Writing Accountability Groups

The goal for this course is to assist you in developing strong skills for academic writing. One of these skills is developing successful writing habits, sustainable regardless of changing schedules.

Writers often create in solitary, which can make developing successful writing habits difficult; however, making ourselves accountable to other writers can assist us both in developing successful writing habits and in developing productive writing sessions. To this end, each of you will become an active part of a small writing accountability group.

We will establish writing accountability groups of 3-4 students during the 2nd week of class. Writing groups will meet at the end of each Thursday class for 10-15 minutes.

During your first meeting, you will:

  • choose a group recorder, who will keep written records of each member’s weekly goals and progress toward those goals
  • choose an alternate group recorder, for occasions when the group recorder may not be present
  • decide on a method for keeping records
    • you may choose to purchase a small journal or notebook, or you may choose to keep your notes in a digital document
  • decide on an order for your record keeping

During each meeting, each member will update their group members on their progress in these areas:

  • Progress
    • Writing habits
      • What writing habit did you try this week?
      • How successful were you at maintaining this habit? (in days, times, duration)
    • Writing progress
      • Did you meet the goal set for last week? (Give details–number of words, pages, time written, etc.)
      • How hard was meeting this goal? Do you need to set a harder goal for the following week, or do you need to work on your writing habits to improve your writing process?
  • Goals
    • Writing habits
      • Do you need to try a new writing habit? Do you need to tweak your current writing habit? If so, set yourself a habit goal.
    • Writing progress
      • What will you accomplish this week?

A sample (for one person) might look like this:

Jane’s progress 

  • Writing habits
    • Jane tried writing from the time she got to the office (around 7AM) until lunch, and she had some success with this. Unfortunately, there were constant interruptions.
  • Writing progress
    • Jane met her goal of writing the literature review for her article this week. She got about an hour of writing each day, and she wrote every weekday. In total, she wrote 400 words.
    • Meeting the goal was difficult, because of the constant interruptions in the office. These interruptions caused a lot of having to restart and regain focus. Jane believes she needs to work on tweaking her writing habit for next week.

Jane’s goals:

  • Writing habits
    • Jane will try writing during the same time period, but with her office door closed
  • Writing goals
    • Jane plans to write the methods section of her article (about 500 words)

You will want to keep track of the journal or document where you keep group goals, as you will submit these journals at the end of the semester.