“The writing group provides dedicated time to focus on research writing,” says Dr. Kellershohn. “It can be tempting to push writing to the side during the teaching weeks of the term. This group helps to ensure that you make consistent progress on it.”
The group runs during most of the year – even during Reading Weeks and exam periods – but usually takes August off. And when the pandemic hit in March 2020, the group wanted to continue to meet, so they pivoted and connected online over Zoom.
The writing sessions run from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and use a modified Pomodoro method, which consists of 30 minutes of writing, and then a seven-minute break. They continue with five rounds of writing/break until 1 p.m.
There are currently over 20 members in the group, and while the composition varies from week to week, on average six to ten people join for part of the writing session every week.
Dr. Kellershohn says that some of her favourite moments in the sessions are during the breaks. Not only does it provide people with a chance to clear their heads, but it also provides moments of socialization. “As people socialize, sometimes research problems get solved or new collaborations occur,” she explains. “Ideas move forward faster when you can bounce them off of someone with a different lens.”
“Research writing is a crucial component in effectively communicating research ideas and findings,” says Dr. Ozgur Turetken, associate dean, research. “In this light, I am very excited to see the ongoing success and engagement of our Research Writing Group. We will be supporting the needs of this group with the hopes of engaging more and more of our researchers in this important activity.”