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Walden Capstone Writing Collaborative: Resources for Walden Student Groups

Suggested Activities for Walden Student Groups

Walden student groups developed as students saw the need for connectivity, information sharing, discussion, and cooperation with other students during the capstone process.  Walden recognizes both officially registered and unofficial student groups and works to support these cooperative endeavors. For more information, review the Student Affairs page on Student Organizations.

Although Form and Style Editors do not connect directly to meet with student groups or student group leaders, we do provide some suggestions for student group discussion topics and activities that group leaders may use to facilitate meetings. This page offers 10 discussion topics and activities that may help group members make progress and refine their capstone manuscripts.

Writing Process Discussion

Have members share how they find time to work on the capstone.

Some potential questions for the group:

  • Do you schedule time to write?
  • Is writing easier in small chunks versus dedicated hours?
  • Do you spend time writing each day? On the weekends?

Share how each member works best and discuss why. This discussion may help other members with finding time for writing.

Review a Walden Capstone

Either choose one Walden capstone for the whole group to review or have each group member download and choose a Walden student capstone (from the Library) to review individually.

Discuss aspects and characteristics that apply to all Walden capstone documents. Here are some potential questions for the group:

  • What did you think of the overall document?
  • Was the completed product what you expected? How so or not?
  • How does having explored this Walden capstone inform your writing from this point on?
  • What are some strategies for going forward?
  • How might you use this example to build your own work?

Discuss strategies for writing once students have gone through an example. Note some takeaways or strategies that can be implemented in the writing process or writing plan.

Literature Review Outline

Reading Aloud

Alternate having group members reading a subsection aloud to the group during a meeting.

  • This will help the reader find missing punctuation.
  • This will also provide listeners with a different experience of the material where they cannot see the written word.  They may be able to identify additional points for clarity and examples.

Have an ending discussion about takeaways each member can implement.

Revising and Self-Editing Plan

  • Review the Form and Style Editor’s self-editing resources on revising and proofreading either before or during the group meeting.
  • Discuss 3-4 ways each group member can begin to implement revising and proofreading techniques as they write the next section of the draft and how they can go back and review some existing sections.

Exchange Drafts

  • Have group members pair up and provide comments via track changes on one section or subsection the same way faculty would. Providing feedback on others’ drafts often allows writers to see their own work differently.
  • Have a small group or large group discussion on the main takeaways from this activity.

Watch a Webinar or Capstone Clinic Session Together

Watch a capstone webinar or presentation from the 2019 WCWC Capstone Clinic, either in advance of a meeting or together as a group. Watching a webinar or presentation together may provide for timely commentary and discussion.

Discuss new information and ways to implement suggestions from the video.

Discuss any information that is not clear or where group members would like to follow up. Prepare a message to the editor inbox with these questions.

Check for Alignment in the Problem, Purpose, and Research Question

  • Have each member review the SMRTguide on Alignment and ORDS Research Planning Resources.
  • Alternate reading each group member’s problem, purpose, and resesarch question (RQ) and have a group discussion on each as to whether alignment has been met.
  • Move on to the next group member until the group has discussed each person’s problem, purpose, and RQ.

Checklist Review

  • At each meeting, review a subsection of one group member's capstone document alongside the program-specific checklist.
  • Have all group members read and talk through the content in the sections being reviewed to track and discuss whether the paragraphs meet the requirements of the checklist.
  • This will leave the group member with feedback on where he or she has met the rubric requirements or what additional points need to be addressed (based on the group discussion).
  • In the same or next meeting, move on to the next group member so that each member has a chance to have a subsection or heading reviewed for checklist alignment.
  • This process would also work well for IRB applications, especially if group members are willing to share (barring any site confidentiality issues that should not be shared outside the committee; e.g., the name of the participating organization, etc.).

Compile Questions and Assign a Liaison

  • For a given step or issue, hold a group discussion and compile questions that the group leader can send on to the appropriate party. These should be general questions that apply to the whole group and that the whole group will benefit from. Examples:
  • Process questions or approval questions that the group leader can ask a chair or academic advisor on behalf of the group.

Capstone Writing Resources for Student Groups

We suggest student groups check out the following Doctoral Capstone Form and Style resources during group writing.

Additional Resources for Student Groups