“Forming a support group can be a very complex business, but if it works it can provide a wonderful antidote to thesis isolation. Choose people you can trust and make sure that the group focuses on writing issues (an argument in favour of the group being inter-disciplinary). You don’t all have to be at the same stage. Indeed, those a year below may have more time to read others’ work. Some people might prefer a group of all-women or all-men.
Each group needs its own code of practice. It will probably cover a number of issues: a commitment to bring writing, allocation of time to each other, whether someone should run each session or act as a facilitator, assuring support and positive feedback, ways of handling negative feedback, how to monitor what’s happening in the group, etc.”