MSU students engaged in writing at the graduate level can find support from the Writing Center in several ways.
We offer one-on-one appointments, both online and in-person, with either our graduate peer tutors or our undergraduate peer tutors. Additionally, we facilitate interdisciplinary graduate writing studios in which graduate students can work together to improve their writing and we host online Focus Fridays, during which grad students, as part of a writing community, can focus on getting some of the hard work of writing done.
Scroll down for more information or contact our Graduate Program Coordinator Erin Strickland at [email protected].
Graduate Peer Tutor
Graduate Peer Tutor
One-on-one appointments with tutors--done online through our WC Online program or face-to-face on a limited basis in our Wilson Hall location. Graduate students may make appointments with either of our graduate tutors and are also welcome to schedule an appointment with any of our undergraduate tutors. Appointments are an hour long, and students can make appointments here:
Hello, I'm Clare! I'm a New England gal at heart, but over the past five years, Northwest Montana has become home. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015, I moved to Whitefish to make my living as a writer and editor for magazines like Powder. Now, I’m very happy to be in Bozeman earning my master’s degree. I'm interested in 20th century US environmental movements, nature & spirituality, and sensory history. Whether our fields are similar or quite different, I look forward to working with you!
Hi there! My name is Rose and I am in the first year of getting my masters in History from Montana State. Even though I grew up and went to undergrad in Indiana, I’ve spent my whole life traveling out west in the summertime to go hiking and backpacking with my family. Whenever I’m not outside or working, you can find me working on a puzzle or perfecting my baking recipes. With lots of years of schooling and essays under my belt, I know how scary it can sometimes be to ask for help with writing. I aim to create an open and inviting environment to make the writing process fun again!
The MSU Writing Center will again offer online writing groups, or studios, for graduate students who want to learn more about writing and improve their own writing at the same time. The goal of a writing studio is to create a supportive writing community of fellow graduate students who give feedback on drafts of written work, regardless of how complete they are. Writing studios are collaborative, non-evaluative spaces.
Studios will be facilitated by a Writing Center tutor using Microsoft Teams and will consist of an asynchronous component where group members post, read, and comment on each other’s work, followed by a synchronous, one-hour video meeting.
By signing up for a writing studio, the writer agrees to at least four studios; however, it will be up to the group to decide how often and when the studios will take place. At the end of four studio meetings, if the group determines they would like to continue to work together, arrangements will be made.
If you are interested in joining an online writing studio, please complete this registration form. You will be contacted by email to set up an initial studio meeting time where you will meet other interested students and decide on the group guidelines together. If you have further questions about the process, see the explanation below, or contact the MSU Writing Center’s Graduate Program Coordinator at [email protected] or (406) 994-5314.
Online Writing Studios
Online writing studios have an asynchronous and synchronous component. Studio members will post their drafts and have a few days to read and comment on each other's drafts. Then, group members will meet online to discuss the comments, explain, and ask follow-up questions.
Studio members should aim to ask questions and engage with ideas to help the writer see how readers are understanding what they have written. Of course, because we are in different disciplines, we won’t understand everything. That’s okay. Asking questions about the content creates and opportunity for the writer to explain the concepts to a non-specialist audience and that can help them to refine and clarify their thinking and writing.
The studio cycle looks like this:
Studios open every Monday by noon and close by Thursday at 5 pm.
Monday by noon: Studio opens with a post from the facilitator.
Tuesday by noon: Each group member posts a draft for the group along with questions and concerns they’re having, explaining what help is being requested.
Wednesday by 5 pm: Everyone, including the facilitator, reads and responds to each group member’s work/questions.
Thursday by 5 pm: Studio groups will have met online for an hour-long video discussion to directly address, explain, or ask questions that arose from the comments left on the draft. Each writer who submits a draft will get an equal amount of discussion time.
Welcome to Focus Friday Online!
What is it?
Focus Friday is an opportunity for graduate writers to participate in an online writing community and to connect with other graduate students working on major writing projects.
Every Friday this semester (excluding university-sanctioned holidays), check in with each other and then write between the hours of 9 am and noon. You decide how much time you will dedicate to writing and set an achievable goal for yourself. You can ask the group for feedback or simply share your successes and frustrations. Use this link to join every Friday or as your schedule allows.
How does it work?
- Find a place where you will be comfortable and set yourself up with coffee, snacks, headphones. . . whatever you need. Make sure your laptop is charged or plugged in!
- Connect using Teams: Follow this link to join the Focus Friday Team on Microsoft Teams.
- Use your official MSU emailaddress to sign in and follow the prompts on the screen.
- Once you’ve accessed Teams, check in with the other writers viavideo chat at9 am and noon. Check-ins are where you will meet other graduate students, ask questions, and get
(or give!) advice. It’s also a time to report on the progress you’ve made. (Public
- Erin Strickland, MSU’s Graduate Program Coordinator, will be online for the check-ins to field questions, dispense writing advice, and be available to give feedback on your work.
- If you are so totally over video chats, skip the video and post your progress in the general channel chat.
- Write your goal for the day on the goal spreadsheet that can be found in Teams under “Files.” Why? We humans are more likely to achieve goals we’ve written down and made public. It’s a whole thing.
Ok. I did all that. Now what? Write!
- Just write as much as you can for as much time as you have dedicated to the task.
Got any tips to be productive? Yes!
- Set small goals and reward yourself when you accomplish them.
- For me this means setting a word count goal and giving myself cookies when I reach it. You may have other rewards in mind. (Healthier ones, maybe?) That’s great. You do you.
- Use the Pomodoro method to break the writing into manageable chunks.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and work (with no distractions!) for that amount of time.
- After 25 min, take a 5 min. break: coffee, food, internet, phone calls, whatever.
- Then, get back to it! 25 more minutes.
- After 4 sessions, take a 15 min.-30 min. break. Rinse and repeat as needed.
Questions? Contact MSU’s Graduate Program Coordinator: