Writing more, better, together: how writing retreats support graduate students through their journey

Article de revue


État de publication: publié

Nom de la revue: The Journal of Further and Higher Education

Volume: 45

Numéro: 1

Intervalle de pages: 95-106

URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0309877X.2020.1736272

Résumé: The context of higher education in Canada suffers from alarming rates of dropout and prolongation of study programmes. The lack of academic writing ability and feeling of isolation are among aggravating factors impeding on the success of graduate students. Writing retreats are identified as a potential solution to support and improve academic writing output. This article presents an innovative concept designed by a non-profit organisation, Thèsez-vous, specializing in creating physical and human environments to facilitate academic writing. Over the past four years, the organisation implemented and formalized a writing retreat model for graduate students from various fields of study and universities across the Quebec province in Canada. A description of the writing retreats structure and functioning is presented, as well as an analysis of established objectives: 1) progress academic writing based on realistic individual goals; 2) identify optimal writing conditions; and 3) reduce isolation. Based on conclusive findings, the implemented model produces positive results in developing academic writing abilities through a community of practice forming during writing retreats and interacting afterwards. This expanding network of graduate students represents a new generation of researchers, sharing similar challenges with academic writing and collaborating in interdisciplinary settings to progress scientific efforts at large .