Thesis Writing Workshop

Date: October 9 and 10, 2017
Place: SDU, Odense – room Sokrates
Registration: Here - before september 25, 2017
Number of students: 15
Teachers and web facilitators: Professor Rowena Murray, University of the West of Scotland
Language: English

 1st day: Writing strategies

This will be a practical workshop, involving writing activities and discussions. Topics we will cover include writing to prompts, analysing academic writing, strategies for generating text, outlining, writing a thesis summary, social writing, making time to write, constructing a ‘contribution’ argument and using a repertoire of strategies for thesis writing (which are also relevant for journal article writing). Participants can use laptops to write during this workshop, but it is not essential. All the activities we will use in this workshop are intended to help participants develop both coherent thesis arguments and productive writing practices.

2nd day: Writing Retreat

To provide dedicated writing time and develop productive writing practices and discussions around writing-in-progress.

This structured retreat uses the ‘typing pool’ model. We all write in the same room, writing for fixed time slots, using goal-setting and self- and peer monitoring to progress writing projects. Because everyone is writing in the same room, we can have brief discussions at the start and end of the day (10-15 minutes), to set goals and take stock. Almost all of this retreat is writing time.


 9.00-9.15    Introductions and writing warm up – setting writing goals for this retreat
 9.15-9.30 Discussing writing goals – making them specific
 9.30-11.00 Writing
 11.00-11.30 Break
 11.30-12.30 Writing
 12.30-1.30 Lunch
 1.30-3.00 Writing
 3.00-3.30 Break
 3.30-4.30 Writing
 4.30-4.45 Taking stock and planning next steps

Preparing for retreat
Choose a writing project to work on – journal article, thesis/book chapter, grant proposal. Do the reading and research on journal/publisher/funder and topic before the retreat. The Writing for Publication workshop the day before introduces strategies to help participants make best use of this retreat, but is not a pre-requisite.

The facilitator
Rowena Murray will facilitate and suggest strategies for making this approach work, such as getting started quickly, keeping writing going and pacing.

Suggested pre-retreat reading – Murray and Newton
Murray, R. and Newton, M. (2009) Writing retreat for academics: margin or mainstream?, Higher Education Research and Development, 28(5): 541-53.

And/or see

Learning objectives

1. Understand the Structured Writing Retreat model.
2. Structure a writing day.
3. Maintain well-being during intensive periods of writing.

For further information:

Murray, R (2017) How to Write a Thesis, 4th edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press-McGraw-Hill.

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