Writing Support Group

The next writing support meeting will be October 11 from 10:00-11:30 in room 613 of the Education Building. This is a drop-in meeting for any who could use writing supports. The topic for this meeting is writing and developing a literature review.

  • Most people know the basics of writing, but it is the habit, fear, writing enough, writing efficiently, finding time, finding energy, coping with feedback, and other components around writing that make it so difficult. This writing group is intended to support each other on these fronts. 

  • We will also discuss some technical issues as needed: I can see us discussing writing for conference presentation proposals, grant proposals, managing references and citations, addressing the new APA style, writing a literature review, working through rejection and negative evaluations, and many many more. 

Links and Resources

Where to find the fine Scrivener word processing software, especially good for large scale projects.


A quality pomodoro timer.


A nice and free online guide to APA style. But get the manual.


Raul Pacheco-Vega’s excellent blog. This post is about literature reviews in science.


Writing group descriptions and outlines

September 20 

  • Welcome: 

    • This is an open support group that is not required and does not take the place of your research supervisor or the graphos program. This project will only be effective if it helps and supports to meet your writing needs. 

    • We also do not want to violate any department or program rules. So we are not allowed to help with the details of the comprehensive exams, for example. 

    • This time and space is dedicated to a school psychology class that is referred to as the brownbag seminar. This seminar meets approximately every other week for fall and spring semesters. Any time the brownbag seminar does not meet, we will have writing group. I will provide at least one week’s notice with the featured topic provided. 

    • Please sign in with your name and email address. I will post notes, links and such. This would include presentation notes, links to important websites, news of upcoming writing group sessions, and other tips and tricks. 

  • Format: 

    • The format is open, but for the first session I was thinking of talking for about 30 minutes on a system to hold yourself accountable to writing and provide some good ideas concerning habit. The rest of the session would be spent in troubleshooting individual problems and group discussions of major writing issues. For this session, I will be the facilitator. 

    • We can discuss different formats and certainly I would be happy to have other people present their writing ideas and facilitate discussion. 

    • The topics will be wide-ranging. Please feel free at any time to suggest a topic to the group. 

    • One of the most effective writing tools is the writing group. This is when four or five people get together in one location (although it could be a virtual writing group) and write for a agreed-upon length of time. This becomes a social contract to the group, improving accountability, creating a social aspect, and creating emotional support. We will greatly encourage all of you to lead or participate in the establishment of writing groups. 

  • Topic number one: how to write a lot by Paul Sylvia 

    • an excellent small volume that is worth reading. The primary themes of this book are that writers need to be accountable to themselves, writing is a habit that can be developed, and the best way to develop a habit is through management of data and feedback. 

    • There are so many extremely practical gems in this book that many of you will find the things that work best for you. 

  • Specious barriers to writing 

    • I can’t find time to write. I need big blocks of time 

    • I need to read a few more articles or do more analysis first 

    • I need a new computer, printer, chair 

    • I write best when I’m inspired to write 

    • Concrete goals and monitoring progress