Starting and Maintaining Writing Groups

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Starting and Maintaining Writing Groups. Nicolette hylan Matthew price The Graduate Writing Center gwc.psu@gmail.com. Graduate Writing Center. One-on-one consultations All types of writing All stages of the writing process To schedule, see the Centers website: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Overcoming Writers Block

Nicolette hylanMatthew priceThe Graduate Writing Centergwc.psu@gmail.comStarting and Maintaining Writing Groups

1Graduate Writing CenterOne-on-one consultationsAll types of writing All stages of the writing processTo schedule, see the Centers website: http://composition.la.psu.edu/composition/resources/graduate-writing-centerOr go directly to the online schedule:https://secure.gradsch.psu.edu/wccal/studentview.cfm2Workshop GoalsDiscuss the benefits of writing groupsOffer advice on how to start/maintain writing groupsGive you strategies and concrete tools that will help you make progress in/with groups(Tentatively) form writing groupsBenefits of Writing GroupsHave the company and support of your peers, many of whom are facing similar challengesHold you more accountable for meeting deadlines Offer fresh eyes and perspectives on various aspects of your writing/writing processExpand your available resources (sources, ideas, styles of writing)Getting StartedThere is no definitive way to start and maintain a writing group.Think of it as a learning process (each meeting is a step in the right direction).Start smallsee what works for the group dynamic (time, page length, location, etc).Assess what changes need to be made along the way and post-semester.

Things to Think About1.What are your goals?

2. How big should the group be? (Recommended 4-6 people to start.)

3. When can you meet? Where? How often? How long?

(More) Things to Think AboutHow will you format your meetings?Ex. Two members of a four member group will be responsible for producing writing for discussion. Writing will be emailed out 5 days before the meeting. Each paper will be discussed for approximately 45 minutes.(A Few More) Things to Think AboutWhat rules will you follow for your meetings? Ex. A writing group meets on campus at Whiskers (Nittany Lion Inn). Members who dont meet deadlines are penalized $20.00 (to pay for drinks after the meetings).What are your expectations in terms of preparation? How much writing is practical? How much feedback is reasonable?

Group DiscussionList 5-10 things that describe the ideal writing group situation (including things we havent covered).

For a writing group to work successfully everyone needs to . . . Group DiscussionList of 5-10 things that might hinder a writing group situationwhat have been your experiences in the past?

How might you address some of these things?

Activities For Writing Groups1. If you havent written anything, discuss your pre-writing activities or any obstacles that are hindering your process.2. Offer feedback and talk about how it has helped the evolution of your writing. 3. Discuss future plans for the group meeting. For example, you can choose a writing issue to discuss together (i.e. drafting/ proof-reading, footnotes, etc.). The Feedback Process (Writer and Editor)1. Provide a summary and goal(s) for your writing before the meeting.

2. Explain your biggest concern(s).

3. Start with a brief and overarching feedback list. Be clear about what feedback would be most helpful. Identify specific areas of concern.

4. Be realistic and understanding.Responding TipsResponding to a peers draft can be a daunting taskrelax!Be generally supportive, descriptive, and specificstart with the positives.Be honest as well, even if its difficult (questions instead of accusations).Clarify issues you dont understandlearn from your peers.Ex. A GWC Session

Supportive FeedbackNegative Feedback: I really dislike the middle section. I have no idea what youre going for there.

Supportive Feedback: Im completely persuaded by the first section, but Im a bit lost in the second. Could you say a bit more about that argument?14Specific FeedbackImprecise: Its just not working.

Specific: On page four, I think you are conflating two ideas. They seem to be nicely separated on page threeperhaps you can clarify the difference?Descriptive FeedbackYour topic sentence doesnt seem to work as well here because it doesnt align with the rest of the paragraph.Give feedback based on your readers intended audience:Would your audience understand this term? Does it need clarification?Is this technical diction necessary for a conference presentation?General Tips on FeedbackDont get overwhelmed.Choose three big points to cover.Tailor your commentary to the writers needs as listed in their feedback request.Write clearly and use recognizable marks.Try to learn from your peers!Writing Group FormationForm three groups: Hard Sciences, Social Sciences, HumanitiesIntroduce yourself to the people around you: Would you all be interested in forming a group? Are your interests close enough to one another? Take some time to get to know your members, exchange information, etc. Do you know others who might be interested?Set up the framework for a writing group (meeting times, frequency of meetings, number of members, amount of writing).Thank you for Joining Us!Please feel welcome to visit the Graduate Writing Center for an individual consultation on your writing projects. Even if you havent yet begun to write (and are maybe wondering how to start) were happy to talk to you. To schedule an appointment, please visit our website.

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