Writing Circle

Join a Graduate Student Mentored Academic Community!

As a thesis or dissertation writer with years invested in your education, you know that nothing is more important than completing your project and earning your degree.

But for many the thesis or dissertation stage is the most difficult of the entire process. Statistics show that more graduate students drop out of their programs or fail to finish at this stage than at any other. The isolation, lack of guidance, lack of firm deadlines and the general difficulties of writing a long, cognitively challenging project with little supervision can be overwhelming.

We can help you get on track and stay on track whether you’re at the brainstorming stage or finishing the process.

Groups are forming now! Send an e-mail to [email protected] to be sure you’re included.

The Graduate Student MAC will help you move forward and complete your thesis or dissertation

Like you, I learned that there’s a lot more to finishing a thesis, dissertation or book than simply “writing up the research” or “buckling down.” Graduate students often find themselves faced with overwhelming obstacles that challenge their confidence and weaken their resolve to finish.

You can find many tools online to help you finish, from two-week writing challenges to important books by Wendy Belcher and Sonia Foss. You can also establish your own “real” writing group, by meeting regularly with other students from your program to report on progress and exchange drafts.

But what if you’re balancing the needs of family, job and writing? What if you don’t even have the time or energy to go to yet another meeting or read another book? What if you seem to have limited focus or grow discouraged? What if you suddenly feel you don’t have the right background or knowledge to complete your degree? You need something that will help right now, that’s available online and that brings together other students like you with expert mentors who know how to ease the way through the process.

That’s why I created the Graduate Student MAC — to provide real help for busy real-life students like you who want support from others with similar issues and from an expert mentor who has already surmounted similar problems successfully.
Over 2000 academic writers have used this very system for years to reach their thesis and dissertation writing goals — and now it’s available for non-traditional student writers like you too.

The Graduate Student MAC is an online system that helps you stay accountable to your writing on a consistent, daily basis. It runs in recurring, 28-day sessions. During each session, in addition to the “core” of the program — our online progress tracking system and small group mentoring — you’ll have access to additional supports like our group writing sprints and live phone conferences.

In the Graduate Student MAC, you’ll have ongoing access to:

  • Guilt-free support from mentors who can help keep you motivated even if you’re trying to balance your writing against family and work obligations.
  • Extra support from other graduate student writers like you so you won’t feel isolated in your ambitions.
  • An effective online progress tracking system that lets you see exactly how much you’ve accomplished (and actually makes “accountability” fun).
  • An online journal that lets you track your progress to completion and break through your own barriers to writing consistently and productively.
  • Resources to help you manage graduate school as a non-traditional student and better negotiate the thesis and dissertation writing process.

When you start using the tools in the Graduate Student MAC, you’ll move towards your goals more quickly, see yourself making daily progress and develop a supportive group of peers and mentors to cheer you on.

I’ve carefully designed your entire experience to speak to your needs — whether they involve setting priorities, scheduling, or building confidence, whether you’re a parent, the first in your family to get an advanced degree, a student returning to school after a long break, or a veteran. No matter what your issues, this program will help you break through and complete your degree.

How can you benefit from the program?

You’ll begin with immediate support from your mentor. Your first session will begin with your Senior Mentor — either me or one of a highly qualified group that I’ve worked with for years — welcoming you into your small group to help you feel comfortable getting started writing right away.

On Day 2, I’ll lead us in a group telephone conference session to meet each other and get inspired for the session ahead. I’ll alert you to online resources designed to help and I’ll orient you to our program. You’ll be surprised at how others in your same situation are experiencing so many of the same things you are and are eager to solve them, just like you.

Later in the session, on Day 15, we’ll have a second community-wide Mentoring Call— another opportunity to hear from your Senior Mentor, other writers, to pick up writing tips, and get your questions answered.

For your convenience, all the calls are recorded and available for download — which means that you can listen to them again if you want to be re-inspired or if you ever miss a live session.

You’ll have online resources ready at hand to help you.
On the online site, we’ve set up a number of resources to help make your writing journey easy. We’ve created a “Wiki” of tips and tricks specific to academic writing, to using the system, and staying inspired.

As a regular, participating member of the MAC, you’ll also have access to special rates for private sessions with your Senior Mentor if you ever want additional support with your work or your writing habits.

We also hold weekly group “writing challenges” if you want inspiration to jump in and write with the others in your group.

And each day you can check in to track your progress and get encouragement from other writers . . .

In the MAC, the focus is on the process of accomplishing your writing, strengthening your research and writing habits, and the progress you DO make — never on critiquing your work. In fact, you don’t share your writing with anyone unless you optionally choose to post a small excerpt of your work at the end of the session or to interact personally with a member of the group. Your anonymity is always protected and your identity is revealed only if you wish to make yourself known.

Every day you’ll log in to the online site to record your work on our “progress grid.” Seeing all those green check marks right next to your name will help build your confidence in your ability to make progress, day after day.

The other writers in your group will leave supportive comments and encouragement to help you keep facing the challenges and to celebrate the high points with you. Your Senior Mentor will be right there alongside you to help troubleshoot the sticky places that crop up along the way —like those days when you feel you simply don’t have time to write or when you’re so distracted you can’t imagine focusing on the difficult task of graduate writing— so you can glide past them and do your writing much more easily.
Online small-group and community-wide forums and chat rooms are also available as a way to get your questions answered and to build community.

Our daily “check-in” questions will help you feel great about your writing and encourage you to make plans for the next day.

For each day’s check-in, you’ll answer some simple but useful questions that not only help you track, acknowledge, and celebrate your progress (something most graduate student writers forget to do!), but also reward you for your work and help you avoid procrastination and negativity.
Our check-in questions will keep you focused on what matters and get out of your own way so you can do the work you’re here to do.

And as the month progresses, you’ll see exactly how far you’ve come . . .

Along with the progress grid filled with little green check marks, showing how you’ve logged in every day to write, you’ll also be able to visually graph your work to see how much cumulative writing time you’ve put in during the session.

It’s powerful to see your progress building and building over time. You’ll visually see the power of working a little bit at a time over the long haul.

… and you’ll be able to repeat your success each month until you finish.

One of the key writing principles we use in the MAC is writing every day — at least 5 out of every 7 — even for just a few minutes.

Sure, sometimes we miss a day, but we get back to our writing as soon as we return, and sometimes write even on our holidays.
To that end, this is a recurring program that restarts every 28 days. We know that successful graduate student writers use consistency to stay on track with their writing, so we’ve designed this to support you session after session, month after month.

Start getting the support and accountability 
you need to finish your writing projects

Apply now for a scholarship through our short, easy application process.