Writing and Analysis Sessions

Various timings

Writing and analysis sessions (WAS) are protected timeslots for the student to analyse, talk through, and write up the evidence from the research data. One or more carefully selected facilitators are present and available (in-person or virtually) during these sessions to provide guidance in preparing the thesis and writing the manuscript – the student has only to ask for advice. As regular ‘writing retreats’, these sessions provide opportunities for students to focus on their writing without interruption.

By the end of a series of WAS, students can:

  • Generate a sound analysis and report, based on study objectives.
  • Develop a work plan and activities to ensure improved analysis and writing for timely PhD completion.
  • Create a practical approach to solve issues experienced during analysis and write-up.

Schedule writing and analysis sessions at regular intervals or more intensively, for example during a residential program.

As facilitator or coordinator
Select and invite facilitators with extensive research experience as well as analytical and mentoring skills.

For an in-person session
Prepare the physical venue.
Ensure access to small break-out rooms for participants to work privately or with assigned facilitators.

For a virtual session or virtual elements
Ensure access to good internet.
On the virtual learning platform (such as Zoom), set up multiple rooms to enable participant–facilitator interactions without disruptions.


Students may submit a work plan, listing activities to ensure timely completion of their PhD.


Time Step Who
15 minutes 1. Present an aspect of the research Student presenter
30 minutes 2. Respond to the presentation Assessors, peers
15 minutes 3. Manage and respond to critique Student presenter
Elements of the WAS can include:

  • One-on-one support.
  • Small-group interactions between students from related disciplines in breakaway rooms.
  • Opportunities for the student to ask their assigned facilitator for assistance in addressing challenges during the analysis stage.

General points for facilitators and students to keep in mind.

Principles of good data analysis and writing

Organization of data.
Questions under the study.
Data and model.
Results of data analysis.
Substantive conclusion

Considerations for analysis and writing

Relevance of data to research purpose.
Essential points that emerge from the analysis of data.
Capacity to identify trends, patterns, and themes within the data.
Various theoretical interpretations while writing.
Balance between pros and cons of these different perspectives.
Assertions supported with tightly argued reasoning and empirical backing.
Audience/ reader of study findings.

Details to be included in analysis and writing

Acknowledging the limitations of the study as well as the strengths.

Developing collaboration

Identification and approaching the relevant facilitator to indicate where more support is needed.
Networking and interactions with peers to discuss common concerns.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

CARTA Curricula Copyright © by The Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book