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Workshops, Retreats, and Write-Ins

The Graduate School 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:


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

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. 

Class runs from February 20-May 1, Wednesdays from 4-5:15pm

For more information and for permission to register, contact Linda Macri (

View the syllabus here

Oral Communication Short Courses

This semester, we will offer two short courses to help you develop your oral communication skills.  Students who sign up for either course are expected to attend all three sessions. 

Crafting a Successful Speech
Tuesdays, February 19, February 26, March 5  from 3-4:30pm in 5100B McKeldin
Dr. Thomas McCloskey
Participants will learn about how to structure, support, and build successful speeches. Upon completion of this series, participants will be able to write addresses appropriate for academic conferences, job talks, teaching demonstrations, and other professional environments.
Register for the course here.  Questions?  Please contact Dr. Thomas McCloskey (
Delivering a Successful Speech
Fridays (March 29, April 5, and April 12) from 10:00am--11:30am in 5100B McKeldin
Dr. Thomas McCloskey
Participants will learn how to deliver persuasive messages. Upon completion of this series, participants will be able to use successful verbal and nonverbal delivery strategies in conversational ways essential for professional and interpersonal communication environments. 
Register for the course here.  Questions?  Please contact Dr. Thomas McCloskey  (


Graduate Writing Short Courses

This semester, we will offer two short courses to help you hone your writing skills.  Students who sign up for either course are expected to attend all three sessions. 

Writing with Clarity and Style
Mondays, February 18, February 25, and March 4,  from 12-1:30pm in 5100B McKeldin
Dr. Linda Macri
Your research is complicated, but you need to express it with clarity—and maybe even some style and grace.  In this short series, we’ll explore what makes sentences and paragraphs clear and play with ways to vary your writing style.
Register for the course here.  Questions?  Please contact Dr. Linda Macri
Explain Yourself!
Tuesdays, March 26, April 2, and April 9, from 2-3:30pm in 5100B McKeldin
Dr. Linda Macri
Whether you are explaining a context, a process, a result, or an impact, chances are you explaining something complex in your writing. In this short series, we’ll focus on writing clear explanations for different audiences
Register for the course here.  Questions?  Please contact Dr. Linda Macri

Weekly Write-Ins

Fridays, 1 - 4pm
 For Spring 2019, Write-Ins will begin on Friday, February 1 with a Research Write-In

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


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

Thursday, Feb. 14, 10am-12pm, 6137 McKeldin.  Registration available soon 
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2:30-4:30pm, 6137 McKeldin.  Registration available soon

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.

Dissertation Retreats

January 14-17, 10am-4pm daily
To apply, click here. Applications will be accepted until December 18 or until the retreat is full, whichever comes first. 

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.

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


3MT Workshops

Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 2:00-3:30 pm

 Wednesday, February 13, 10-11:30am, 2124 Lee

Interested in entering the 3 Minute Thesis Competition and not sure where to start? This workshop will teach you all the winning elements of a successful 3MT entry!

Are you planning on presenting your work at GRAD 2018? The Graduate School Writing Center is here to help. We are hosting two workshops on how to construct and deliver an engaging and persuasive GRAD presentation. Whether you are a first-time GRAD presenter or a GRAD veteran, our sessions can help you prepare for the event.

Workshops will be held on Thursday, March 28th, 1-2pm in Terrapin Room AB in Stamp, and Monday, April 1st, from 2-3pm, in 5100B McKeldin (the Graduate School Writing Center). Register here.



Contact Information

Graduate School Writing Center

5100B McKeldin Library
College Park, MD 20742

Fall / Spring Drop-In Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00-3:00pm
Fall / Spring Write-In Hours: Fridays, 1:00-4:00pm, McKeldin 4123 

Upcoming Events: