Thesis Boot Camp

In 2013, Peta Freestone, Dr Liam Connell and I won a prize from the University of Melbourne for excellence and innovation in learning and teaching for Thesis Boot Camp. Creating resources to support people about to go on Thesis Boot Camp, or having just been to a camp, has been a driving force of this blog.

Get in touch with my Thesis Boot Camp colleagues for a program at your university:
Dr Liam Connell for Australia,
Dr Peta Freestone for the UK, Europe, Asia and the US.


So if you are heading off to a Thesis Boot Camp run by the Melbourne Graduate Student Association, or any of the many versions run by other universities, faculties and by small groups of students… here are the posts that will be most useful to you.

Before you attend the intensive:

On Generative Writing (the best way to write if you want to get good results at a Boot Camp)

Turn your notes into writing using the Cornell Method (the best way to take notes to prepare for generative writing).

The Perfect Sentence Vortex and how to avoid it (because that’s a big reason people write slowly)

The Stages of Writing (helping you to conceptualise what a Boot Camp will get you, and what’s still to do afterwards).


For afterwards, three posts on editing:

How do I edit? (Quick list of what I suggest people do before coming along to show me a draft after a Boot Camp)

Structural editing: getting your writing into shape (more fundamental work on editing).

A sea of red ink: what to do when there are too many words (what if your generative writing went way over the word count?)


If you want yet more:

Writing ‘tics’ (those little habits that help you get the writing done)

Red Cabbage or [insert quote here] (how to keep writing even when you know you’ll need to go back and tidy things up later)

Can you write 4,500 words in a day? (Hint, yes you can).

Writing to music (an often under-discussed aspect of setting up the writing vibe)


Thesis Boot Camp changes lives, it energises writers, it gets seemingly hopeless theses back on track. I’m passionate about the value of the program, and our alumni are our best champions. You can apply to attend a TBC at the University of Melbourne, or think about how you can use the concept of focused writing in a group in your own context.  


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