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Centre for Learning and Study Support (CLaSS): Research Students

How CLaSS works with research students

CLaSS lecturers offer bespoke support for students conducting independent research:

  • One-to-one tutorials - CLaSS Lecturers can provide strategies and resources to help review your academic writing. Please follow this link for information about our standard tutorial provision and booking system. Upon request, research students may also be offered extended (50-minute) slots. Please email Arina Cirstea ( if you wish to book an extended tutorial.
  • Writing Group for Research Students (see details below)
  • DMU Writing Circle (see details below)

You may also want to explore:

  • Our range of Open Programme Workshops
  • Our range of Online Resources  on the CLaSS website. Also, please check below for a suite of resources specifically targeted at doctoral researchers. 

Writing Group for Research Students

The Writing Group for Research Students is a small, informal group that meets on a monthly basis to discuss topics related to writing at doctoral level. Whether you've only just started your research or are in the writing up stages, all research students are welcome. We're always looking for new members, so please do come along to see what we do.

Our 2021/22 meetings are currently planned for online delivery via Microsoft Teams.

  • Week 1, 7 October 2021, 10-12 Critical thinking and critical reading

Evidence of critical thinking is a key requirement of writing at doctorate level. This session explored what we mean by criticality in the context of doctoral research and provided some practical strategies to approach reading for your thesis and develop a critical response to the work of others.

  • Week 9, 2 December 2021, 10-12 Managing resources for your literature review 

At doctoral level it’s important to keep the many references that you rely on organised. This session demonstrated the value of using reference management software to do this. We explored one such software, RefWorks. RefWorks allows you to create a database of references imported from online resources such as Library Search, databases and websites, and organise those references into folders. We also looked at how you can use the database you’ve created to generate your bibliographies.

  • Week 16, 20 January 2022, 10-12 Writing the Findings chapters of your PhD (qualitative research)

This session is for students who are doing qualitative research as part of their PhD. We will discuss what makes a good qualitative findings section. The session will cover how to structure your chapters, writing style and using theory.

  • Week 20, 17 February 2022, 10-12 Literature reviews: planning and structure 
  • Week 24, 17 March 2022, 10-12 Voice and Argument
  • Week 27, 7 April 2022, 10-12 Editing and proof reading techniques
  • Week 31, 5 May 2022, 10-12 Planning and writing a journal article (IMRAD structure) 
  • Week 36, 9 June 2022, 10-12 Dealing with feedback
  • Week 41, 14 July 2022, 10-12 Summer reflection 

In the second hour of each meeting, participants will be invited to take part in a peer review activity. To receive feedback on a sample of your writing from the presenters as well as fellow participants, please email a short draft (no more than 2 pages) to the organiser in advance of the workshop. You can still take part even if you do not want feedback on your own writing.

The Writing Group for Research Students has a dedicated Teams community space where you can receive communication about future meetings, access resources or simply chat. For more details and/or to join our meetings or Teams community, please email Neil Skinner (


Doctoral Writing Resources

There are a wealth of excellent online resources, books and blogs on academic writing, geared towards doctoral students. Some good examples include:

  • The Thesis Whisperer. A website with a wide range of contributors, edited by Dr Inger Mewburn
  • The Writer's Diet: Helen Sword's website on stylish and productive academic writing
  • Patter: Pat Thomson's blog on academic writing

Past events

Please follow the links to access resources from Academic Writing Day: Develop your confidence as a writer and Academic Writing Day 2: Strategies to develop your manuscript for journal publication.

DMU Writing Circle


DMU Writing Circle


Delivered by Library and Learning Services (LLS), the Doctoral College, and the Centre for Academic Innovation (CAI)

Date:         Alternating Monday and Friday afternoons, fortnightly during term time

Time:        2pm - 4pm

Location:  Online via MS Teams

The DMU Writing Circle is a community of DMU staff and research students interested in getting writing done and developing their capabilities as writers through participation in a regular social writing community.

Meetings take place on MS Teams, and are open to everyone who registers their interest and becomes part of the Circle. Once you have joined, you won't need to book to attend a session, you can simply come along when you can make it.

DMU research students and DMU staff (academic and professional services) are welcome to join the circle, and all kinds of writing are included. 

Dates and Times, Spring and Summer Terms 2022:

Spring Term

Friday 14th January, 2-4pm

Monday 24th January, 2-4pm

Friday 11th February, 2-4pm

Monday 21st February, 2-4pm

Friday 11th March, 2-4pm

Monday 21st March, 3-4pm (note later start time)

Friday 8th April, 2-4pm


Summer Term

Friday 13th May, 2-4pm

Monday 23rd May, 2-4pm

Friday 10th June, 2-4pm


To join the Writing Circle or for more information contact Jason Eyre- - Centre for Learning and Study Support.






Proofreading for Research Students

Research Students often enquire about proofreading support.

The research degree regulations at DMU (section 14.3) allow for "limited assistance with proof reading... with the prior approval of the supervisor". The role of a professional proofreader is limited to correcting "spelling, grammar and punctuation accuracy", but otherwise it is vital that the document is the student's own work.

The CLaSS Proofreading for Grammar Toolkit offers useful advice on developing your own proofreading strategies.