Thesis and Dissertation Writing Boot Camps

Graduate students: Do you want a supportive environment for writing your thesis or dissertation? Are you feeling isolated and in need of support? Do you want to hone your writing skills? Do you want to get started again on a stalled thesis or dissertation project? Are you curious about how to write your thesis or dissertation but are still in coursework? 

Our Thesis/Dissertation Boot Camp includes multiple tracks with workshops, tutoring, silent writing time, and peer review.  Our tutoring during the boot camp will include all of the offices that can support your writing: the Writing Center, the Applied Research Lab, the IUP Libraries, and the Thesis and Dissertation office.

You can attend all day or part of the day and you can choose what you attend. For those of you who haven’t yet started your thesis or dissertation, you can come to attend many of our workshops to get a jump start on the writing process. 

Spring 2022 Boot Camp Details

Our Thesis and Dissertation Writing Boot Camp will take place via Zoom on Saturday, March 26, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT. We will feature four workshops (all different than our fall boot camp), will once again offer the silent writing room, and will have graduate tutors, librarians, and other tutorials available.   

We recommend students attend several of our bootcamps, starting in coursework and continuing into thesis/dissertation writing. Our boot camps offer a number of advanced writing strategies (literature review writing, source synthesis, library resources and source management, etc.) and these benefit all graduate students.

The Writing Center can provide attendance vouchers for any students who attend the event. Faculty are also welcome to attend (and we've had several in attendance using our silent writing room). 

Registrations are required in advance for the boot camp. Please sign up here

Here is a list of the workshops we will offer during our spring 2022 boot camp: 

11:00-11:10 a.m.: Introduction to the Thesis and Dissertation Writing Boot Camp (encouraged for all attendees).  A brief introduction to how our boot camp is structured and the activities for the day.

11:10-11:50 a.m.: Writing Workshop: Building Arguments and Organization Strategies for Advanced Academic Writing, Presented by Andrew Yim, assistant director of the Jones White Writing Center

In this advanced writing workshop, you will learn a variety of techniques for effectively writing from the literature. This work includes building your argument through sources, creating a research space, and organizing your literature review for maximum effectiveness. For this interactive workshop, please bring a working draft of a literature review you have written or are working on. This workshop is appropriate for all graduate writers engaging in working with secondary sources.

12:00-12:50 p.m.: SAGE Research Methods: The Essential Online Tool for ResearchersPresented by Kelly Heider, graduate information literacy librarian

SAGE Research Methods is the ultimate online methods library with more than 1,000 books, reference works, journal articles, case studies, podcasts, and instructional videos by expert researchers from across the social sciences, including the largest collection of qualitative methods books available online from any scholarly publisher. The site is designed to guide users to the content they need to learn a little or a lot about their method. Built upon SAGE’s legacy of methods publishing, SAGE Research Methods is the essential online tool for researchers. Workshop participants will learn how to: 1) use the Methods Map to explore research methods, read definitions of key terminology, and discover content relevant to their research methods journey; 2) find lists of key research methods and statistics resources in Reading Lists created by users; 3) use the Project Planner to plan their research; and 4) choose an appropriate statistical method using the Which Stats Test.

1:00-1:50 p.m.: Writing Results: Visualizing and Writing About Data, Presented by Jun Akiyoshi, Writing Center tutor, Composition and Applied Linguistics doctoral program

Presentation of results (chapter 3 or 4 for most dissertations) is often described by graduate students as one of the most challenging to write. This presentation will cover general writing strategies, including deciding how to tell the “story” of your data in ways that are clear, attending to the needs of readers through intentional organization, and effective visualizing and presenting qualitative and quantitative data. 

2:00-2:50 p.m.: Formatting and Submitting Your Thesis DissertationPresented by Willa Black, SGSR Thesis and Dissertation Office and PhD student, Composition and Applied Linguistics

The SGSR Thesis and Dissertation Office will offer a complete overview of the process of preparing your dissertation to deposit. Material covered will include formatting submitting your dissertation, preparing your signature pages, timing, addressing revisions, and choices for copyrighting your work. 

3:00-3:50 p.m.: Publishing Your Thesis or Dissertation and Introduction to Writing for Publication, Presented by Dana Driscoll, professor of English and director of the Jones White Writing Center 

In this presentation, we’ll cover multiple strategies for publishing from your thesis or dissertation and how to overcome challenges with doing so. The workshop will cover key aspects of writing for publication in peer-reviewed journals and how this writing is different than writing a thesis, dissertation, or course paper. This workshop will also include a discussion of how to manage large amounts of feedback (from reviewers, committee members, directors) and effective revision strategies.

We look forward to seeing you at the spring 2022 Thesis/Dissertation Boot Camp! Please sign up here