Most courses require some form of writing, but many faculty are uncertain about how to teach their students about writing. We can help. The Writing Center offers in-class workshops on many important aspects of writing in college.
Our goal with these workshops is to demonstrate how specific aspects of writing can be taught in a classroom setting, so that faculty can offer writing workshops for their own students in future semesters. To that end, if we come to your class to present a workshop, we will provide you with a packet containing our lesson plan and our materials for you to use with future classes.
If you simply want your students to know about us, we can come to your class to present a brief review of Writing Center services.
If you feel you would like a workshop, please read through our guidelines carefully, then submit your workshop request. It is important that we have at least two weeks notice to provide a workshop for you.
Workshops & Presentations
Introduction to the writing center presentation: 15 minutes
This brief presentation offers students an overview of Writing Center services—why the writing center exists, how writing center tutors can help writes during the writing process, and what to expect from a writing center session.
This Isn’t What We Did in High School: Expectations for Writing in College
This workshop, appropriate for first year courses and new student groups, focuses on discussing the differences between high school and college writing, and what new expectations for writing college writers face in terms of the writing process, audience, purpose, argument and research.
Getting started with an assignment
In this workshop participants practice using an assignment sheet as a way of getting started on their writing process, then learn about and practice pre-writing techniques. The goal of this workshop is to scaffold students’ first steps in the writing process, so it works best when you have just given students an assignment, or are just about to.
Narrowing a research topic
In this workshop, students learn about narrowing from a broad idea (like the “All About Whales” report you may have written in the 5th grade) to a more narrowly focused research paper. By the end of the workshop, we hope students will have a more focused idea that will help them research their topic in a more deliberate way. This workshop works best when participants have already been given a research paper assignment, and have some idea about what they want to write about.
Crafting a thesis statement
Much of the academic writing students do in college is thesis-driven. This workshop explores how to craft an effective thesis statement in an academic argument. Participants will learn some guiding principles of thesis writing, and will analysis examples of thesis statements. Participants will then apply what they’ve learned by either inventing possible thesis statements for an assignment for your course, or by revising a draft of their thesis, if they have already begun drafting the paper.
Incorporating the Voices of Others: Citing Sources
In this workshop, students learn how to effectively summarize, quote or paraphrase from the sources. Participants will practice introducing a source; paraphrasing, summarizing or quoting effectively; and connecting the source material to a central argument. This workshop is not intended to teach the technicalities of citing in APA, MLA or Chicago style.
Synthesizing sources into an argument
This workshop is slightly more advanced that the “Voices of Others” workshop, in that it assumes students are familiar with the basics of how to quote, paraphrase and summarize. Participants in this workshop will discuss, analyze examples of, and practice writing paragraphs that synthesize multiple sources in order to support an argument.
Revising from feedback
Students receive feedback on their writing in progress from instructors and sometimes from other students. But, when you get feedback on your writing, how can you incorporate it thoughtfully into your next draft? This workshop is appropriate when students have just received written feedback from you or from peer responders. Participants in the workshop will reflect on, organize and prioritize the feedback they received and will construct a plan for revision based on it.
Revising for organization/developing ideas
This workshop is appropriate when students have written a first draft, and are ready to begin revising it. Students will participate in activities that ask them to reflect on their writing and begin global revisions focused on appropriateness to the assignment, development of ideas, and organization. Students must have a draft of their own to work on to participate in this workshop.
Revising for sentence/paragraph level style
This workshop is appropriate when students have already revised for “big picture” concerns, like development of ideas and organization, and are ready to begin revising individual paragraphs and sentences. Students will learn and practice methods of recrafting paragraphs and sentences for clarity and style. Students must have a draft of their own to work on to participate in this workshop.
In addition to the workshops above, the Writing Center website has handouts and guides on many writing-related topics, like citing in APA, MLA and Chicago styles, techniques for proofreading, and more. If you are interested in a topic not listed above, please look at these documents on our website. You may find something you would like to use as the focus of a lesson in your courses.