Writing Studio workshops are designed by our consultants for use in the classroom. These workshops focus on different elements of academic writing and have the following goals in mind:
- to encourage students to reflect upon their writing habits
- to introduce students to writing exercises and strategies that they can use in courses across the curriculum, and
- to enhance discussion of discipline-specific writing practices among students and faculty.
Each workshop runs approximately 45 minutes and includes a discussion of writing strategies, a consultant-facilitated conversation with the instructor and students about writing conventions relevant to the course, and at least one writing activity. We are happy to present up to two workshops per class, per semester.
Instructors are important participants in the workshop conversations, and should plan to contribute relevant materials and be present on the day of the workshop. Several of the workshops are designed to work in conjunction with a class assignment.
Available In-Class Workshops
Transitioning to College Writing — This workshop is designed mainly for 100-level courses. It is most appropriate toward the beginning of the semester shortly after students have received the prompt for their first formal writing assignment. The workshop encourages students to be aware of the conventions of academic argument. With the assistance of the instructor, we discuss both the nature of academic discourse as a conversation with the ideas of others and the demands of the course for which the students are writing. The course instructor will need to provide a paper prompt. To learn more about this workshop and the materials required for it, consult the workshop script.
Brainstorming — This workshop assists students to find traction and focus during the brainstorming phase of the writing process. Using a prompt provided by the instructor, we work through several exercises designed to help students generate new ideas and then sharpen and develop the most promising. The course instructor will need to provide a paper prompt. To learn more about this workshop and the materials required for it, consult the workshop script.
Revision — This workshop assists students with the revision of a paper they have already drafted, focusing on large-scale concerns like argument, analysis, and structure. We work through three revision activities, beginning with a brief exercise in which students rearticulate the main claims of their papers, followed by an exercise designed to identify organizational problems. For the third activity, the instructor may choose one of four exercises, allowing the instructor to tailor the workshop depending on the nature of the assignment or goals of the course. The course instructor will need to be sure students bring an essay draft to class. To learn more about this workshop and the materials required for it, consult the workshop script.
Thesis Statements — This workshop focuses on understanding the characteristics of a strong thesis and how to write one, as well as the conventions of academic argument more broadly. Using a prompt from the class or a sample prompt, students will begin drafting their own thesis statements. A discussion about how to argue for one’s thesis rounds out the workshop. The course instructor will need to provide a paper prompt and sample bad thesis statements for that assignment. To learn more about this workshop and the materials required for it, consult the workshop script.
Using Textual Evidence — This workshop discusses the ways analysis of quotations can be used as support for argumentative claims. Students will evaluate, discuss, and revise their own use of textual evidence in a draft. The instructor plays an important role here in helping the students understand what constitutes good evidence, and use thereof, in his or her discipline and course. The course instructor will need to be sure students bring an essay draft to class. To learn more about this workshop and the materials required for it, consult the workshop script.
Organizing Research Papers — This workshop is designed to be implemented after students have already gathered most of the materials they will require to write their research papers. The workshop helps students impose order on their materials and formulate a plan for integrating the research into their papers. Using an organizational grid, students will focus on meaningfully categorizing and evaluating their research in light of a focused research question. The course instructor will need to be sure students bring their research materials to class. To learn more about this workshop and the materials required for it, consult the workshop script.
Writing Case Studies and Ethnographies — This workshop focuses on two parts of writing case studies and ethnographies. First, students discuss the importance of neutral and detailed description when conducting field work, taking time to practice writing or revising their own field notes. Second, following a discussion of how ethnographies and case studies drawn upon field notes as evidence, students will begin drafting sentences that use their observations to warrant claims and tie their notes to course concepts. Course instructors may request this workshop either before or after students have conducted fieldwork. To learn more about this workshop and the materials required for it, consult the workshop script.
Co-Teach Workshop — We know that our list of in-class workshop scripts does not fit every need. If you’ve looked through our existing workshops and do not see what you’re looking for, we would love to work with you to create a workshop to meet your needs, facilitating it alongside you.
If you’re interested in working with us to develop a workshop, please select our new “Co–Teach Workshop” option on the request form. After we receive your request, we will connect you with a full-time staff member who will contact you to set up an in-person meeting. For all such co–teach requests, we recommend requests be placed a month in advance, at minimum, allowing time for at least one required planning session between the course instructor and Writing Studio representative.
Some examples of customized workshops include a peer review session tailored to a specific assignment, a session focused on citation conventions in a particular field, a workshop focused on constructing a compelling scientific narrative, and a multimodal composition workshop on podcasting.
Please note: Our workshops are meant to be highly collaborative, and involve significant individual student and small group participation. Because of this, we ask that there be no more than 35 students per workshop consultant. If you would like to schedule for a class larger than 35, please contact our workshop coordinator directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Specific arrangements for all workshops will be made by email correspondence.
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