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Now that we are at Level 1, I’m continuing to work online, while cautiously returning to in-person engagement, with all necessary precautions. 

Because of continuing uncertainty about the COVID pandemic, and difficulties with international travel, the first of my new series of three-day Pringle Bay Academic Writing Retreats has been moved forward to 14th-16th April 2021.  Book your place here….

Research Completion Workshops

Professor Brenda Cooper runs RESEARCH COMPLETION WORKSHOPS under the brand BURNISH.

Workshops are directed at academics, who are writing books, book chapters or papers.

The aim is to work concretely on pre-circulated drafts, which are revised and polished to bring them closer to publication. In other words, these sessions are not general ‘how to write academically…’ but are concrete and focused on writing in progress.

Workshops are based on collaboration and therefore take place in groups of at least five participants to ensure an intellectual pool of feedback is available on each person’s work. These are not mentoring sessions in which Brenda claims expertise in all different fields, or expects participants to have expertise in the fields of others.

The workshops thrive on participants being at different stages in their writing careers, ranging from established researchers to emerging academic writers.

The process involved is four-fold:

  1. Refining, sharpening and clarifying the unique angle of the research
  2. Identifying the theoretical and methodological tools of the research
  3. Tightening the logic of the structure of the argument
  4. Polishing, burnishing, the prose.

Workshops are based on the understanding that academic writing can be beautiful and the reading of it can be pleasurable.

There are five to seven weekly sessions lasting about two hours each (the number depends on the group size).

All sessions are interactive with participants introducing their own work and providing feedback on the work of others.

Prior to the start of the workshop series, participants pre-circulate electronic versions of their work- in- progress.

Brenda provides feedback on all of them, both during the workshops and in a one-on-one session with each participant afterwards (see below).

While feedback will be robust, it will be facilitating and productive. Brenda ensures that the workshops provide a safe space for participants to raise their problems with their research. They are also able to share their solutions.

After the workshop series, participants work on their papers or books and polish and revise them as they see fit. They are then free to give Brenda another version for a one- on- one discussion and feedback session.

Brenda has developed this approach over seven years, working successfully with groups whose academic fields range widely across disciplines.

Brenda also works with individuals on a one- on- one basis, providing feedback on their academic writing and facilitating their completion of research projects. Brenda runs academic writing workshops and individual sessions on a regular basis. If you are interested in joining one of her groups, please contact her at: burnishwriting@gmail.com

Brenda’s full CV can be found here.