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Ground Rules

In service to the group's mission, the following ground rules have been established:

1) It's all about the writing.

The focus of the group will be on members' writing and encouraging the effectiveness of that writing. Feedback, therefore, should be supportive and positive.

Members will have an opportunity to post their writing on the MU Writing Center website so as to share their work in advance of the workshop, or for shorter pieces, members can bring copies of their work to share during the workshop. (Again, at a later date, group members may decide on another format by which to share their work.)

The two-hour workshop meeting should be divided fairly so that all members feel served. This division of time should be decided at the first meeting and renegotiated as needed.

NOTE: Although writing is often personal and cathartic, the group's focus is on members' writing and on identifying strategies and techniques to improve the effectiveness of that writing.

2) The workshop critique should not be a forum for political, religious, or social debates.

While writers often express political, religious, or social views in their writing, the group courts an attitude of tolerance and, therefore, any attitude expressed—verbally or in a member's writing—should not be a basis for criticism. Feedback should be focused on the effectiveness of members' writing.

3) Workshop members should be courteous, respectful, and collegial.

Critiques should provide honest feedback offered in a spirit of respect and courtesy. Aggressive and/or disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated, and the moderator reserves the right to censor and/or remove any member whose behavior or attitude is disruptive or lacks collegiality.

4) Workshop members should identify strengths and strategies by which writers may improve the effectiveness of their writing.

The group's mission is to encourage the art of writing and to provide a positive workshop environment. To this end, therefore, members should focus on how best their fellow members can improve the effectiveness of their writing.