Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
DMU Home DMU Home LLS Home
LLS logo

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 was aimed at students doing qualitative research as part of their PhD. We discussed what makes a good qualitative findings section. The session covered how to structure chapters, writing style and using theory.

  • Week 20, 17 February 2022, 10-12 Literature reviews: planning and structure 

This workshop discussed strategies for planning and structuring a critical literature review.

  • Week 24, 17 March 2022, 10-12 Voice and Argument

This workshop discussed and illustrated some practical techniques for articulating your voice and building an argument in your thesis.

  • Week 27, 7 April 2022, 10-12 Editing and proof reading techniques

This session discussed revision and proof reading tools and techniques that may be useful to you when polishing your thesis chapters as well as preparing your work for final submission.

  • Week 31, 5 May 2022, 10-12 Planning and writing a journal article (IMRaD structure) 

Are you considering publishing some of your research findings in an academic journal? Then this workshop might be for you. It will provide a brief introduction to different routes into academic publication, as well as discuss some practical strategies to prepare your manuscript for submission. While the session will make reference to structural templates popular across a range of disciplines, a particular focus will be on the IMRaD structure (Introduction, Methodology, Results and Discussion) common in most branches of science, including life and social sciences.

  • Week 36, 9 June 2022, 10-12 Dealing with feedback

Feedback is essential to the academic writing process; as a doctoral student, you constantly receive feedback from supervisors, reviewers, and others. But how can you make the best use of it? This workshop explored some of the pitfalls of dealing with feedback, and suggest some effective strategies. For this meeting, we were joined by Simon Robson, a professional writer and Royal Literary Fund Fellow, who shared his perspective on using feedback to improve writing.

  • Week 41, 14 July 2022, 10-12 Summer reflection 

 In the final meeting of this academic year, we invite you to an informal conversation about your experiences of research and writing so far. We’ll also exchange tips about resources and support that can help you further along the way.

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.