Thesis students

Doctoral Writing Conversations (DWC)

Research Communication Skills

Written and oral communication skills are key graduate attributes contributing to employability and academic success. Research thesis students in particular need to develop and demonstrate their oral communication skills across a range of activities during their thesis experience (for example, proposal confirmation, conference presentations, seminars, tutoring, and the final oral exam).
Starting in 2020, the DWC will be complemented by a research communication skills group, which will follow the DWC (from 12-1pm on Fridays, in Zoom). The group will be facilitated by senior language experts from CeTTL. The aim of the research communication skills group will be to provide opportunities for students to develop confidence in their spoken English; to gain feedback on their speaking; to engage in and practise a range of common speaking activities, and to practise for presentations and conferences. As with the DWC, the research communication skills group will provide a safe, welcoming environment in which to build friendships while also developing speaking skills. No registration is required; students can just Zoom in!

What is the DWC?

The DWC is a pan-university, cross-disciplinary writing discussion forum for Doctoral and Master’s thesis students. It is offered for two hours every Friday morning from March to November. In addition to the weekly sessions, we also run four 2-day off-campus writing retreats during the year. The sessions are planned and facilitated by senior academic writing experts within the Centre.

Since the DWC is designed to help students from all Faculties across the institution with their thesis writing development, all writing activities are interactive and have general relevance and usefulness. Weekly topics and the meeting location can be found on the DWC timetable and are also announced in a variety of places on the University of Waikato website.

What do we do in the DWC?

The DWC focus is to help students understand the nature and requirements expected in thesis writing. From week to week we cover a range of topics such as:

  • Understanding and developing your academic voice
  • Understanding the requirements of the literature review
  • Overcoming conceptual barriers in your writing
  • The writing requirements of different chapters of the thesis
  • Exploring online writing tools
  • And many more….

We provide examples so that students can work through and discuss writing strategies with their peers. We help students learn to plan and manage their writing effectiveness and progress.

Who can attend?

Any thesis student at the University of Waikato is welcome to attend. You do not need to register - just come along and meet other Waikato thesis students. All are welcome at the DWC.