Spring 2022 Online Programming (Archive)

This Spring, we’re offering a range of online programming to provide you with writing support while you work from home and maintain social isolation:

Accountability Groups

This semester we are running four ten-week accountability groups. All Accountability groups will be held over Zoom. Weekly groups will be held on:

Monday at 4:00 pm

Tuesday at 1:00 pm

Wednesday at 10:00 am

Thursday at 4:00 pm

Groups have already begun meeting, but you are welcome to join at any time! To join a group, just send an email to writingcenter@gc.cuny.edu stating your name and the group you’d like to join. The facilitator will get in touch to give you a Zoom link.

Taking Smarter Notes

If you are interested in joining our “Taking Smarter Notes” bi-weekly working group, please click here.

Returning to Academic Writing

Just starting out in graduate school? Are you feeling a little bit jittery about getting back into academic writing?  Maybe you’ve been away from writing for a while and want some refreshers. Join this webinar to learn about the key elements of academic writing, how to overcome writing fears, and how to develop a productive writing habit. Wednesday, February 9 @ 2:00 PM; register here.

Taking Smarter Notes

When doing research, many people take notes in ways that don’t help them enough. Less organized people jot down their ideas on loose papers that can easily get lost, and more organized people gather their notes into project-based books and folders that may never get consulted again when that particular project is finished. This webinar introduces participants to a particular note-taking system, the Zettelkasten, that can serve as a life-long research and learning companion. It is a way to take and store notes so that the ideas you develop over your entire career are always at hand and never get lost. Whether you are taking courses, reading for orals, or already writing your thesis or dissertation, consider the enormous long-term advantages of taking smarter notes.  Friday, February 18 @ 12:00 PM; register here.

Goal Setting and Time Management

In this webinar, designed for students in varying stages of the writing process, we will discuss how to schedule time and keep oneself accountable to academic research and writing goals and deadlines. We’ll discuss habitual writing goals and project-based goals. Participants will make a plan for completing their writing goals, breaking down long-term goals into manageable short-term goals. We’ll also go over some web apps that can help with this process. Friday, February 18 @ 1:00 PM; register here.

Grant Writing: The Summary Statement 

Many grant applications ask for a summary statement that makes the case for a grant proposal in a highly condensed form. This statement can be especially hard to write for two reasons: first, because so much information must be packed into such a short space, and second, because the stakes of this section are so high (readers of a grant proposal often rely on the summary statement to make a preliminary assessment of the proposal as a whole). In this webinar, participants will learn how to craft a more effective summary statement by better understanding what a reviewer is looking for and prioritizing accordingly. Tuesday, February 22 @ 2:00 PM; register here

Writing a Book Review

Many academic journals publish reviews of recent books in their field. These reviews are one of the most significant ways in which scholars around the world become aware of the books in question. Consequently, the academic who writes such a review plays a crucial role in shaping the preliminary judgment readers make, thereby influencing the field as a whole. In graduate school, many seminars include a book review as a writing assignment, and advanced graduate students often see them as an ideal starting place for trying to get published. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the generic conventions of the book review. We will also address the rhetorical and political considerations one needs to make when critiquing senior colleagues, as well as the practicalities of getting placed in a journal. Thursday, February 24 @ 11:00 AM; register here.

Writing a Conference Abstract

Do you see a conference in your future? Here we will review the best practices of responding to a CFP. We’ll look at graduate school conference CFPs, as well as regional and national conference CFPs—each has its own peculiarities. We’ll provide examples of successful critical and pedagogical abstracts. We’ll also take a look at a few abstracts that failed to effectively navigate the sometimes-idiosyncratic language of a CFP and discuss why we think they failed to qualify for their panel. Wednesday, March 9 @ 7:00 PM; register here.

Structuring Argument-Based Writing

Writing a long paper can be challenging, especially when it comes to organizing all the reading and thinking one has done into a coherent progression of paragraphs and sections. This webinar introduces participants to some of the fundamental principles that help guide decisions about structuring a longer academic essay. Friday, March 25 @ 11:00 AM; register here.

Multilingual Toolkit: Using an Academic Phrasebank

While multilingual grad students (international and otherwise) have demonstrated the required English proficiency to attend the Graduate Center, most will benefit from instruction, support, and guidance as they familiarize themselves with the genre(s) of academic writing in their respective disciplines. While novice writers will want to focus on grammar correction, multilingual writers working at the graduate level need to prioritize their proficiency in higher order aspects of writing, things like identifying audience, purpose, and form (structure) of their various assignments (e.g., essays, articles, book reviews, proposals, presentations, etc.) and taking these factors into account when making an argument or supporting a knowledge claim. This webinar will show participants how to use an academic phrasebook as a way to move through typical sections of a research paper/dissertation (e.g., introducing work, referring to sources, describing methods, reporting results, discussing findings, writing conclusions) and more general functions of academic language (e.g., being tentative, being critical, comparing and contrasting, classifying and listing, defining terms, describing trends, etc.). Wednesday, March 30 @ 3:00 PM; register here.

