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,  and the IUP Libraries. 

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. 

Fall 2023 Boot Camp Details

Our Thesis and Dissertation Writing Boot Camp will take place via Zoom on Saturday, October 28, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT. We will feature five workshops, will once again offer the silent writing room, and will have graduate tutors, librarians, and other tutorials available. Please note: This will be the only boot camp offered this academic year. 

We recommend students attend several of our boot camps, 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 that we will offer during the fall 2023 boot camp: 

11:00–11:50 a.m.: Introduction and Crash Course in Key Strategies for Thesis and Dissertation Writing 
Presented by Dana Driscoll, professor of English and director of the Jones White Writing Center

This workshop will first provide an overview of the boot camp and how it works. For the remainder of the workshop, we’ll cover key strategies for thesis and dissertation writing success including time management, avoiding common writing pitfalls, goal setting, cultivating positive writing dispositions, and how to make good progress with your work.  This workshop is recommended for all attendees.

12:00–12:50 p.m.: Getting it all Organized with EndNote and other Note-Taking Apps 
Presented by Theresa McDevitt, IUP Libraries

Finding information is just part of the research process. If you want to be successful, you have to get organized as well. In this workshop, we will discuss ways to organize your bibliographic material and take notes, including how to get started with EndNote bibliographic software, import references from library databases and Google Scholar, store notes and files such as PDFs of documents, and create bibliographies automatically. Alternative bibliographic management/note-taking apps will also be briefly discussed.  

1:00–1:50 p.m.: Mastering Your Literature Review
Presented by Dana Driscoll, professor of English and director of the Jones White Writing Center

In this workshop, we’ll cover strategies for successfully developing your literature review, the purposes and goals of literature reviews, source synthesis, addressing entry points and gaps, structuring your review, and building arguments. 

2:00–2:50 p.m.: Thinking about the Research Design Process: Logic and Alignment
Presented by Paul Hawkins, director of the Applied Research Lab

This workshop will present a metacognitive perspective on the research design process. Students can expect to think about the research design process and come away with an understanding of how to logically align key research concepts throughout the design process.

3:00–3:50 p.m.: Avoiding Plagiarism, Addressing Patchwriting, and Ethical Citation Practices for Thesis and Dissertation Writers
Presented by Omar Yacoub, assistant director of the Jones White Writing Center

This workshop offers a thorough introduction to advanced citation practices, including avoiding patchwriting and plagiarism, addressing self-citation, and much more. The goal of this workshop is to improve your knowledge of common citation practice challenges that graduate students face so that you will be able to write and submit your work with confidence.

Other Boot Camp Features

11:15 a.m.–4:00 p.m.: Silent Writing Room
Moderated by Danning Liang, tutor in the Jones White Writing Center and PhD candidate in the Composition and Applied Linguistics program

Turn off your video and audio and set aside time to write your thesis or dissertation. 

11:15 a.m.–4:00 p.m.: One-on-One Tutorials with the Writing Center, IUP Libraries, and the Applied Research Lab

If you have a question (big or small) or want someone to look at your work, our consultants will be available to assist you. This is a first-come, first-served service. You can schedule tutorials in advance by emailing or simply drop in. 

We look forward to seeing you at the fall 2023 Thesis/Dissertation Boot Camp! Please sign up here