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Graduate Student Writing Accountability Groups (WAGs)

How to get started with a Writing Accountability Group

What is a WAG?

What are Writing Accountability Group, or WAGs at UMBC?

  • What: Writing Accountability Groups (WAGs) are voluntary and facilitated by fellow UMBC graduate students
  • Who: WAGs are comprised of a group of graduate students (usually 4-8 participants per group) interested in developing writing habits and accountability 
  • Why: Develop habits of writing every day for a short, manageable period of time by setting goals and being accountable to WAG peers 
  • When: WAG groups meet once a week for 60-90 minutes for 10-12 weeks. The group finds a weekly time that is mutually convenient to all group members
  • Where: The group decides on a mutually convenient location to meet, whether in person or online via WebEx or other video conferencing platform

WAGs were developed by Dr. Kimberly A. Skarupski, PhD, MPH. To learn more, visit 

How do I join a WAG?

WAGs can be voluntarily formed at any time, by anyone who is interested. Please feel free to use the WAG Interest document to share your name and email and connect with others who are interested (note: this form is limited to UMBC users)

The library offers the following, if you are interested in some scaffolding to get started:

  • An online WAG Kickoff Meeting during the first few weeks of semester. The meeting includes a discussion of writing myths and challenges, an overview of how WAGs work, networking time for fellow grad students to form groups and have a first WAG session

  • WAG resources, such as links to readings and a sample WAG meeting template. Check out the “WAG Resource” tab located on the left navigation column

  • Research appointments. Email or book appointment in your research area with your subject librarian:

Steps to Setting up a Group

Steps to Setting up a Group:

  • Attend the WAG Kickoff Meeting and/or read through WAG resources
  • Identify group members* and determine the following: 

WAG member responsibilities: 

  • Decide on a meeting time (can use Doodle Poll or other scheduling software to assist)
  • Decide on a meeting place (online or in person). If online, determine platform (WebEx, GoogleMeet, etc.)
  • Review the WAG description and resources (this guide)
  • Commit to attending at least 80% of meetings in the semester
  • Identify a WAG facilitator to help organize and lead the group in reporting progress and sharing goals during each WAG session
    • The group can decide to appoint one person as facilitator for the entire 10-12 weeks, or rotate the responsibility through all the group members
    • Refer to WAG resources and sample WAG Goals Template

*Note: For help in forming a WAG group, attend the WAG Kickoff Meeting early in the semester to connect with other interested grad students and fill out the GSA WAG form to share availability and preferences: Or, use the WAG Interest document (restricted to UMBC users) to share your contact information and find others to form a group