Writing Workshop

If you are working to the same completion date as a number of peers, a regular hour-long Writing Workshop that moves through the five phases below allows you to report on your progress and to reflect on topics that can be crafted by the facilitator (instructor) to correspond to the likely issues for each stage in the research and writing process.

1. Freewriting with two goals: To get present (clearing away distracting concerns from your busy lives); and to begin to consider the topic of the session (which may parallel the topics of the sessions in the Phases framework).

2. Check-In: One thing that is on top for you as you come into the workshop. It may be a concern or question about the topic of the session, or it may be something else going on for you.

3. Dialogue Process: Structured turn-taking that builds on what is said in the Check-In about the topic of the session. Through inquiry more than advocacy—including inquiry of one's own thinking—themes usually emerge. The facilitator is a participant too. Only if needed does the facilitator interject to remind participants of the guidelines, e.g., to build on what speakers have said (as against rehearsing positions established before the session). Continue turn-taking until seven minutes before the session ends.

4. Writing to gather thoughts: Spend a few minutes writing down what has emerged that is most meaningful for you. (These notes should be written to make sense to you if you return to them after an elapse of time.)

5. Closing Circle: Share something you plan to address or get done or think more about based on the Writing Workshop session. Airing this in the group-having it witnessed-makes it more likely to happen.

Meetings of peer Writing Groups for Support and Feedback and One-on-One Sessions with the advisor might follow the Writing Workshop hour.