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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 meetings for 22/23 will take place live online via Teams. More details will be added in advance of each meeting:

  • Week 1, 6 October 2022, 10-12 How to write when you don’t want to write

In the first meeting of the year, we invited participants to a discussion on the experience of trying to write when you don’t want to write.  We shared ideas and considered a range of strategies for managing procrastination and overcoming ‘writer’s block’.

  • Week 6, 10 November 2022, 10-12 Writing Introductions

In this workshop, we discussed some strategies to structure an introduction. These strategies could be useful for shaping the Introduction chapter of your thesis, but also for developing introductory sections to shorter research papers, such as reviews or journal articles.

  • Week 10, 8 December 2022, 10-12 Researching and managing resources for your literature review

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

In some of our meetings, participants are 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. We encourage everyone to 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 from previous sessions 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. 

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.