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? Are you curious about how to write your dissertation but are still in coursework? 6 students in a group discussing a document

Join our virtual Thesis and Dissertation Writing Boot Camp on Saturday, October 16, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. via Zoom. Our boot camp will provide a supportive environment to help you make progress on your thesis/dissertation writing, jump start your writing, pick up a stalled project, or build your writing skills while you are still in coursework. Graduate students at all stages, including those in coursework, are welcome to attend. Please sign up for our Thesis and Dissertation Boot Camp in advance. We will send Zoom URLs and instructions the week prior to the event. 

Sign up here

Our Thesis/Dissertation Boot Camp will include 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 Library, and the Thesis/Dissertation Office. You can attend all day or part of the day and you can choose which workshops 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. 

Full Schedule for the Fall 2021 Boot Camp:

Presentation: Introduction and Crash Course in Key Writing Strategies for Writing Success

With Dana Driscoll, Professor of English and Director of the Jones White Writing Center: 11:00-11:50 a.m.

In this workshop, we will first provide an overview of our 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 Boot Camp participants. 

Presentation: Getting it all Organized with EndNote and Other Note-Taking Apps

With Theresa McDevitt, IUP Libraries: Noon-12:50 p.m.

Finding this information is just one 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 the PDFs of documents, and create bibliographies automatically. Alternative bibliographic management/note-taking apps will also be briefly discussed. 

Presentation: Mastering your Literature Review

With Andrew Yim, Assistant Director of the Jones White Writing Center and PhD student in Composition and Applied Linguistics: 1:00-1:50 p.m.

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. 

Interactive Workshop: Synthesizing Sources, Building and Refining Arguments, and Writing Literature Reviews

With Dana Driscoll, Professor of English and Director of the Jones White Writing Center: 2:00-2:50 p.m.

For this interactive workshop, please bring a working draft of a literature review you are currently working on and learn a variety of techniques for effective source synthesis, argument building, and organizing your literature review. 

Presentation: Avoiding Plagiarism, Addressing Patchwriting, and Ethical Citation Practices for Thesis and Dissertation Writers

With Jun Akiyoshi, doctoral candidate in Composition and Applied Linguistics and Writing Center tutor: 3:00-3:50 p.m.

This workshop will prepare you for successfully navigating the complexities of avoiding plagiarism at the graduate level. We will cover advanced citation practices, self-citation, plagiarism, patchwriting, and so much more that you will be able to write and submit you work with confidence. 

Other Boot Camp Features

Silent Writing Room

With Omar Yacoub, Writing Center tutor and PhD candidate in Composition and Applied Linguistics: 11:15 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 

The Silent Writing Room opens at 11:15 a.m. and stays open until 5:00 p.m. Turn off your video and audio and set aside time to write your thesis or dissertation.

One-on-One Tutorials and Consultations with the Writing Center, IUP Libraries, the Applied Research Lab, and the Thesis/Dissertation Office will be available from 11:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you have a big or small question or want someone to look at your work, individuals from these offices will be available to support you. This is a first-come, first-served service. You can schedule tutorials in advance by emailing the Writing Center at

Please direct any inquiries about the Fall 2021 Thesis and Dissertation Boot Camp to We look forward to seeing you there! 

Jones White Writing Center