Use COVID-19 Alert Level 2 contact tracing form when on campus.

Massey Thesis Writing Boot Camp

Dedicated solely to getting words down on paper (or a computer screen), this programme is designed to help candidates get over that final hurdle or to kick-start their writing progress if it has stalled. Sign up to join other graduate research comrades at the same candidature stage in a no-excuses, no-time-for-procrastination, take-no-prisoners intensive writing event.

Not for the faint hearted, Thesis Writing Boot Camp recruits will battle through challenges such as third-year blues, writer’s block and thesis fatigue to achieve significant progress on their manuscript – under the watchful eyes of the teams led by Massey’s Deans, Research and Academic.

Tracy Riley (Dean, Research) will discuss goal setting and strategies for writing efficiently and effectively. Support staff will also be on hand and catering provided to ensure an encouraging, distraction-free environment. Attendees will be required to complete pre-programme planning activities and to commit to their own tangible aims for the event. 
Please note: these are not residential Boot Camps.

Schedule

FRI 
5PM-6PM

FRI
6PM-8PM

SAT
9AM-8PM

SUN
9AM-4PM

PALMERSTON NORTH
1st - 3rd May 2020
SIR GEOFFREY PEREN BUILDING;
SGP 2.68/3.24/3.42 

WELCOME

 

SET WRITING GOALS
WRITING

WRITING

WRITING

WED 
5PM-6PM

WED
6PM-8PM

THURS
9AM-8PM

FRI
9AM-4PM

PALMERSTON NORTH
25th - 27th November 2020
SIR GEOFFREY PEREN BUILDING;
SGP 2.68/3.24/3.42 

WELCOME

SET WRITING GOALS
WRITING

WRITING

WRITING

FRI
5PM-6PM

FRI
6PM-8PM

SAT
9AM-8PM

SUN
9AM-5PM

ALBANY 
8th - 10th May 2020
SNW 2.31/2.32/2.34;
SIR NEIL WATERS SEMINAR ROOMS 

WELCOME

 

SET WRITING GOALS
WRITING

WRITING

WRITING

WED 
5PM-6PM

WED 
6PM-8PM

THURS 
9AM-8PM

THURS 
9AM-4PM

ALBANY 
28th - 30th October 2020
AV PROJ 1 & 2;
ALBANY VILLAGE, SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING & ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY 

WELCOME

SET WRITING GOALS
WRITING

WRITING

WRITING

WELLINGTON 
8th - 10th July 2020
FLAX AND FERN 

WELCOME

SET WRITING GOALS
WRITING

WRITING

WRITING

Registration

Albany Wellington PN

Deadline for Registrations

Albany
TBD

Palmerston North
TBD

Wellington
TBD

Massey University Thesis Writing Boot Camp Overview

WHAT IS A THESIS WRITING BOOT CAMP?
ABOUT THE BOOT CAMP
SUPERVISOR SUPPORT
THINGS TO CONSIDER – BOOT CAMP KIT BAG
PREPARATORY WORK – YOUR MAP


WHAT IS A THESIS WRITING BOOT CAMP?

A Thesis Writing Boot Camp is a non-residential, intensive two-half day writing event, where you join other doctoral candidates in the public performance of writing in a supportive environment.

The Boot camp provides you with the right space and mind-set to be a productive writer: a safe, encouraging and distraction free environment; writing advice from experts on hand; the opportunity to establish rituals and routines around writing, and critically explore current practices and new techniques to improve writing productivity.

Through the boot camp you will see the benefit of the public act of writing; having others around you writing spurs on your own writing, talking about your writing you realise that everyone faces similar challenges so it normalises them and you can share your successes with a group of likeminded people

Many candidates are amazed by the amount they manage to write –some up to 20,000 words-by simply being very clear about what they need to do, having a very clear structure to write into and not focusing on editing or finding immediate answers to every question that emerges.

By setting up good writing rhythms and routines, understanding what gets in the way and how to deal with this and celebrating your achievements writing becomes a time-protected activity to be relished rather than a chore that you might get round to doing sometime in the future.

ABOUT THE BOOT CAMP

You are asked to spend time preparing for the boot camp by having a carefully thought out plan and clear goals to ensure maximum benefit from the experience. It is also wise to have a plan B in case there are set backs in achieving your initial goal. Time is set aside at the beginning of the boot camp for you to present your goals to the group and receive feedback. You will also find that making your goals public by sharing them means you are more likely to achieve them. Academic staff members will be available at various times throughout the boot camp and you can request an appointment with them to discuss your writing and any challenges you are experiencing. There will also be a workshop session during the camp which will allow you to reflect on your writing habits and try some new techniques. We encourage all participants to spend some of the boot camp time using the pomodora technique and to focus on free-flow writing rather than editing. After a few non-writing days following the boot camp you will be in a much better position to go back to your writing, and edit then. Remember the boot camp is about getting words on the page.

The boot camp, while intensive also factors in the importance of your well-being. All participants share morning and afternoon teas and lunches and in the evening everyone sits together for the evening meal. We encourage activity, with walks around campus, stretches and breathing exercises and meditation. A masseur is also available at a reasonable cost

We also encourage all our boot campers to continue to apply what you have learnt by attending our bi-monthly full-day veteran boot camps where you can have a full day of uninterrupted writing time, access to a writing specialist and lunch is provided.

