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K-State Today

March 2, 2016



Writing Center, Graduate School offer Dissertation Writing Retreat May 16-20

By Cydney Alexis

The Writing Center is hosting its annual Dissertation Writing Retreat this May, with sponsorship from the English department, the Graduate School, K-State Libraries, and the offices of the Provost and the President. The application deadline is noon Wednesday, March 23.

The retreat's purpose is twofold. First, dissertators will be given time and space to write in a supportive atmosphere, amongst other writers. A second goal is to promote effective writing practices and to boost the dissertation-writing process, thereby reducing time to graduation.

Participants should expect to write for five hours each day of the retreat, with the exception of Wednesday, May 18, on which day the retreat will end at noon and optional writing tutoring will be offered by retreat staff. Participants should also expect to briefly reflect on their goals and progress with their peers and to meet in short conferences with Writing Center staff.

Lastly, participants will be able to attend optional daily workshops on topics related to dissertation writing, such as using the Electronic Theses, Dissertations, and Reports, ETDR, template, working with citation managers, and practicing strong writing hygiene. With support from our sponsors, the retreat will provide coffee and lunch so that participants can concentrate on writing.

Feedback from previous participants:

  • "The retreat provided a great atmosphere for those looking to make significant progress on their dissertation. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to accomplish throughout the week."
  • "It's a great way... to invest in your writing."
  • "It was helpful and nice to be in an environment that was solely devoted to just getting writing done. Having a system of accountability is really helpful."
  • "The retreat allowed us to step out of our normal busy lives, which offer plenty of excuses to not commit full days toward dissertating."

Certain requirements must be met in order to participate:

  • Applicants must commit to being present for the entirety of the retreat; those accepted must sign a retreat contract indicating their availability for the entirety of each day, including an end-of-week celebration and completion of a survey, both of which take place on the final afternoon of the retreat. If you have other commitments that would require you to miss any portion of the retreat, you are not eligible to participate.
  • The graduate student's advisor must consent to the student's participation in the retreat by completing an advisor consent form.
  • Applicants must have been admitted to candidacy by April 1.
  • Applicants must have completed source collection, collected data/completed their proposed work and be ready to concentrate solely on writing during the retreat. The stage of writing you are at might differ depending on your discipline. As Internet use is prohibited during the retreat, you should be at a point where you can write from the data or research you have already collected. Participants can use the off afternoon of Wednesday, May 18, to collect additional source materials.
  • Applicants must be in good standing with their programs.
  • Applicants who are accepted to participate in the retreat must submit two checks — or a cash payment — to the Graduate School by noon Wednesday, April 27. One check, for $25, is a nonrefundable retreat fee. The other check, for $25, will be cashed by the Graduate School only if participants miss any portion of the retreat, including the celebration and survey completion, both of which occur on the final afternoon of the retreat.
  • Participants who have completed prior retreats are eligible to reapply.

A committee headed by the Graduate School will select 15-20 individuals to participate in the retreat. The committee aims to represent all of K-State's schools and colleges and a broad set of disciplines. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance no later than Wednesday, April 20, and their $50 payment — $25 nonrefundable retreat fee; $25 check cashed only if participants miss any portion of the retreat — will be due by noon Wednesday, April 27. Applicants who fail to submit payment by this date will be notified of their withdrawal from the retreat, and the Graduate School will then offer that spot to an individual on the waiting list.

Click here to view the anticipated retreat schedule and access the application and related materials. Applications are due by noon Wednesday, March 23.

If you have questions about the retreat, please contact Cydney Alexis, calexis@k-state.edu. If you have questions about the application process, please contact Megan Miller, mmmiller@k-state.edu.