Academic Writing Support
Your PhD entails a lot of writing, whether your thesis, journal papers, book chapters, blog posts, social media posts, short progress summaries for supervisors and more.
In addition to the Power Hour of Writing (Semester 1) and From 0 to Draft in 9 Weeks in Semester 2, there is a huge amount of writing support in your university and online. Here we summarise the key links for each of your universities, and provide tips for online tools and resources you may find helpful.
Provides virtual co-working for distraction-free productivity. You can enter when you’d like either a 25- or 50-minute session, and the system will match you with anyone in the world also wanting the same time. At the start of the session, you briefly chat about what you want to get done, then do the work with your co-worker on video in the background, and at the end of the session you unmute and chat about how it went. Free for up to three session a week, so gives you plenty of ability to test it out.
Every November is Academic Writing Month, and you will find Twitter full of helpful tips, people sharing challenges and successes, links to blogs, along with fun respite in the form of gifs and memes about writing. And with it being Twitter, you can take a look any time, not just November!
The University of Manchester’s Academic Phrasebank is a general resource for academic writers, and helps you with phrasing in different sections of a paper or thesis. From the link you can also download the Phrasebank in pdf or Kindle format.
- Academic writing courses
- Self-directed learning
- Weekly ‘Shut up and Write’ groups, every Tuesday 11am-1pm. Request access (you’ll need to join the PGR Community on Teams).
- One-to-one support with academic writing from Student Learning Services. The request for this needs to come from your supervisor.
Writing support for PGRs is available from four main units:
- The Doctoral Academy SharePoint hosts a library of video resources, including Write Away (led by Dr Stephanie Zihms, who provides SUPAWRI for us). There are also writing retreats.
- Organisational and Professional Development offer workshops such as ‘Fear of the Blank Page’ and a study hub.
- Academic Skills Centre provides writing training workshops, booking is through OPD.
- The English for International Students team provide courses on the British academic system including writing, as well as drop-in sessions, also bookable through OPD.
There may also be School-level writing provision, keep an eye out for notices. If you think your School should have something but doesn’t, why not ask, or volunteer to set something up!
- Workshops, online guides and writing clinics are available through the Institute for Academic Development.
- International students can also get writing support from English Language Education, including one-to-one writing tutorials for PGR students.
- The PGR team provide numerous Engaged Communication courses including Effective Writing 1 & 2, Establishing a Writing Practice and Writing for Publication.
- LEADS offer writing advice appointments.
- WriteFest takes place in November annually (2022 still TBC, but you can look back on 2021 content).
The Research Futures Academy offer numerous courses aimed at supporting you with your writing, including Publishing Research, the Art and Craft of Editing, Research Writing, and Developing your Voice in your Academic Writing. All are bookable through PDMS.
- Numerous 'Writing & Publishing' courses are available via PDMS.
- CEED offer drop-in sessions and one-to-one appointments for students looking for writing support.
- Writing retreats are organised by OSDS.
The researcher development team in Education Enhancement offers numerous writing courses. They require registration. If courses are full, please sign up to the waiting list as this helps the team know where the demand is.
- You can find information about the support relating to Writing for publication on the Moodle page for staff and PGRs.
- Before you get going, or if you’re stuck needing to take stock, this tool helps you review, reflect on, and plan your academic writing (via Sway).
- Hosted on the Academic Writing Team (Join the AcWri Team), the Power Hour of Writing is dedicated 60 minute sessions where you can write, read, edit with others. Once you join the team you will receive calendar invites to the sessions. You can watch a short Power Hour Overview video [4 min] to better understand how it works.