Interdisciplinary Writing Training | 2024

Program Description

The CADOS Interdisciplinary Writing Training (IWT) is an online course for Ph.D. candidats of any doctoral program of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa who have ongoing writing projects, including (but not limited to) their dissertations. This training course provides students with an opportunity to discuss, learn, and practice a large set of tools to help them develop and enhance their writing skills, set realistic goals, boost their motivation and self-confidence, and build their own writing community.

General Requirements
- The IWT is open to the participation of 20 UCP doctoral students. Prior training in academic writing is not a requirement. However, students participating in the course must have ongoing writing projects;
- Language Requirements: This course requires proficiency in English;
- Technological Requirements: Students need a computer with Internet connection to access Zoom, to follow discussions, and communicate with fellow participants. They will also need to access Moodle to open documents and get materials.

Each session will consist of two parts. In the first (2-3:15 pm), students will be exposed to, get familiarized with, and practice a set of skills, techniques, and tools to help them enhance their writing skills, set realistic goals, and boost their motivation and self-confidence. In the second part of the session (3:25-5 pm), students will be divided into breakout groups (up to 4 people each) and focus on asking, giving, receiving, and incorporating feedback based on the writing samples they will have previously shared with their respective group. A volunteer student will guide this second part to facilitate discussion and assure that each participant receives and gives feedback accordingly. 

Course Commitment 
Besides committing to the weekly sections, students must make sure to set aside time for writing and submitting weekly pieces, as well as for preparing feedback to their group fellows.
Weekly writing pieces: each student will send a total of seven pieces of writing, consisting of six short pieces (2 pages max, double-spaced) and one long piece (10 pages max, double-spaced). In case there are 4 or more students whose native language is Portuguese, texts written in that language will also be accepted. The written pieces are not required to be exemplary, but simply workable, serving the purpose of practicing feedback, providing accountability, and putting into practice the writing skills presented during the course.  

Where?  Zoom

Study Plan

Week 1: “On Feedback(ing)”

  • Positive, effective, or constructive feedback? Reading, building, and practicing a good relationship with criticism
  • How to ask, give, receive, and incorporate feedback effectively
  • Types of feedback (macro & micro) and feedback guidelines
  • How to create and feed accountability on and off campus
  • Practicing: writing an email to your advisor

Week 2: “Organize yourself!”

  • Introduction to organizational principles of academic writing
  • Goal setting, deadlines, and time management tools
  • Basic organization skills for planning writing (before, during, and after writing tools, trackers, tips, resources, and self-accountability sheets)
  • Useful apps and programs
  • Creating rituals and routines around writing
  • Practicing: the Pomodoro technique

Week 3: “Should I care about my reader?”

  • What’s an audience for? Successful writers customize their pieces!
  • The types of readers
  • Choosing your publishing outlet
  • Knowing the writing conventions of your environment

Week 4: “Who needs structure?”

  • The 5 main writing stages
  • Outlines & layouts: what is your Ph.D. design?
  • Balancing your project out
  • Practicing: make your own outline

Week 5: “On drafting”

  • Where do I start from?
  • Writing myths and what writing is not: writing in blocks, “snack writing”, and freewriting
  • Practicing: close reading

Week 6: “On how to become a good story teller”

  • Storytelling and how it affects your brain: hormones & writing
  • How to write introductions
  • Eric Hayot’s “The Trinity Rule”: engaging, locating and teaching your readers
  • The power of hooks
  • Practicing: getting to your rationale

Week 7: “On wiping the dust: revising, editing, and/or proofreading your text”

  • Writing as rewriting
  • What do you revise for? Structure, content, argument, and audience
  • Colors, fonts, genre switching, “lol” statements, reverse outline
  • Practicing: color-coding

Week 8: “Conclusions are not abstracts! & What’s next?”

  • General principles on how to write a conclusion
  • Accepting your own failures
  • Tips on how to stay motivated and on track
  • Staying connected: how to build yourself a writing community and the powerful role of writing peers

Enrollment here


Católica Doctoral School

Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Palma de Cima
1649-023, Lisboa