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Workshops, Retreats, and Write-Ins

The Graduate Writing Center offers many workshops, of varying length, to support graduate students with their writing. All workshops are open to enrolled University of Maryland graduate students free of charge. Please see the Events section for the current workshop schedule.

We welcome suggestions for workshops and will design and provide programs for specific departmental needs upon request. Please contact Dr. Linda Macri, Director of Academic and Professional Development, with questions.

This fall (2019), we will offer:



Thesis & Dissertation Retreats

January 2020 Winter Break Retreat:  January 13-16, 10am-4pm daily

The Thesis & Dissertation Retreat will afford participants time to write along with opportunities for one-on-one writing consultations with Writing Fellows and presentations about topics such as setting goals and structuring writing time. Participants must have an approved prospectus or thesis topic and must commit to attending each day. Please contact with any questions.

The retreat is limited to 25 students. A $40 fee (to cover meals and refreshments) will be required to secure a place.

To apply, click here



Weekly Write-Ins

  • Fridays, 1 - 4pm

Writing regularly and with a sense of support contributes to accomplishing writing goals. You can join your graduate and postdoctoral colleagues every Friday afternoon from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in 4123 McKeldin for structured time to write. All graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty are welcome.

Sign in with your writing goal and/or writing question, grab a cup of something caffeinated, and we’ll begin with a short (less than 15-minute) presentation on some aspect of research or writing. Then, settle in to writing. Fellows from the Graduate School Writing Center will be available to offer support in brief, one-on-one consultations. On the first Friday of each month, librarians from the Research Commons will offer a Research Write-In, featuring brief presentations about various relevant issues in research.

Space is limited, so advanced registration for each session is encouraged (but never required). You can register through our online scheduling system.



Oral Communication Lunchtime Series

For Fall 2019, the Oral Communication Lunchtime Series will take place on the following Tuesdays from 12-1pm  in 2113 McKeldin.  No advance registration is required, and feel free to bring your lunch!

Crafting a Successful Speech

  • September 17 (Week 1): Knowing your audience - Participants will learn about ways to consider the exigence of a situation and strategies for adapting to a given audience. Ways to appeal to different audiences and strategies for successful speech organization will be discussed.
  • October 1 (Week 2): Appealing to your audience - Participants will learn about how to create persuasive messages. Rhetorical strategies of humor and narratives will be explored, as well as ways to find persuasive evidence for arguments.
  • October 15 (Week 3): Keeping your audience - Participants will learn how to make messages memorable by exploring strategies for compelling introductions and conclusions. Attention getting devices will be examined and participants will develop a toolkit for adapting to any rhetorical situation in persuasive ways.

Delivering a Successful Speech

  • October 29 (Week 1): The Ummmpossible Task - Participants will learn about verbal, nonverbal, and tonal fillers and how to avoid, and even successful deploy, these rhetorical features.
  • November 12 (Week 2): Picture This: Creating Successful PowerPoint Presentations - Participants will learn how to create and deliver successful PowerPoint presentations
  • December 3 (Week 3): Yes, And: The Value of Adaptation and Improv in Communication PracticeParticipants will learn how to adapt to any rhetorical situation using communication strategies of impromptu speaking and conversational style.


Graduate Writing Lunchtime Series

For Fall 2019, the Graduate Writing Lunchtime Series will take place on the following Tuesdays from 12-1pm  in 2113 McKeldin.  No advance registration is required, and feel free to bring your lunch!

  • September 10: Reading in Graduate School - In your graduate studies, you’ll have to read and synthesize a lot of research. At this workshop, we’ll discuss reading strategies and practice writing summaries that will be useful when you shift from reading to applying what you have read. Participants should bring an article they need to read for hands-on application.
  • September 24: Playing with Writing: Words! - Too often, writing feels like hard work! And while writing is hard work, there should also be an element of play and creativity to even the most routine academic writing.  This first “Playing with Writing” session will focus on words.  Participants should bring the writing technology of their choice and something they need to write about to make this session most useful.
  • October 8: Playing with Writing: Sentences! - Think there’s only one way to write a sentence? Come join us to stretch your sentence crafting skills!
  • October 22: Playing with Writing: Ways to Write! - There’s more than one way to compose your writing. At this workshop, we’ll play with ways of composing and ways of creating paragraphs.
  • November 11: Play with Writing: What’s the Story? - Good academic writing should have a story, but sometimes it can be hard to create.  At this workshop, we’ll explore ways to make writing more narrative.
  • November 19: I Wrote a Draft, Now What?: Revision Practices - It’s getting close to the due date for that assignment. . . you have a draft, but how do you revise it?  Come explore revision techniques at this workshop.


GradTerp Exchange Monthly Prep Session

  • Wednesday, September 11, 2-3:30pm
  • Monday, October 7, 11-12:30pm
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2-3:30pm

Interested in giving a talk at our monthly GradTerp Exchange – or just learning how to offer a talk for an audience outside your discipline? At this workshop, we’ll talk about using narrative, humor, strong visuals, and other features of a great talk for a broad audience, and you will have the chance to experiment with ideas and techniques and get feedback from your peers and fellows from the Graduate School Writing Center.

Click here to register


Making Small Talk Weekly Conversation Hour

  • Thursdays starting Sep. 12, 3-4pm, 0121 Stamp

Every day, in work places and professional situations across America, people make small talk – brief conversations that are unrelated to work but crucially important to creating relationships.  But many of us—for a wide variety of reasons—don’t feel comfortable making small talk.  Come join the Graduate School Writing Center to learn more about why we use small talk and to practice how to feel more comfortable making small talk.


Writing for Broader Audiences Series

  • September 27, 12-1:30pm
  • October 4, 12-1:30pm
  • October 11, 12-1:30pm

or, repeats

  • October 30, 11:30-1pm
  • November 6, 11:30-1pm
  • November 13, 11:30-1pm

You research and write about work in your discipline, but do you want the knowledge you create to be confined to audiences in your field—or do you want to reach broader audiences and have a broader impact? If you plan a career in academia, there is increasing demand to communicate research beyond disciplinary borders, and if you are considering a career outside of academia, the ability to communicate your research and why it matters is a crucial skill. This workshop series will offer guidance on how to write for broader audiences (interdisciplinary, general public, the under-18 crowd) and across multiple media (blogs, tweets). Time will be spent during each session writing and reviewing with peers. Participants should plan to come to the first meeting with notes and ideas.

Space is limited; please register here. Questions? Contact Dr. Linda Macri.



How to Write a Literature Review: An Introduction to Writing and Research in Graduate School (Fall 2019)

New to research at the graduate level or just need a refresher? Not sure how to move from research to writing? Join us for this workshop, offered in conjunction with librarians from the Research Commons, focusing on entering an academic conversation through research and writing. The workshop will cover graduate-specific library privileges, effective research and citation practices, writing from sources, and a general introduction to the literature review process.

The slides from February 2018 are available here.



Improv to Improve Communication In & Beyond the Classroom (TLTC 699A)

  • Mondays September 9-November 11, 1:15-2:50pm

Looking for ways to improve how you teach, how you collaborate with other, how you communicate your research? In this one-credit course, you’ll learn how the basic principles of improv can help you improve how you communicate in a variety of settings. Open to all graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

View the syllabus here

Contact Information

Graduate School Writing Center

5100B McKeldin Library
College Park, MD 20742

Fall Drop-In Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays, 12:00-3:00pm

Upcoming Events: