Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Writing Center

Workshops and Events on Writing

Throughout the academic year, the Graduate Writing Center provides workshops, seminars, and panels discussing different aspects of academic writing. Some of the programs listed below are offered annually, while others are offered once every two-three years. Specific dates and times of the upcoming events and the registration information are sent to all Yale graduate students through a weekly email starting from September through June. They are also listed on the events calendar.

*Starred events are offered every two or three years
depending on the requests of the students.

Research Skills

Note-taking Strategies
Writing a Literature Review
Seminar Paper Writing
Editing and Revision Strategies


Fellowship and Grant Writing Resources

Writing a Personal Statement
NSF Grant Writing Seminar
Preparing a Successful NRSA Application
Writing a compelling abstract for grant applications*


Presentation Skills and Publishing

When to Put Down Your Pipette and Start Writing* Writing a Clear Abstract
Preparing a Successful Conference Presentation
Preparing a Successful Poster
From a Final Paper to a Journal Article
Writing a Research Paper in the Natural Sciences
Writing Book Reviews
Publishing for Academic Journals
Publishing Your Dissertation as a Book


Dissertation Help

Dissertation Help Choosing a Dissertation Topic
Strategies for Writing a Dissertation Prospectus

Writing a Master’s Thesis
Dissertation Writing Workshop

October, November,    February
Fall and Spring

Nuts and Bolts of Academic Writing

From Wordy to Concise Sentences*
Clarity and Simplicity in Your Ideas*
How to Control Sprawl in Academic Writing*
Cohesion and Coherence in Academic Writing*
Persuasive Academic Writing Style*
The Principles of Scientific Writing*

Advanced Writing Resources

Successful Collaborative Writing in the Sciences and Engineering*
Communicating Scientific Research to a Broader Audience*
Ergonomics for Writers: a Workspace Workshop*
Op-Ed Writing*

Resources for Non-Native English Speakers

Writing Groups

Every semester we organize and facilitate writing groups for all interested graduate students. Doctoral students often rely on dissertation writing groups to combat the isolation that is common in the later stages of their doctoral work. Many students use the groups as a disciplinary took to make significant progress in the dissertation work. They also use the groups to share the writing process problems and find out a solution. The information below can help you decide what groups could work for you.

Dissertation Boot Camps

This program is for more advanced Ph.D. candidates who are in the process of writing their research paper, prospectuses or dissertation chapters, and just need space, time and company. Dissertation Boot Camps have become a popular tradition of the Graduate School. Students bring their laptops and get an entire weekend of distraction-free writing, with breakfast, lunch, snacks and plenty of coffee provided. The Writing Center organizes three boot camps:

  • Mid October – Two full days during a weekend
  • Late January – Two full days during a weekend
  • Mid May – Two sessions with three full days each

They are an excellent resource for those students who want to meet the dissertation submission deadlines. Each session starts with a nutritious breakfast followed by hours of writing with a break for lunch, coffee, and physical warm up exercises.

  • 8:30 - 9:00 am – Sign up, set up, and breakfast
  • 9:00 - 9:15 am – Setting up goals for the day
  • 9:15 - 12:00 pm – Writing, writing, and writing
  • 12:00 - 1:00 pm – Lunch
  • 1:00 - 3:00 pm – More writing
  • 3:00 - 3:15 pm – Break for coffee and snacks, stretching session
  • 3:15 - 4:45 pm – Even more writing
  • 4:45 - 5:00 pm – Accountability session
Dissertation Study Halls

Study Halls are abbreviated versions of the Dissertation Boot Camp with three hours of writing. They provide students with some structured time, effective writing strategies and space to work on their term papers, dissertation prospectuses and chapters, and articles for publications. Study Halls are scheduled throughout the academic year:

  • Late October – Fellowship Application Study Halls
  • November – Dissertation and Prospectus Study Halls
  • December – Term Paper Study Halls
  • February – Dissertation and Prospectus Study Halls
  • March – Dissertation and Prospectus Study Halls

Read what other students say about Dissertation Boot Camps and Study Halls:

“I got a lot of work done. I drafted an entire chapter and I feel much more optimistic about the entire semester. I look forward to attending the next session!”

“I definitely made more progress than I would have on my own. At the Boot Camp, there were no interruptions – no telephone calls, no folks dropping by, no laundry to be done, no dishes to be washed.”

“Study halls are fantastic! I only wish they happened more frequently. Many graduate students don't have good study spaces in their departments, and the study halls are a great way to make up for that. It's an extremely productive atmosphere.”

“Most productive three hours in the semester!”

Peer Review Groups

Peer-review groups provide a safe place to try out new ideas, take intellectual risks, and share their written work in progress. Different backgrounds of the group members foster innovative and creative thinking, and initiation of collaborative projects. About four to five groups are organized every semester, where members are at roughly the same stage of their graduate student careers. The groups are facilitated by the Graduate Writing Center advisors, which organize and plan meetings, create the schedule of presentations, monitor attendance, and lead the discussion.

The following groups are organized at the beginning of the semester during the academic year:

  • A dissertation chapter writing group
  • A dissertation prospectus writing group
  • A research paper writing group
  • A fellowship application writing group

At the first meeting, the group members decide the day and time of their weekly meetings and set their schedule. At each weekly meeting, one or two members present written work for detailed feedback. The members of the group have reciprocal obligations – you give me feedback this week, and I will read your paper next week.

During these groups, students learn how to provide constructive criticism that improves their work. In addition, these groups provide emotional support in a setting that often feels impersonal and anonymous. Group members become colleagues with whom they can vent, bolster, sympathize, and encourage.