This spring we’re offering a range of online programming to provide you with writing support.
If you are interested in joining an accountability group or a dissertation/thesis seminar, please click 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 writing goals and deadlines. We’ll discuss habitual writing goals and project-based goals. Participants will make a plan for completing their writing objectives, breaking down long-term goals into manageable short-term targets. We’ll also go over some web apps that can help with this process.
Feb 6 @ 1 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. 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.
Feb 15 @ 8 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. Depending on the grant, this section may be called “Specific Aims,” “Executive Summary,” or something else. This section can be particularly challenging to write because (1) readers on the selection committee rely on the summary statement to make a preliminary assessment of the entire proposal, so the stakes are very high, and (2) because so much information must be packed into such a short space, so the risk of being confusing or unclear is also high. 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.
Friday, February 17th @ 10AM; register here.
Demystifying 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.
Monday, Feb 27 @ 8 PM; 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 Call For Papers (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.
Tuesday, March 7 @ 5 PM; register here.
Preparing For and Writing Comprehensive Exams
Because comprehensive exams mark an important milestone for doctoral students, the work of preparing for and writing them can feel especially daunting. This webinar helps participants understand the expectations of comp exams and offers strategies both for preparing during the months leading up to exams and reviews principles for managing the unique challenges writing under a short time constraint.
Friday, March 10 @ 10 AM; 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.
Wednesday, March 15 @ 10 AM; register here.
Making the Most of a Dissertation Progress Meeting
From time to time, students working on their dissertation may have semi-formal progress meetings with their dissertation advisor/committee. While progress meetings are often beneficial to the dissertator, they can also be very stressful and intimidating. This webinar reviews a range of considerations and practical strategies that can help graduate students to make the most out of a dissertation progress meeting.
Friday, March 24 @ 10 AM; register here.
Soliciting Effective Feedback
Experienced academics know that good final drafts are rarely produced through a solitary process. Instead, scholars achieve high-level writing through a process that involves sharing early drafts of their work with others and getting feedback that helps them revise more effectively. That being said, sharing work that is unfinished and that may well be somewhat unclear and confusing to other readers can be tricky. How can a writer help someone to read their unfinished work in a way that will result in a productive exchange? This webinar considers some guiding principles that will help students to prepare their chosen readers for a productive encounter with their work-in-progress.
Wednesday, March 29 @ 6 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.
Monday, April 3 @ 6 PM; register here.
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.
Thursday, April 20 @ 4 PM; register here.
The Anatomy of a Good Hook
When drafting a seminar paper, dissertation chapter, or article, many graduate students know that they want to start with “a good hook.” But what makes a hook “good?” What makes it “hook” the reader? In this webinar, students will consider a range of examples in order to unpack the core elements of a good hook. By the end of the session, participants will have a clear understanding of a good hook’s elements and organizing structure.
Thursday, April 27 @ 3 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.
May 1 @ 8PM; register here.
Essay to Article: The Revision and Publication Process
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 are looking for when evaluating your work (and the ways this knowledge may affect your revision choices); and (4) responding to reviewer comments if you get a “revise and resubmit.”
Wednesday, May 10 @ 10 AM; 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.
Thursday, May 25 @ 8 PM; register here.