Graduate Student Life Write-In Day FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why should I participate in the Write-In Day?

You know best what you need to be productive with your writing and work.  If your barriers to writing are related to feeling isolated, needing accountability, or freeing yourself from distractions, then the Write-In Day might be helpful to you.  The Write-In Day will provide structure and space for you to write productively, as well as coffee, meals, and snacks, giving you no excuse to not focus on getting your work done.  Plus, you’ll be with other graduate students who know what you’re going through!

What would I need to bring to the Write-In Day?

Bring whatever you need to write: a computer, books, notebook, or other materials.  You will have access to electrical outlets to plug in.  Bring your personal commitment to working diligently and productively.  Be serious about making these commitments.  To make the most out of the day, spend some time ahead of the Write-In Day to set realistic goals.  If you need help with that, attend a workshop on Motivation and Goal Setting offered by Learning Services.

I don’t know how to write a literature review for my thesis/dissertation.  Will the Write-In Day teach me how to do this?

No, unfortunately, the Write-In Day will not provide writing instruction.  The good news is that you can go to the Writing Center for free writing support – graduate student tutors are available!

For the first time, the Fall 2016 Write-In Day will offer individual peer review consultations, where an editor or reviewer from the Journal of Mason Graduate Research will provide suggestions to improve a small section of your writing.

I don’t have a writing assignment to work on, but I do have a big project related to my program or coursework.  Can I still participate in the Write-In Day?

Sure! As long as your project is something you can work on in relative quiet without distracting others, we would be happy to have you.

How/when will I know if I have been confirmed to participate in the Write-In Day?

Everyone who has submitted an interest form by the deadline will be contacted regarding their participation.  We have 30 spots for the Write-In; if interest exceeds capacity, we will give priority to those working on dissertations, theses, and other projects that help students meet benchmarks or requirements for their degree programs.  We will work to accommodate more students if additional space becomes available.

That sounds like a long day.  Will this be worth it?

One hundred percent of participants from the first-ever Graduate Student Life Write-In Day held in April 2013 said that the Write-In Day helped them progress toward their writing goals, that hearing about other students’ experiences with writing was helpful, and that participating in the Write-In Day was a worthwhile use of their time and energy.

When asked about what was the most helpful aspect of the Write-In Day, participants wrote:

“Honestly, everything! Distraction-free writing time … accountability to someone to complete the entire 6 hours of it. The checklist up on the wall … setting realistic goals.”

“The collective support and the creation of an environment of expectations and encouragement.”

TL;DR: Yes, it will be worth it, as long as you commit to making it worthwhile.