MSc Dissertation Support at the Writing Centre

Everyone writing an MSc dissertation will be aware that July is upon us. I took my MSc in Linguistics & English Language back in 2012-2013 and can still remember how it felt when June came to an end. Of course, submitting a dissertation is never a stress-free experience, but the PPLS Writing Centre would like to make sure that you’re adequately supported as you come into the home stretch. Accordingly, we’ve extended our offerings and organised a series of events in July to help you finish up.

1) One-on-one appointments

First, I’d like to remind you that PPLS Writing Centre one-on-one appointments are available in the summer months as well. You’ve each been given two hours per month to talk with PhD tutors about your work — that includes sections of your dissertation. You could potentially book as many as six hours if you time things right. Make sure not to let your June hours expire, and reserve your spots as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Please be aware that the tutor supply is lower during the summer because many of them are away at conferences and summer programmes.

As always, the booking form is available here. Note that these sessions are not for proofreading – we’re here to make sure that you communicate your ideas in a way that matches expectations in your subject area.

2) Quantitative drop-in sessions

Students tackling quantitative work for the first time can run into all sorts of problems when analysing and interpreting data. Anyone in that position should think about attending one of our quantitative drop-in sessions. While you should always consult your supervisor first about questions of what to do, our tutors can help you figure out how to do what you want to do. In other words, we’re troubleshooters. If you end up needing additional help, we can also make arrangements to deal with that.

These drop-in sessions will be held on every Tuesday in July from 14:00 to 16:00 in G32, 7 George Square. At least two PhD tutors will be present at every session. No booking is required, but you do need to register once before the day(s) you plan to attend. Click here to submit your registration.

These sessions were extremely popular last year, so you may have to wait to see someone. Make sure that you bring things to work on so that you don’t waste time sitting around.

3) Writing workshops

All of these workshops were developed by senior tutors working for the centre and they all involve looking at examples from real student writing that was submitted to PPLS. They will be held in G32, 7 George Square.

Fang Yang‘s 2-part series on quantitative research will step through good and bad approaches to writing Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion sections.

Jul 4 (14:00-16:00) – Introduction & Methods
Jul 5 (14:00-16:00) – Results & Discussion

Mirjam Eiswirth has developed a workshop on writing in sociolinguistics.

Jul 17 (14:00-16:00)

And I can show you a few linguistic rules of thumb to help you improve your writing at the sentence level. These hints will work across all subject areas.

Jul 17 (10:00-12:00)

4) Writing retreats

If you’ve been spending too many of your precious hours trying to find a quiet place to work, you might want to try writing retreats. You’ll get coffee, tea, and a quiet room where you can work alongside a handful of your peers.

There are two types of retreat available: LEL & PPLS.

Rob Truswell and Lauren Hall-Lew will be holding two 3-day writing retreats for LEL students only (July 10-12 and 24-26 in G32, 7 George Square). For more information or to book a place, e-mail Rob.

We will also start a trial for writing retreats for students in all PPLS subject areas. The first retreat will be held on July 3rd (13:00-17:00 in G32, 7 George Square). If there’s sufficient interest, we’ll arrange for additional hours later on in the month. While everyone is free to register, I will prioritise students in areas other than LEL because anyone in Linguistics has the option of taking part in Rob & Lauren’s retreats. To book a place, follow this link.

As always, write me if you have any questions.