This workshop offers a series of strategies to avoid writer's block or other struggles that people face before and during the actual process of writing. Examples of such techniques are free writing, separating production from editing, reducing the writing work to small units, and tracking progress to be accountable for the writing development.
This workshop deepens on the process of writing, from the elaboration of the outline and structure of the document to the revision and proofreading of the multiple drafts. Topics covered in this workshop reflect on that writing is mostly continuous revising or that texts that are easy to read are usually the result of hard writing. Also, this workshop covered how to support claims and maintain the coherence and logic of the written document.
Healthy Writing Habits
This workshop focuses on the motivational aspects of the writing process. From managing the external conditions (e.g., space and time selected to write) to reflecting on the values, expectancies or other motivational factors involved in the personal writing process. We include strategies to reflect and understand the personal writing process to strategies to take ownership of the writing process and apply those reflections into practice.
Time Management (and Procrastination)
Strategies to macro and micro manage time for the dissertation and techniques to take control of our own time. For example, considering the long-term timeline of degree completion, participants define daily activities and priorities that lead to progression in the dissertation, or, participants define strategies to reduce the distractions negative influence on the advancement of their dissertation.
Demystifying the Ph.D. process
The typical steps of a dissertation process, from the definition and description of the research problem to the dissertation submission. Other topics are the content and purpose of each chapter of a traditional style dissertation or proposal in addition to the behavior that departments are often expecting from doctoral students. This workshop debunks common myths, and discusses some of the unwritten rules about the process of completing a Ph.D.
Preparing for the Defense
The steps that doctoral students could follow to accelerate and facilitate the culmination of the dissertation. The actions taken 4-6 months previous to the dissertation submission, the expected elements of a dissertation defense, and the further processes that lead to graduation. Also, how to build a timeline for graduation and practical guidelines for preparing and conducting the defense presentation.
Communicating with Your Advisor
The common misunderstandings in the communication with the advisor, explanation for the actual meaning of the messages given for many advisors, and the expectations they have for their students. Ways for students to know the culture and unwritten rules (i.e., power relationships) of their departments to foster the relationship with their doctoral committee.
Career Options with a Ph.D
The different pathways that could be pursued after the doctorate. This workshop is facilitated by people who have a long career in academia, administration or industry. Topics included the common academic path for faculty (tenure, non-tenure track) and common skills that industry employers expect from graduates.
We scheduled two sessions each year related to special topics that URM students face in a Ph.D. This includes workshops on impostor syndrome, mindfulness, mental health in graduate school, and microaggressions. Although they are not exclusive to the URM population, we selected topics that traditionally hinder their motivation to finish the doctorate.