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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:

  • Online 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.

All of our 2020/21 meetings will be taking place online:

  • Getting ready and motivated for the writing year ahead

Thursday 8 October, 10-12, live online session via Blackboard Collaborate

This session looked at planning the writing year ahead, with a focus on how to keep motivated,  the psychology and emotional aspects of  the writing process.

  • Literature reviews (1): Planning and research

Thursday 12 November 10-12, live online via Blackboard Collaborate

In this meeting, we discussed strategies to plan and research a review of literature.

  • Literature reviews (2): Writing and referencing

Thursday 3 December, 10-12 live online via Blackboard Collaborate

In this workshop, we discussed strategies to build an argument in your literature review. We also considered good referencing practices. 

  • Writing Introductions

Thursday 21 January, 10-12 live online via Microsoft Teams

This workshop discussed strategies to structure an introduction, which could be useful for shaping the Introduction chapter to your thesis, but also for developing introductory sections to shorter research papers, such as critical reviews or journal articles.

  • Confirmation bias

Thursday 25 February, 10-12 live online via Microsoft Teams

This workshop focused on techniques to detect and avoid confirmation bias.

  • Writing a journal article

Thursday 25 March, 10-12 live online via Microsoft Teams

This workshop shared some tips for planning and writing a research article, focusing in particular on the publication process and the IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion) article structure.

  • Writing a Discussion chapter

Thursday 29 April, 10-12 live online via Microsoft Teams

This session will help you write up your discussion of results in your thesis. It will focus on:

  • Choosing an appropriate theory to make sense of your findings;
  • Writing about primary research and literature.

In the second hour, 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.

For details and to book, please email Neil Skinner (

Further dates:


  • Week 34, 27 May 2021 Editing techniques for your thesis
  • Week 38, 24 June 2021 Dealing with procrastination
  • Week 42, 22 July 2021- Summer reflection 

More details about each session will become available 1 week in advance. For any queries, 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) and Centre for Academic Innovation (CAI)

Date:         Wednesday afternoons, fortnightly during term time

Time:        2pm - 4pm

Location:  Online

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. In 2021, we are also looking to invite DMU academic staff who run taught postgraduate programmes or modules to invite their PGT students to participate and 'write alongside'. 

Dates for Spring Term 2021:

  • Wed 20 January
  • Wed 3 February
  • Wed 17 February
  • Wed 3 March
  • Wed 17 March
  • Wed 31 March
  • Wed 14 April
  • Wed 28 April  

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.