Faculty Writing Groups

Program Description

The Faculty Writing Groups include faculty of all ranks and from many units, who meet weekly in small groups so that members can read, edit and critique each other’s writing projects. Participants report that working in a group improves their writing quality and productivity, and connects them with colleagues across disciplines. Tenure-track, clinical, and research faculty working on papers, monographs, book chapters, grant proposals and other academic writing projects are welcome. The Provost’s Office handles the logistics each semester – assembling groups, assigning times to meet based on participants’ weekly schedules, and booking rooms – but the participating faculty run the group process. If you’d like to join a Purdue Faculty Writing Group, please email Angela Pickett at angela@purdue.edu.

Writing Group Structure

The writing group is intended to help members motivate each other to work on their academic writing projects, receive constructive feedback from colleagues across disciplines, get their work published quickly, and continue to be productive scholars. The focus of the writing group is not for conceptualizing ideas for research or scholarly activities or for discussing issues unrelated to writing and publishing scholarly works. The success of the group and individual outcomes will depend on the constructive participation of all members.

Guidelines

  1. 15-20 pages is the suggested maximum length of each member’s project for the semester. The author includes a cover page for the group with the title, purpose of the work and audience, and some questions that they want the group to address.
  2. The other members of the group read the work submitted, prepare constructive feedback for the writer, and answer the questions that the writer provided. During the meeting, the readers typically follow the prompts of:  a clarification round; positive comment round; writer’s questions round; other comments, questions, suggestions round.
  3. During the meeting, the author listens, takes notes, and answers questions from readers.
  4. The last 5 minutes of the meeting are typically used to introduce the work that will be read for the next week.
  5. Each member typically receives feedback twice per semester on successive drafts.

Expected Time Commitment

  • 1 hour meeting in person per week
  • 1 to 3 hours of reading per week
  • 2 to 3 draft submissions per semester

The writing groups are structured around the ideas in Elizabeth Rankin’s book, The Work of Writing: Insights and Strategies for Academics and Professionals (2001). All writing groups typically assemble at the end of each semester for a reception and debrief on the process.

For more information, contact Peter Hollenbeck, vice provost for faculty affairs, at phollenb@purdue.edu.

Issued August 1, 2019

 

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