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Graduate Student Thesis & Dissertation and Senior Thesis Camp

About the Graduate Student Camp

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. The Hesburgh Libraries, in partnership with the University Writing Center, provides community-building, workshops and, time to help scholars focus on their own research and writing. The program is designed to move dissertating students toward the completion of their work. 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

Schedule shown is an example. Watch for updated schedule in the weeks before each break.

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.
  • Participate in goal setting activity and discussion
    • Monday: Abby Jorgensen
    • Tuesday: Abby
    • Wednesday: Abby
    • Thursday: Abby
    • Friday: Abby


9:15 am–12:15 pm
  • Morning research and writing session
12:15–1:00 pm
  • Lunch service - We will dismiss you from Room 231ABC and have someone in the space to watch your stuff.
  • Community building
  • Break
Afternoon Workshops - See times in descriptions

Topical workshops encouraged: - *Updated 03/02/2020 - watch for further updates

  • 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: Michelle Marvin, University Writing Center staff
    Duration: 45 Minutes
    Learning Outcome: In this session, we will discuss strategies for keeping track of daily dissertation activities and outcomes. By using a dissertation log, you will gain awareness of habits and trends in your progress that either contribute to or detract from, your dissertation success. With the dissertation log, you can incorporate both daily goal setting and reflective practices that enhance your writing efficiency and assist in your overall wellbeing. 
  • TUESDAY, 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm - 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.

  • WEDNESDAY, 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm - Goal Setting for Graduate Students
    WHO: Mara Trionfero Lucas, Assistant Director for Assessment and Education, McDonald Center for Student Well-being 
    Duration: 45 minutes
    Learning Outcome: TBA
  • Thursday: Stress Management with Mindfulness 

    WHO: Jenna Gehl Jones, Assistant Director for Emotional Well-being, McDonald Center for Student Well-being 
    Duration: 45 minutes
    Learning Outcome: Managing stress and caring for ourselves is integral to overall success and productivity.  Using mindfulness practices as a foundation for stress management, this session will allow participants to learn about and practice skills designed to relieve stress, calm your body, and quiet your mind.  The skills learned in this session are easy to integrate into already-packed schedules, and designed for maximum impact.  
  • Friday: 1:30 pm - 1:45 pm Copyright Considerations Related To Your Dissertation - Dissertation Camp participants only

    Who: Monica Moore

    Duration: 45 minutes

    Learning Outcome: In this session, we'll discuss the copyright issues that arise when you are writing your dissertation, including the use of third-party content, reuse of your work, and the publishing options available to you through ProQuest.

    Monica will reference and provide content from these two sources:

  • 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 or Mandy Havert if you have any questions for room use.
1:30–3:15 pm
  • Early afternoon research and writing time
  • Writing Center consultations offered:
    Sign up in this shared Google Doc: Spring 2020 Writing Consultation Sign Up Sheet
    NOTE: Do not overwrite another student's booking.
3:15–3:30 pm
  • Come up for air afternoon break - Snacks provided on the table inside Room 231ABC
  • You will struggle with the urge to stop, but take time to get a snack and take a walk and reset your mind. Use this time to pre-assess how you have worked toward your day's goals.
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: Abby
  • Gather to discuss your work for the day in our community. Don't shirk this activity as it helps you help others and understand yourself better as a researcher and writer.