Writing Circles


CWAC offers a workshop course for students from any discipline at Saint Mary's who are looking to improve their writing.


Each Writing Circle is made up of 3 to 4 students who meet weekly, either in person or online, to workshop their writing. 


As with all CWAC services, the Circles are open to all students, undergraduate through graduate level, of any course.

Students and a facilitator in a Writing Circle in the Writing Center.

What are Writing Circles?

The essay is a dialogue--a conversation between the author and the reader. It is active. It is an exchange. Of course, writing also demands a certain amount of solitude, those hours logged in front of a computer or spent with a pen pressed deeply on the page. But when writers sit down to write, they must always keep the reader in mind. Writing is a communal act.

Our weekly, hour-long Writing Circles are based on this communal concept. Throughout the semester, we read drafts of one another’s work, offering feedback as readers. With this feedback in hand, writers generally become confident in revising their work and moving toward stronger, more cohesive drafts. 

In addition to facilitated discussion, each week’s meeting includes learning particular writing strategies, including free-writing, outlining, and creating thesis statements, as fitting for your work at that stage of the semester.

More About Writing Circles

In addition to guiding the students’ discussion of texts – their own papers, their peers’ papers, and readings – facilitators help students consider and apply writing strategies, many of which are listed below.

  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Writing Goals and Free-Writing
  • Brainstorming Strategies
  • Time Management
  • Strategies for Peer Review
  • Reading Critically
  • Posing Questions to the Text
  • Creating a Writing Schedule and Finals Syllabus
  • Thesis Statements
  • Paragraph Building
  • Introduction and/or Conclusion Paragraphs
  • Revision Strategies--Reading out loud, Post-Outlining, Highlighting
  • Outlining
  • Balancing Summary, Analysis, and Quotes
  • Incorporating Sources and Citation Style Tips
  • Transferring Writing Skills to Other Disciplines
  • Collaborative Shared Inquiry
  • Personalized Writing and Reflective Concepts

To join a circle, first enroll in WRIT-110-01.

Then fill out this scheduling form during the first week of classes. We'll use the information you enter there to match your availability and enrollment with some peers to form a group.

Then look for a GaelCal invitation late in the first week of the term. Circles begin meeting in week two.  

Writing Circle facilitators come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from graduate students and teaching fellows to adjunct professors with a passion for our peer-review workshop format and specialized pedagogy. 

To learn more about our staff who are teaching Writing Circles this year and who they are, click the link here.