Graduate Student Life Write In

Graduate Student Life Write-In Days

To view information about the Write-In Day scheduled for the current semester, head to our Graduate Student Life events page.


Graduate Student Life Write-In Day

The Graduate Student Life Write-In Day will be held in-person for a limited number of students at the Fairfax Campus in accordance with all COVID-related policies. 

Free yourself from distractions. Commit to meeting your writing goals. Take one step closer to being DONE with your paper, thesis, or dissertation.

Sign up for Graduate Student Life’s Write-In Day. This day-long program will give you group accountability and a space to write with other Mason graduate students who are also serious about getting writing done. Graduate Student Life will provide the space, structure, lunch, and snacks. You need to bring your computer, any other materials you need, achievable goals, and most importantly, your personal commitment to working diligently and productively.

Spaces are limited to 30 participants. If you would like to participate and can commit to the event, complete the interest form when it opens. Further information, including location, will be provided to those who are confirmed to participate.

If interest exceeds capacity, priority will be given to those working on dissertations, theses, and other projects that help students meet requirements or benchmarks for their degree programs. All George Mason graduate-degree-seeking students at the Fairfax, Arlington, and Science & Technology campuses, other instructional sites, and online programs are eligible to participate.

If you are confirmed to participate, you must make the following commitments:

  • To begin on time in the morning and to participate for the duration of the day until the event ends
  • To turn off access to Facebook, online games, and other computer/online-based distractions during writing time
  • To minimize distractions by phone by limiting texting and phone calls to scheduled break times
  • To contribute to a supportive writing community among fellow participants

Sample Schedule

10:00-10:45am Morning Convening: Arrivals and sharing goals
10:45-11:00am Transition to Writing Rooms: Introductions and goals
11:00am-1:30pm Distraction-free Writing Time
1:30-2:30pm Lunchtime Discussion (lunch will be provided)
2:30-5:00pm Distraction-free Writing Time
5:00-5:30pm Wrapping Up: Evaluations, resources, and future commitments

Expectations for Participation

We will be following all Mason COVID-related policies for this event.

All in-person participants are required to do the following:

  • Be pre-registered and have received a confirmation from Graduate Student Life. Students who have not pre-registered and been confirmed will not be able to participate the day of the event.
  • Show evidence that they have completed the Mason COVID Health✓™ survey and received a “green light” status on the day of the event
  • Wear a mask or face covering throughout the entirety of the event except while eating or drinking
  • Maintain physical distance as required

Graduate Student Life will offer pre-packaged snacks and beverages and a boxed lunch for in-person participants. Please plan to bring your own coffee and preferred snacks. We have limited ability to meet dietary needs; although we will be able to accommodate vegetarian diets, those with vegan or gluten-free diets or additional dietary restrictions should plan to bring their own food.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information, read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below.  If you have additional questions, contact Dr. Julie Choe Kim, Director of Graduate Student Life, at ychoekim@gmu.edu or 703-993-4031. If interest exceeds capacity, we may not be able to accommodate everyone who is interested.

Why should I participate in the Write-In Day?

You know best what you need to be productive with your writing and work.  If your barriers to writing are related to feeling isolated, needing accountability, or freeing yourself from distractions, then the Write-In Day might be helpful to you.  The Write-In Day will provide structure and space for you to write productively, as well as coffee, meals, and snacks, giving you no excuse to not focus on getting your work done.  Plus, you’ll be with other graduate students who know what you’re going through!

What would I need to bring to the Write-In Day?

Bring whatever you need to write: a computer, books, notebook, or other materials.  You will have access to electrical outlets to plug in.  Bring your personal commitment to working diligently and productively.  Be serious about making these commitments.  To make the most out of the day, spend some time ahead of the Write-In Day to set realistic goals.  If you need help with that, attend a workshop on Motivation and Goal Setting offered by Learning Services.

I don’t know how to write a literature review for my thesis/dissertation.  Will the Write-In Day teach me how to do this?

No, unfortunately, the Write-In Day will not provide writing instruction.  The good news is that you can go to the Writing Center for free writing support – graduate student tutors are available!

For the first time, the Fall 2016 Write-In Day will offer individual peer review consultations, where an editor or reviewer from the Journal of Mason Graduate Research will provide suggestions to improve a small section of your writing.

I don’t have a writing assignment to work on, but I do have a big project related to my program or coursework.  Can I still participate in the Write-In Day?

Sure! As long as your project is something you can work on in relative quiet without distracting others, we would be happy to have you.

How/when will I know if I have been confirmed to participate in the Write-In Day?

Everyone who has submitted an interest form by the deadline will be contacted regarding their participation.  We have 30 spots for the Write-In; if interest exceeds capacity, we will give priority to those working on dissertations, theses, and other projects that help students meet benchmarks or requirements for their degree programs.  We will work to accommodate more students if additional space becomes available.

That sounds like a long day.  Will this be worth it?

One hundred percent of participants from the first-ever Graduate Student Life Write-In Day held in April 2013 said that the Write-In Day helped them progress toward their writing goals, that hearing about other students’ experiences with writing was helpful, and that participating in the Write-In Day was a worthwhile use of their time and energy.

When asked about what was the most helpful aspect of the Write-In Day, participants wrote:

“Honestly, everything! Distraction-free writing time … accountability to someone to complete the entire 6 hours of it. The checklist up on the wall … setting realistic goals.”

“The collective support and the creation of an environment of expectations and encouragement.”

TL;DR: Yes, it will be worth it, as long as you commit to making it worthwhile.