Have you ever thought about how you might work with your peers — every week — on your writing? Without your advisor or a writing teacher? Just you and your group — discussing the principles of writing and applying these principles to the writing-in-progress of the participating group members.
Check this out!
Adam Doupe, a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, presented his amazing accomplishment as a writing group creator and leader at the ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference in Oklahoma City on Saturday, October 26th.
From the conference paper:
“The goal of the scientist is to share and spread her ideas. An exceptional scientist will write her thoughts clearly and express her ideas elegantly, creating a persuasive story that is readable and interesting to her audience. We believe that developing a culture of excellence in writing should be a fundamental aspect of graduate school education. To achieve this lofty goal, we require new ways of teaching writing skills to train the next generation of scientists who will make breakthroughs we can only dream of.
A research lab writing group, as discussed in this paper, is a novel approach to helping graduate students develop the tools necessary to refine their formal writing skills. In fact, if you have a single student who has completed an advanced writing course who is motivated to form a writing group, an entire research lab can participate in what realistically amounts to a mini-writing class.
We hope you steal our ideas and adapt them to your own research lab. Together we can improve the writing of graduate school scientists in labs all over the world.”