Each semester, the Writing Center offers a series of workshops that are focused on specific writing topics. Some are designed with the interests of first-year students in mind while others are likely to appeal to more advanced students. The workshops are open to all, and no reservation is necessary. Just drop by at the time and location listed below.
Writing Center Workshops for Spring 2013
Wednesday, February 6, 4:00-4:50 ~~ Goldstein 218
Building an Argument (Part 1): Thesis Statements
Most academic writing is guided by a thesis statement – a debatable claim that requires further consideration and support. It sounds simple, but the challenge is usually in getting started. In this workshop, we’ll consider some of the characteristic elements of good thesis statements, and we’ll also talk about how writers begin the process of crafting interesting arguments.
Wednesday, February 27, 4:30-5:20 ~~ Goldstein 218
Building an Argument (Part 2): Working with Evidence
It’s tempting to think that creating a strong argument is just a matter of stating an opinion and providing support. Usually, however, a good thesis evolves during the writing process, especially as the writer encounters new and challenging evidence. This workshop will focus on strategies that will help you develop and expand your argument over the course of the essay so that by the time you reach your conclusion you’ll have more to say than just a reiteration of what you’ve already offered your reader.
Wednesday, March 20, 4:30-5:20 ~~ Goldstein 218
Putting Your Research in Context: Writing a Literature Review
Working on your senior thesis or another important research project? If so, you may be asked to write a literature review. The literature review is a survey of what others have said about your topic, but it is NOT just a list of sources or quotations. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how a literature review can help you develop a context for your research—often identifying a gap (or gaps) in the current literature which you will address, or that you’ll argue is problematic—and we’ll explore strategies for organizing and synthesizing your sources.
Wed, April 10, 4:30-5:20 ~~ Goldstein 218
Saying What You Mean: Sentence Clarity and Coherence
Our ears usually tell us when something is going wrong in a sentence, but it isn’t always easy to know how to fix it. This workshop will introduce you to a few concepts – like parallel structure, passive voice, and nominalization – that are often at work in wordy or unclear sentences. In the process, you’ll learn some strategies that will help you evaluate and revise your own writing more effectively.