Writing a dissertation is a challenging task. After years of research and study, it can be daunting to sit down in front of a blank screen. To get started, Suzanne Smith, director of the GSAS Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas (CWCI), recommends dedicating a specific time each week to writing.

“Just as students carve out a space on their bookshelves for scholarly books, you can carve out time for scholarly writing,” Smith says.

The CWCI organizes two writing groups designed to help dissertation writers carve out that time:

Writer’s Rooms are three-hour-long writing sessions for four to six people. In addition to providing a quiet place to work away from the distractions of roommates or family, participants often discuss their writing objectives over coffee and brown bag lunches. Students from all disciplines are welcome.

Peer Review Groups enable students to exchange drafts of papers with participants in similar disciplines. Groups of four to six people meet every two weeks in designated locations.

To join a writing group this fall, e-mail Suzanne Smith with a brief statement (of one or two paragraphs) relaying information about your work and your goals in participating. Please include your G-year and your schedule availability. In order to join these groups, you need to commit to regular attendance.

Groups will start meeting on September 5 in the CWCI at the following suggested times:

Group 1 (Writer’s Room): Monday through Wednesday, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Group 2 (Peer Review Group): Tuesday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Group 3 (Peer Review Group): Monday through Wednesday, 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

Group 4 (Writer’s Room): Tuesday through Thursday, 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. 

Join a Fall 2017 Writing Group