The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Writers Workshop

Overcoming Writer’s Block

Tired of those last-minute all-nighters or staring at a blank page to get started on your writing? Join us to learn effective strategies for getting started early and meeting your deadlines as pain-free as possible! We encourage you to bring a writing assignment you're currently working on.

Strategically Using Sources: Reading and Integrating Them into Your Work

Worried about accidental plagiarism? Not quite sure what to do with different kinds of sources you spent time finding and reading? This presentation provides an introduction to basic techniques for effectively incorporating sources through summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting.

Developing a Research Question

Having a difficult time finding something to write about for your larger, research-based assignments? This workshop provides strategies for helping you select a topic that will work best for you. Learn how to transform your interests into a focused research question and gain valuable strategies for conducting research through university library resources and databases.

Developing Argumentative Thesis Statements and Finding the Right Fit

Are you writing an argumentative or analytical essay? This presentation reviews the basic principles for creating effective thesis statements. It helps students review common essay structures and strategies. Since you will have the opportunity to put these principles into practice, bring a current assignment to work on.

The Final Check: Proofreading and Self-Editing Strategies

Worried about your editing and proofreading skills? In this workshop, we help writers develop and practice effective strategies for both. Bring a paper to practice with, or use the exercises provided by the workshop.

Revising for the Big Picture

You've put down what you want to say on the page, but how do you effectively bring together all the pieces? Come to this workshop to learn about and practice developing, organizing, and focusing your writing.

Writing In-Class Essay Exams

This workshop focuses on how to study for exams, plan your answers, start your essays effectively, and manage your time during exams. This workshop is most useful for undergraduate students who are preparing for upcoming exams.

Using and Creating Images for Scholarly Work

Do you struggle to create attractive and compelling charts, graphs, and infographics? Or wonder how you can use images more effectively to enhance your scholarly writing? This workshop will introduce the tools, techniques, and principles behind effective images and their use in academic settings across disciplines.This workshop will be most useful to undergraduate students who are currently writing reports or presentations.

Getting Ready to Write: Effective Prewriting Strategies

You've received your writing assignment—now what? Join us to review effective prewriting strategies that will help you understand the writing task, identify appropriate evidence, and outline your plan for the paper. You are highly encouraged to bring a writing assignment you are currently working on! This workshop will be most useful to first-or second-year undergraduate students who are currently writing papers.

Writing Effective Applications

Applying for an internship, job, or graduate / professional school? This session will help you better understand and tailor those genres—the resume, statement of purpose, and/or cover letter—required for writing such applications. Whether you’re completing an application for the first time or would like to brush up on these skills, this session will help provide you with the foundational tools for completing this process. This workshop is helpful for both undergraduates and graduate students alike.


Graduate Writing Presentations

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Developing and Delivering Your First Conference Presentation

Have an upcoming conference presentation? Then this workshop is for you! This workshop helps participants figure out what their presentation should (or should not) include; shares tips and tricks to engage your audience; and discusses how to present with confidence. This workshop is most useful to those who have little experience preparing for and presenting at conferences, but everyone is welcome!

From Professors to Advisers to Reviewers: Making Sense of Critical Feedback

Feeling overwhelmed by the critical feedback you're receiving from your professors, advisers, and/or reviewers? This workshop helps you assess, integrate, and respond to critical feedback in the revision process, whether you’re writing for coursework or working on a larger writing project.

From Seminar Paper to Publication

This workshop leads you through the process of turning a seminar paper or conference paper into a published academic article. It focuses on stages of revision and general expectations of publishing in academia.

Staying on Track with Thesis and Dissertation Writing

This workshop discusses best practices for large writing projects, including tips for getting and staying on track, cultivating effective writing habits, and forming a successful writing group. Dissertation and thesis writers from any discipline and at any stage in the writing process are  welcome.

Publishing Your First Article

This workshop walks participants through the timeline of publishing their first academic article in the humanities. This interactive session reviews the basics of writing an article and targeting an appropriate journal. It provides an overview of the journal review process from submission to resubmission and final edits. Both practical and emotional aspects of journal publication are be touched upon, from identifying your own publication goals to dealing with and learning from rejection.

Writing Effective Abstracts

Need to write an abstract for a journal submission, conference, thesis or dissertation, or class assignment? Come for a discussion of the important components of an effective abstract, see examples of published abstracts across fields, and practice writing your own based on an in-session prompt.

Writing Effective Applications

Applying for an internship, job, or graduate / professional school? This session will help you better understand and tailor those genres—the resume, statement of purpose, and/or cover letter—required for writing such applications. Whether you’re completing an application for the first time or would like to brush up on these skills, this session will help provide you with the foundational tools for completing this process. This workshop is helpful for both undergraduates and graduate students alike.

Writing a Literature Review

Don't know where to start or unsure of how things are coming together in your literature review? This workshop addresses the lit review's purpose and provides tips for writing an effective one. Writers from any discipline are welcome.