Dissertation Boot Camps

Framed by opening and closing workshops on the writing process and wrapped up each day with a short debriefing session, boot camps provide a dedicated space and clearly structured schedule for getting work done. Participants agree to write for designated blocks of time without distractions like checking email or Facebook. In addition to helping writers gain momentum on a project and make tangible progress, boot camp sessions and workshops help graduate students develop the effective writing habits that will sustain them throughout their careers.

What Dissertation Boot Camp Alums say about the experience

“I had a great experience all week. I reveled in the quiet niche I had, while enjoying the company of the other grad students (which I thought would be stressful, but totally wasn’t). Debriefing group was really refreshing."

What was useful about Boot Camp?

"Having a quiet, clean, well-lit, air-conditioned work space I can leave my stuff in overnight—with plenty of table space, pleasant company, and easy access to snacks. Dissertation Boot Camp is a blatant misnomer; Dissertation Day Spa would be more appropriate. Really though, the biggest of all these elements would be the structure: having to be there at a certain time in the morning, for a certain time…"

Dissertation Boot Camp Schedule 

Participants commit to attend all sessions.

Monday Tuesday-Thursday Friday

9-10:15 a.m. 
Opening Workshop: Operation Finished Dissertation

10:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Writing

1-1:20 p.m.
Group Debrief

2-5 p.m.
Writing (Optional)

9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Writing

1-1:20 p.m.
Group Debrief

2-5 p.m.
Writing (Optional)

9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Writing

1-2 p.m.
Lunch & Closing Workshop: Maintaining Your Momentum

Support and Matériel for Boot Campers

  • Quiet space to write at the Writing Program, Whitman College
  • A place to leave books and other materials
  • A community of writers
  • Healthy snacks balanced with plenty of caffeine
  • Office supplies

Dissertation Boot Camp has limited enrollment. A motivational deposit of $50 is required, and is returned at the closing workshop to those participants who attend every session.

A joint initiative of the Princeton Writing Program and the Graduate School