What happens when you join an academic writing group?
You become a writer and scholar. You are part of a community of writers with the same mission: to write something that will enlighten people in your area of study or profession.
Belonging to an academic writing group will help you learn more about writing, your field and how to participate and contribute to others. Each of these elements is vital to your success in college or graduate school.
So how do you join or create an academic writing workshop group that works for you?
Want to watch a video version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
Here are 3 tips to make sure you are part of a successful academic writing group.
3 Tips for Creating Amazing Academic Writing Groups
Tip # 1: Form a group with people focused on the same writing goal.
People with the same writing goal(s) know what needs to be achieved, and how to support and motivate each other. You also all have a common interest in the same field. Similar goals and interests are key ingredients in creating a thriving community.
Here are some ways to find members for your group.
- Select people in the same class who need to complete the same writing assignments.
- Select people in a common field that do the same kind of writing. For example, students with the same major or discipline.
- Select people with the same writing project goals; such as writing a master’s thesis, or Ph.D. dissertation.
When you have people with common writing objectives, they know the specific requirements and expectations of that kind of writing. Those are the best people to give you the best advice.
Tip # 2: Create a specialized feedback form or criteria list everyone can use.
Common guidelines for giving feedback helps members share targeted and insightful writing advice. A criteria form keeps everyone focused on providing the comments and suggestions writers need to advance their writing skills in that area or on a writing project.
Advice for giving feedback in an academic writing group:
- Create criteria for writing content and writing organization.
- Include specific things in academic writing. For example, the types of evidence you need to include, reference style, different scientific writing approaches etc.
- If you are writing a master’s thesis or dissertation you have very specific criteria you need to meet. Include those requirements in your common feedback form.
- Follow the best practices for offering positive constructive feedback. See my blog post, “Writing Groups 101: How to Give and Get Powerful Writing Feedback.” https://www.academicwritingsuccess.com/writing-groups-101-how-to-give-get-powerful-writing-feedback/ to learn tips for giving constructive writing comments.
Tip # 3: Create a space for writing time.
Having a regular time for writing is a way for members to support each other in planning and composing work. Prewriting and drafting are as important a phase of the writing process as revising.
Create a dedicated time during your group where people will write together on their projects at the same time (15-20 minutes). Then let them share how it is going with small groups of people. Ask and answer questions during this time.
Take Your Academic Writing Group to the Next Level
One final piece of advice is to have an expert lead your writing group. A leader or organizer guides and coaches the writers in a group. This person keeps people on track and knows how to assist people when they are confused or stuck. Sometimes group members want to be helpful, but don’t always know the best way to do that. Coaches and mentors know how to help you in the way you learn best.
If you don’t have an individual who can play that role look for one who can aid everyone in the group.
Are you ready to start or join an academic writing group, but not sure how to make it successful for you?
Starting next week, I will be offering academic writing workshops for people who want to advance their writing skills through group tutoring. You’ll get help from me and each other as you learn how to write for college or graduate school. Each group will have an online classroom where they can get exclusive resources, writing tools and materials. They can also share writing and get feedback on it.
Want to learn more about academic writing group tutoring? Sign-up for a free online consultation. Just fill out the form below and I’ll set up a free online meeting for you.