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Writing and Reading Groups Destination Pages: Writing Group for Research Students

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.

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.

Bookings are available via the Doctoral College Training portal, ResJourney:

 For more details and/or to join our Teams community, you can also contact the organiser, Arina Cirstea, by emailing

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.

Our meetings take place live online via Teams. Here is an overview of our topics for the 2023/24 academic year:

  • Week 4, 26 October 2023, 10-12 Critical thinking

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

    Week 8, 23 November 2023, 10-12 Writing Introductions

    In this workshop we will discuss strategies to structure an introduction. These strategies 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.

    Week 11, 14 December 2023, 10-12 Literature reviews

    Are you planning, drafting or revising your literature review chapter? Then why not join us for this workshop to discuss strategies for planning and structuring a critical literature review.

    Week 17, 25 January 2024, 10-12 Dealing with procrastination

    In this meeting we’ll think about some of the reasons why writers procrastinate, as well as share tips for managing your writing and getting things done.

    Week 21, 22 February 2024, 10-12 Writing abstracts

    This session will explore different types of abstracts, and provide some tips on structuring  effective abstracts for conference presentations, research articles as well as your PhD thesis.

    Week 25, 21 March 2024, 10-12 Planning your Discussion chapter

    This session will help you plan the discussion of your research findings. It will explore the role that theory can play in this section of your thesis, and introduce some commonly used strategies for structuring a Discussion chapter and developing a critical approach to your findings.

    Week 29, 25 April 2024, 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 33, 16 May 2024, 10-12 Editing and proof reading techniques

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

    Week 37, 13 June 2024, 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 will explore some of the pitfalls of dealing with feedback, and propose some strategies for acting on feedback to improve your writing.

    Week 41, 11 July 2024, 10-12 End-of-year reflection: your writing goals for the summer

    The final meeting of the academic year will 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.