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Graduate Student Thesis & Dissertation and Senior Thesis Camp

About the Graduate Student Camp

The Hesburgh Libraries proudly offers a research and writing program co-sponsored with the University Writing Center and the Graduate School. The purpose of the camp is to help scholars focus on their own research and writing as they work toward completion of their dissertation or thesis. Please read below for more information and how to register for the workshops being planned.

The Graduate Dissertation Camp is designed to assist graduate students at all stages of their research and writing toward their degree or completion of a large scale writing project. Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • jumpstart or move forward in their research and writing process
  • work in dedicated spaces in the Hesburgh Library
  • consult with their subject librarians
  • consult with University Writing Center tutors about their work
  • engage with colleagues in their own and other graduate divisions to learn best practices from peers
  • form communities of practice to engage in the camp process after its conclusion

Camp Schedule

Times Activities
8:30–9:00 am
  • Daily check-in and arrival - Hesburgh Library Scholars Lounge, 1st Floor, Across from ABP / Carey Auditorium
  • Breakfast
  • Early morning community building and conversation
  • Meet your Subject Librarian - Monday morning some of our subject and services librarians will join us so you can meet and discuss any research needs you have
9:00–9:15 am*
  • Convene for goal setting.
  • *NOTE: Monday's lunchtime workshop is being combined with the opening goal-setting session. Please plan to stay in the Scholars Lounge from the time of your arrival until dismissed between 10:30-10:45. You are welcome to take care of personal comfort as needed, of course, but due to a conflict for our writing space on this morning, we will be adjusting our work.
  • Participate in goal setting activity and discussion
    • Monday: Abby
    • Tuesday: Abby
    • Wednesday: Abby
    • Thursday: Abby
    • Friday: TBD

[section updated 10/7/2019]

9:15 am–12:15 pm
  • Morning research and writing session
12:15–1:00 pm
  • Lunch service
  • Community building
  • Break
Afternoon Workshops - See times in descriptions
  • Topical workshops encouraged: - *Updated 10/17/2019
    • *MONDAY: 1:00 pm  2:00 pm, Room 235 Hesburgh Library:
      Keeping a Dissertation Log - Manage your large writing project so it doesn't manage you!

      Who: Abby Jorgensen, University Writing Center staff will walk you through using a dissertation log to highlight the ways you can track and plan your progress to stay on track and on schedule
      Community Idea Exchange: Sharing what has worked productivity-wise for progress in managing success in writing the dissertation.
    • *TUESDAY, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, Room 235 Hesburgh Library: Managing Humanities Research with Zotero - 
      Who: Dan Johnson, Digital Humanities Librarian, Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship

      What: Zotero is an open-source research tool that allows scholars to create bibliographies easily, but its capabilities also extend to broader areas of research management, note-taking, and sharing research.

      Participants will learn how to directly import catalog and journal records into Zotero, attach PDFs and other files, create notes, organize projects, and backup research online.

      Please bring your own laptop. 

    • *WEDNESDAY, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, Room 235 Hesburgh Library: Using the Dissertation Template and Resources for Word -

      Who: Shari Sweet, Editor, Webmaster, and Publications Manager, the Graduate School


      Learning Outcome: Shari Hill Sweet will introduce herself and her role in the dissertation writing and publication process. Shari will stay beyond the overview to answer individual questions and consultations for not more than one hour. If you've hesitated using the template from the beginning, or find it to be difficult to use and apply, this is an opportunity for you to ask questions and get on the spot help.

      Shari offers periodic training workshops on using the dissertation format guide. Check the Graduate School Professional Development Workshop Calendar for more dates and information, or arrange a small group of your own and coordinate a private workshop with Shari.

  • Thursday: Conversing about Scholarly Communication - What you need to know to move forward in your profession and publications

    WHO: Monica Moore 
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Learning Outcome: Monica will introduce topics related to Scholarly Communication with an open agenda and conversation about your needs.
  • Friday: 1:30-2:15 pm Form a writing accountability group - What's involved? What are my options?

    Who: Mandy Havert

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Learning Outcome: Camp participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn some best practices from the facilitator and one another on how to form or join a writing accountability group. A document with details is available for review.

  • Fresh air break - Take some time to go outside and get naturally refreshed for the afternoon, ESPECIALLY if you're not taking advantage of the workshops.
  • Monday–Friday 1:30–4:00 pm: Drop-In DIY Mindfulness Breaks in the Viz Lab (Rm. 249) - 
    Sit quietly, stretch, or meditate in a dark, peaceful room. Nature scenes and soundscapes will be playing quietly in the background. Yoga mats provided or BYO. Drop-in and out as you see fit. Please note that the space will not be staffed. CONTACT: Julie Vecchio, Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship.  
1:30–3:15 pm
3:15–3:30 pm
  • Come up for air afternoon break - Snacks provided on the tall table outside Room 231ABC
  • You will struggle with the urge to stop, but take time to get a snack and take a walk
3:30–4:15 pm
  • Your final push in research and writing
4:30–4:45 pm
  • Daily wrap-up: Room 231ABC. Be in the room and ready to go by 4:30.
    • Monday: Abby
    • Tuesday: Abby
    • Wednesday: Abby
    • Thursday: Abby
    • Friday: TBD
  • Gather to discuss your work for the day in our community