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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.

We offer:

Thesis & Dissertation Retreats

This summer, the Graduate School Writing Center will offer two writing retreats, aimed at different audiencess

Early Stage Dissertation Retreat -- June 1-5, 9-3pm; held virtually 

The Early Stage Dissertation Retreat is intended for students in the early stages of writing their dissertations or their dissertation proposals. Each day, we will spend some time on both writing and developing effective time management and writing skills.  Generally, students interested in this retreat should have passed qualifying examinations, but requirements vary across departments; if you have questions, please contact Dr. Macri (  This retreat will be held virtually.  To register, go to

Thesis & Dissertation Retreat -- July 13-17; held virtually 

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. There is no space limit for this event, but students are asked to register by July 9, 2020. Click here to register.


Weekly Write-Ins

  • FOR SUMMER 2020, WE'LL BE HOLDING WRITE-TOGETHER TIME  Friday Mornings from 9-11am EDT: no advance registration is necessary -- just join!

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.


GradTerp Exchange Monthly Prep Session

  • Friday, January 24, 1-2:30pm  attend live or via WebEx 
  • Wednesday, February 12, 10-11:30am
  • Tuesday, March 24, 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 February 6, 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.


How to Write a Literature Review: An Introduction to Writing and Research in Graduate School 

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.


Getting Started with Poster Design

Interested in offering a poster at a conference, but not sure how to get started?  Want to learn how to include graphics and make visual choices in your poster design to communicate your work effectively?  Join us for this workshop, offered in conjunction with the librarians from the Research Commons. We'll help you figure out poster design, presentation, and printing. 

Sharing Research with Younger Audiences

  • Mondays, 2-3pm EDT, April 20-May 11

There’s a great deal of discussion in university settings about sharing research with broader audiences, helping broader publics to understand why the research we all do is relevant, significant, and worth doing.  Communication theories teach us that messages need to be tailored to different audiences in different ways.  In this four-week workshop, we will focus on communicating your research to younger audiences.  While communication to younger audiences is often considered teaching, we’ll address explaining, creating interest, and fostering appreciation for critical thinking as essential elements of communicating with younger audiences.  We will also look at different formats and mediums for communicating with younger audiences, including print, video, and demonstrations.  The workshop series begins on Monday, April 20 and includes weekly synchronous workshops on Mondays from 2-3pm (April 20, April 27, May 4, May 11); workshops will be recorded and attendance in real time is not required.  To enroll, fill out the enrollment form.  Contact Dr. Linda Macri ( with questions.


Writing with Sources 

Are you working on a scholarly paper? Do you want to learn more about keeping your sources organized, using your sources effectively in your writing, and ensuring that your use is ethical? Join us for this session where you will learn to use the citation manager Zotero, discuss best practices for managing citations, and practice writing about your sources effectively and ethically.


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: