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Grad Student Writing Discussion Groups

In the 2019-2020 academic year, we will pilot writing discussion groups for graduate students. These groups will meet weekly to read and provide feedback on each other’s drafts in progress. Discussing writing with others is one of the most effective ways to develop your own writing skills and improve the clarity of your writing!

Discussion groups provide a collaborative environment for graduate students to support each other in the writing process. In group sessions, you will have the opportunity to receive feedback from fellow graduate students in a variety of disciplines. You will also support your peers by providing feedback on their writing project.

Spring Writing Discussion Group Schedule

Sign up here for Spring Quarter!

Weeks Meeting Day, Time Dates Facilitator

Wednesdays, 3:00-5:00pm

April 22 - June 3 Matt W.

Thursdays, 3:00-5:00pm

April 23 - June 4 Matt W.


In Spring 2020, Writing Discussion Groups will meet online, via Zoom. Group members will be sent appropriate Zoom links before the groups begin. 

How It Works

Participating in a Graduate Student Writing Discussion Group requires no reading or work outside of the regular weekly meeting time.

In the first meeting (Week 4), you will meet other group members and determine the weekly schedule of writers/projects to discuss.

In weekly group meetings between Weeks 5 and 10, the group will read samples submitted by 2 group members. Writers will explain which aspects or sections of their drafts that they would like feedback on. The group will read a short section of the draft and then offer feedback and discussion.


Time Commitment: 2 hours per week during Weeks 4 through 10. For your review session, you will submit your current writing project the day before. In all other sessions, you only need to be present to offer your constructive feedback to other writers. For the group model to work, it is necessary that you can commit to the first session and at least 5 out of the subsequent 6 sessions. Your group will rely on you to provide them feedback, in the same way that you rely on them.

Project Commitment: You must have a draft in progress in order to be eligible for a group. They do not have to be completed drafts--we are happy to support works-in-progress. The writing should be in complete prose (i.e. not fragmented notes or outlines). 

Please Note: this is not a proofreading group. Though strategies for revising and proofreading effectively will be covered, group feedback will focus on improving the clarity of writing and achieving the writer's purpose with their audience, rather than correcting grammar.

Community Guidelines

  1. Join a group ready to connect with peers, share your writing, and help others with theirs. Groups will provide a collaborative environment where a group of talented graduate students writing academic English as a second language support each other in the writing process. Through this group, you may even meet people who become permanent writing partners!
  2. If you are only looking for a proofreader, you will be disappointed. This group provides a space to discuss advanced academic writing strategies, focusing on communicating rich information effectively to an audience of expert readers. We will only be able to look at a section of each writer’s work, so do not expect to leave a session with your paper ‘done’ or ‘fixed.’
  3. Participation is key. Research shows that, for all writers, discussing writing with others is one of the most effective ways to develop your own writing skills. Joining this group requires you to complete no work outside of the regular weekly meeting time (except to submit your writing sample on your appointed week) so that you devote all your energy to each group meeting itself.
  4. Be a kind commentator and a receptive writer. Academic life already has enough times when we need to criticize others and defend ourselves! This group will be a pleasant experience for all.
  5. Commit to the process. One quarter of participating in our writing group will help you enormously, but the model only works if everyone commits to attending sessions, arrives on time, submits writing samples by deadlines, and offers constructive feedback. Participants must commit to attending the first session and 5 out of the 6 subsequent sessions. 
  6. Keep work confidential. Group members will share their ongoing research and writing for the purposes of getting constructive feedback. Group members will respect the integrity of each others' authorship and intellectual ownership over the work they share. 

Sign up here!