Writing, Speaking,
and Argument Program

Graduate

Writing Boot Camps

Boot Camps are sponsored by the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program with support from the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Boot camps are structured writing sessions where we provide the space, snacks, and strategy-based support so that you can focus solely on writing. A workshop on the first day helps you create a specific personal plan and concrete writing goals.

Boot camps offer:

Boot Camp/Writing Groups Materials:

Tutors are also available during boot camps to:

Boot camps are held over the summer and throughout the academic year, and can last anywhere from three to five days (typical writing sessions last between three and four hours).

Registration is limited and requires a deposit, which will be returned in full upon completion of all requirements, including attendance and progress toward personal writing goals.

Check the events calendar for the schedule of boot camps. We also send announcements about all Graduate Writing Project (GWP) events through the Graduate Studies Office.

Boot Camp Policies

Deposits

A deposit of $50 is required for participation in the Boot Camp. This deposit will be returned in full upon completion of the requirements, which include progress towards personal writing goals. If deposits are not paid one week prior to the start of boot camp, your spot may be filled by someone on the waiting list.

Deposits can be paid at the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program (RR G121), located near the stairs to Gleason Library in the Rush Rhees Library. The main office is open Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm. We can accept cash (exact change please) or checks payable to “The University of Rochester.”

We collect deposits for two reasons: to ensure attendance and to create accountability to yourself as a writer.

Boot Camp FAQ

What is a Writing Boot Camp?

Boot Camp is an intensive writing retreat; it provides a dedicated time and space for your writing. Please note: We do not assign writing or give lectures on writing during Boot Camps. You work on a self-selected writing project. While writing consultants are available to talk with you about your individual writing project, Boot Camp sessions are fairly independent, and you will spend most of the time working on your own writing project. At the start and end of sessions, you will share your writing goals and progress with a small group to help hold you accountable to making progress.

Who are Boot Camps for?

Boot Camps are designed for UR graduate students from Arts, Sciences and Engineering who are working on graduate-level academic writing, such as dissertations, MA theses, dissertation proposals, papers for publication, etc. While the primary focus of Boot Camp is to write, we understand that writing and reading are an integrated process, and you are permitted to conduct short, focused readings during writing sessions, provided you have clear and specific goals.

What kind of support is offered?

In addition to having a quiet space, writing supplies, and snacks, you also have the option to schedule an individual appointment with a Writing Consultant during the hours of Boot Camp. All of our consultants are trained to work with writing from across the disciplines. In keeping with the policies and principles of the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program, consultants cannot provide editing or proofreading services, but they can discuss your writing project and process with you and share writing strategies useful to your work. For example, consultant sessions might include discussions about:

How do I prepare?

Just show up with your materials! Writers at any stage of the writing process are welcome to join Boot Camp. Whether you have a course paper or are working on final edits for a dissertation, simply come to Boot Camp with the materials you need to make progress on your project (e.g., a laptop, reference materials, your research, etc.).

Why not just write alone?

Students that have participated in Boot Camps have reported making greater progress toward their writing goals. Accountability to, and being surrounded by, a group of peers helps students stay focused and motivated.