the session, participants share their experiences and discuss whether they met their goals.
Registration is now open for the second session of our fall groups, which will run from November 8 until December 17. We will facilitate morning and afternoon groups, which will meet on either M/W/F or T/Th schedules. This five-week period will allow you to set a concrete goal (whether finishing a dissertation chapter, working on an article, drafting final seminar papers, or compiling research notes), and to make progress toward that goal during the writing sessions. Please register by November 3 to participate. If you miss this session, we will also offer a winter session after a hiatus for the holidays.
How Can the Writing Oasis Help?
Writing a dissertation, or, on a smaller scale, a research article, presents a number of challenges that we hope to identify, and begin to overcome, during the writing sessions:
- Where do I begin?
- How do I structure my dissertation?
- What’s my primary, encompassing argument? What are my secondary arguments?
- What does my data/research material actually say?
- Am I missing data?
- With what theory or theories am I in dialogue?
- Why do I feel like my work has me running in circles?
- What does a good dissertation/article/book chapter look like?
- How do I map this all out?
What is a Writing Oasis?
The Writing Oasis is a space to:
- articulate a measurable objective and goal (“I want to write an ethnographic vignette on X for my third chapter; I expect that to take 3-5 pages of writing”)
- set a timer for writing periods and break periods
- be joined by a small group of peers who also share their goals and commit to write without distraction during the writing blocks
- create accountability by sharing progress toward goals at the end of each session, and to share writing struggles, if helpful
- track if there are reoccurring reasons you might be distracted from your writing (Physical needs? Anxiety over grasp of material? Missing data or key sources? Lack of direction or sense of what’s next? Apprehension about writing quality? Language barrier? Other?)
- chat with peers to offer strategies, share ideas, and simply be in community as we encounter challenges.