Career Pathways for Humanists: Writing and Communications

How can practical academic skills be applied to professional work outside of the academy? Students are invited to consider how their training as an academic communicator might transfer across alternative career paths in government and non-profit work. This virtual networking event focuses on increasing students’ familiarity with the professional writing that is conventional to work in government and nonprofit professional sectors. During the event, enrolled graduate students will have the opportunity to speak with PhD alumni, learn more about their area of expertise, build a sense of community, and strengthen professional networks and relationships.

Event alumni guest speakers include:

Dr. Kara Alaimo, Associate Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations at Hofstra University; previously worked at the United Nations, U.S. Department of Treasury, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation

Dr. Jonathan Hill, Senior Administrative Analyst at the New York Department of Transportation

Dr. Lindsay S. Krasnoff, Global Communications and Sports Specialist; previously worked at the Office of the Historian in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Public Affairs

Dr. Melissa Wansin Wong, Director of Client and Donor Engagement at LAPA Fundraising

Tuesday, April 5 @ 12 PM; register here.

Reverse Outlining+

When it comes to academic writing, that actual process of putting one’s research and thinking down on paper tends to derail even the best-laid plans; no matter how clear one’s initial outline or mental blueprint, things happen and, as a result, many people end up with a first draft that’s anywhere from a bit unruly to a total mess. In this webinar, participants will be introduced to a reverse outlining technique that can help to gain a clearer view of a draft’s current paragraph-by-paragraph structure in order to figure out what is and isn’t working, and thus to make a plan for structural revision. There will also be a brief introduction to other outlining techniques.  Wednesday, April 6 @ 3:30 PM; register here.

Researching and Writing a Literature Review

Whether you’re writing an essay for class or an article to be published, there is an expectation that you will include a review of the relevant scholarship that precedes your own work, in other words: a literature review. But in a world already filled with existing scholarship, how are you supposed to decide which things count as relevant? What research steps could you take to identify relevant studies with which you aren’t already familiar? This webinar aims to help participants answer both of these questions. First, we will review some core principles that can help a writer determine a book or articles’ relevance for inclusion in their literature review. Second, with these principles in mind, we will show how a range of research techniques can be used when searching for and identifying relevant scholarship to be reviewed.​ Tuesday, April 12 @ 1 PM; register here.

Public Writing: The Public-Facing Book Review

Guest Facilitators: Briallen Hopper, Assistant Professor of English at Queens College, CUNY and Tatiana Nunez, Ph.D candidate in the Comparative Literature Program Have you ever thought about publishing a book review in a venue like the Los Angeles Review of Books, New York Review of Books, and Times Literary Supplement? This webinar introduces participants to the public-facing book review as a distinct genre of writing, attending to the ways in which it is similar to and different from an academic book review. We will also discuss the practicalities of reaching out to these venues and making a pitch. Wednesday, April 13 @ 12 PM; register here.

Revising an Essay for Publication

This webinar will introduce participants to the process of submitting an article to a peer-reviewed journal. It will cover issues like (1) the key elements of an article, (2) choosing the right journal, (3) understanding what editors and reviewers do after you submit (and the ways this knowledge may affect your revision choices); and (4) responding to reviewer comments if you get a “revise and resubmit.” Thursday, April 14 @ 2:00 PM; register here.

Statement of Purpose for the PhD Application

Among the documents one has to craft for a PhD application, the statement of purpose is one of the trickiest to get right. On the one hand, you need to demonstrate that you have some kind of research agenda already in mind. On the other hand, you aren’t a PhD student yet, so how are you supposed to know what you are going to research? This webinar helps participants understand the expectations of the readers they are writing for and how to strike a good balance between personal narrative and academic certainty.  Wednesday, May 4 @ 12:00 PM; register here.

Writing the Academic Job Cover Letter

The academic job cover letter is a crucial document in any candidate’s application material; often, it makes the first and most lasting impression on members of a search committee. In this webinar, participants will learn how to approach the writing of their cover letter in a way that makes a coherent and compelling argument about their suitability as a candidate rather than simply repeating information contained in their CV. Wednesday, May 25 @ 1:00 PM; register here.