Bootcamp will be limited to 25 attendees and acceptance will be based on circumstances, the stage of the candidacy with priority being given to those in the final 6 months of writing and with a clear plan in place for completion.

Eligibility
  • Personal circumstances will be taken into account (financial difficulties, time constraints-children, work etc. issues that have impacted on submission times
  • The supervisor statements as to why you will particularly benefit (taking into account how you have progressed, and supervisors own assessment of submission times
  • Most recent progress reports
  • Your own goals and aspirations for the camp with priority given to those that are well thought out and realistic
  • Number of bootcamps previously attended (maximum 2)

SUPERVISOR SUPPORT

A supervisor supporting statement is required with the application; supervisors and candidates need to discuss and plan out the goals for the bootcamp, and supervisors are asked to demonstrate their support by attending the opening event of the camp. We also expect the candidate and supervisor to meet following the camp to discuss the writing achieved, what the steps will be to submission and how the candidate can be supported to ensure continued writing productivity.

THINGS TO CONSIDER – BOOT CAMP KIT BAG

As mentioned above, this is not a residential retreat Boot Camp. There is accommodation available on the campus to those who would like to take that option, but please note this expense is not covered by the Boot Camp. For more information, please contact Marise Murrie or Alexis Boniface.  This is also a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and a BYOC (Bring Your Own Cup) event. 

BYOD – Please ensure that your device is fully charged before attending each day, so that you can work uninterrupted. You need to also remember to bring along charging cables; you will be able to charge your laptop or device during the Boot Camp, although you may not be able to leave it plugged in to the mains electricity continuously as these will need to be shared. How are you going to save your work?  Do you use a cloud based system, via Massey network or do you need to bring along USB stick/s?

BYOC – Please bring your own cup/mug and water bottle.  Facilities for you to make your own hot drinks will be available to you throughout the Boot Camp, and in order to reduce waste, you are requested to bring your cup/mug and water bottle.  It is also a comfort and familiarity mechanism; you may also want to bring along a cushion or similar to also make you feel more comfortable.

Please think about if you need headphones or earplugs. What type of environment best stimulates your writing - background music or silence?

Make sure that your clothing is comfortable. Consider how you sit and write. What clothes will be most appropriate - loose fitting clothing, track pants, layers or your favourite t-shirt? If you suffer from cold hands and or feet, feel free to bring gloves and/or slippers or a blanket to go over your knees. We will try and keep an even temperature, but as we all know, some like it warmer/cooler than others. 

PREPARATORY WORK – YOUR MAP

Boot Camp will be an intensive writing environment! You want to make the most of your time and avoid getting ‘lost’ along the way. To make sure you stay on track, you’ll need to prepare your own map or writing plan BEFORE commencing the programme. This should not take more than an hour, and this is an hour well spent, as it makes you consider things that you probably have not thought about for a while, and will help you focus your mind on the task ahead. The University of Melbourne suggests setting yourself some SMART goals for the Boot Camp.

What’s a SMART goal?

  • Specific – What are you going to focus on writing?
  • Measurable – How many words or chapters do you want to write?
  • Attainable – On average, Boot Camp participants can write anything from 5,000 words to 25,000 words over a weekend programme.
  • Realistic/Relevant – Boot Camp is about writing – not referencing, editing, or note taking. You do want to focus on producing writing that you will be able to follow up with some rigorous editing, but not have to start all over again, so consider targeting your writing carefully, and producing meaningful prose.
  • Time bound – The programme will be approximately 19 hours long. Set yourself a challenge to write more than you usually would, but keep in mind that not everyone will produce 25,000 words.

Central research questions

You should already know these. Write them down. Think about them. Tweak them if they’ve changed over the course of your thesis. Make sure they’re still relevant and you’ve unpacked all their terms and nuances.

Thesis outline

If you haven’t already, take the time to prepare an outline of your thesis. Even if it is just a single page, including the titles/subject of each chapter, it’s important you start to consider your thesis as a single document with an overarching argument. This is your thesis ‘road map’ and it will help you see where you’ve been and where you need to go to complete the thesis.

Bring this to Boot Camp. It will help you clarify your thoughts and to keep focused on the things your chosen Boot Camp chapter needs to accomplish.

Chapter outline

Now repeat the process of outlining the thesis, by outlining your chosen chapter(s) for development at the Boot Camp. Depending on your writing style you may choose to note down just a few lines of a plan, or you might plan subheadings over several pages. Questions you should ask yourself include (but are not limited to):

  • What are the main points this chapter needs to cover?
  • What resources/evidence will I need to draw on to demonstrate these?
  • How does this chapter relate to my overall argument?

It is recommended that you work on a single chapter at any given time at Boot Camp. If you finish a chapter, you can then move onto the next chapter. Much time can be wasted flitting between chapters, and you want to avoid this time-wasting at all costs.

Key texts only

If you were stranded on a desert island and had to write your chosen Boot Camp chapter, what three books would you take with you? This is how you should think of Boot Camp - you should NOT be lugging a library in your backpack!

Ideally, you will have notes or an annotated bibliography to work from during Boot Camp. If you DO need to bring books with you, choose a maximum of two or three key texts. No more. Boot Camp is about WRITING, not reading. You can plug in exact references after the weekend.

Again, this is the same with journal articles. Internet access will be discouraged at Boot Camp. Any electronic resources should be chosen wisely and saved onto your laptop and/or a USB prior to arriving at Boot Camp.

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey