In-Class Workshops

For the Fall 2020 Semester, KU Writing Center Workshops will primarily be available as asynchronous videos and materials that can be hosted on a course Blackboard site or distributed to students electronically. As we transfer materials into this new format, we will update the descriptions below. Some Workshops may be available in a real-time Zoom format.

In-Class Workshops provide specific instruction regarding a variety of subjects, from drafting to citation styles. These 40-75 minute sessions are available for both undergraduate and graduate-level courses, conducted by trained consultants who seek to work with students at their point of need. Students should be working on a specific assignment at the time of the workshop. Instructors of record must be present during the workshop as their input is essential.

Requests must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to your preferred Workshop date. 

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Featured Workshops

Working with Unfamiliar Genres (50 minutes)

This workshop discusses how to analyze and work with unfamiliar genres. Students are asked to consider the rhetorical situations and patterns that arise from different genres, such as analyses, reports, narratives, proposals, etc. Useful for: introducing a new writing genre, focusing on audience awareness and rhetoric; entry level Freshman courses

Academic Writing: You're in College Now! (50 minutes)

This workshop is designed for new college students and considers the differences between high school and collegiate level writing.  Topics include the importance of writing, creating good daily writing habits, and tips for meeting instructor expectations.  This workshop is particularly suited entry level Freshman courses, including UNIV 101, ENGL 101/102, and First-Year Experience Courses.  Useful for: entry level Freshman courses, anyone new to the expectations of collegiate writing

Early in the Writing Process

Choosing Your Own Research Adventure (50-75 minutes)

Students will learn to craft their own research topics and stimulate their intellectual curiosity in this interactive workshop.  They will ask interpretive, evaluative, and casual questions to explore their own academic interests and form inquiry questions. This workshop is particularly suited entry level Freshman courses, including UNIV 101, ENGL 101/102, and First-Year Experience Courses.​ Useful for: entry level Freshman courses, courses that have open-ended research projects

Writing As Process: Handling Writers Block & Making Time To Write (50 to 75 minutes)

This workshop explores two of the major impediments to strong writing: the physical and mental manifestations of writer’s block as well as the struggle to spread writing out over a long period of time. Students will assess their writing process and create their own strategies for breaking through what is keeping them from writing. Useful for: increasing writing productivity; instructors wanting their students to learn how to quit writing at the last minute.

Brainstorming (50-75 Minutes)

This workshop deconstructs potential barriers to writing and outlines several methods of brainstorming. The workshop engages students by providing space, guidelines, and support for producing thoughtful and intentional writing. Students will be equipped with the tools to navigate their writing process and successfully develop their critical engagement skills. Useful for: inquiry and topic developmentstudents beginning to write in the first two weeks of a specific assignment

Middle of the Writing Process

Developing a Thesis Statement (45 minutes)

The workshop focuses on developing skills of writing a thesis statement. During the workshop, students will learn about thesis statements, what types of thesis statements exist, and how to create their own based on the assignment specifics. Students will practice writing a thesis statement around a narrow topic, and after they will refine it. Useful for: everyone! Always. With this one it is important to tell us where they are in the research/writing process, as well as how you define/evaluate a good thesis statement.

Developing an Argument (50 minutes)

The workshop is a general overview developed to help students learn how to present an argument in their papers. Students will understand different types of argument and claims. After developing an understanding of different types of arguments and claims, they will be able to craft their own original arguments for their papers.  This workshop is often combined with the "Developing a Thesis Statement" workshop to provide a foundation for beginning writers.  Useful for: undergraduate classes; students new to creating arguments

Building Strong Paragraphs (50 to 75 minutes)

This workshop helps students develop knowledge of paragraph structure. The proper structure makes the body of an essay become stronger and well-organized. Students will learn the primary elements of a paragraph, ways to support ideas by using evidence, and processes of transitioning from one paragraph to another. ​Useful for: undergraduate classes; strengthening student writing through well-developed paragraphs and transitions.

Developing Research Skills: Voice and Framing Strategies (50 to 75 minutes)

The workshop is developed to help students learn how to use research. First, students will learn to build formal voice within their papers. They will also develop authority on the subject, while working with sources from different areas and publications. Finally, the workshop will help students develop and understand research material. Useful for: undergrad and beginning level graduate courses; instructors who have assignments with specific research goals.


Responding to Peers' Writing (50-75 Minutes)

This workshop prepares writers to respond to peers’ writing through a demonstration of effective feedback practices followed by a peer response session facilitated by a workshop facilitator. Please note that faculty should make grading rubrics available before this workshop. Useful for: undergraduate or graduate classes; instructors who would like a consultant facilitated peer review session.

Revising a Draft (50-75 Minutes)

Writers explore the differences between revision and editing and the importance of both in the writing process. They then learn specific self-revision techniques and have an opportunity to revise their own work. Useful for: undergraduate or graduate classes; students with completed first drafts

Citation Workshops

Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism (40 Minutes)

This workshop provides a general overview of the importance of avoiding plagiarism and different reasons that it might occur.  Students learn strategies for avoiding plagiarism and the differences between paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting sources. As opposed to our style workshops, this workshop has a stricter focus on plagiarism issues and incorporates classroom activities on plagiarism.  Useful for: undergraduate courses; writers new to American collegiate level writing

MLA Style (50-75 Minutes)

This workshop provides information on formatting, writing aspects in this style, and resources. Students will learn how properly paraphrase, summarize, and quote sources in MLA style, using in-text citations. Also, students will understand the steps of creating work cited page while using different types of sources (website, book, or peer-reviewed journal). Useful for: classes using MLA citation methods​

APA Style (50-75 Minutes)

This workshop teaches students the basics of the APA citation style. It covers areas such as formatting, in-text citations, the references page, citing websites, and where to find helpful APA resources. Useful for: classes using APA citation methods​

Chicago Style (50-75 Minutes)

This workshop teaches students the basics of the Chicago Style. It covers areas such as formatting, notes and bibliography, and where to find helpful Chicago style resources. This workshop is most appropriate for graduate students new to the APA citation style. Useful for: classes using Chicago style citation methods​

Professionalism Workshops

Cover Letters (50-75 Minutes)

During this workshop, students will learn strategies for writing effective cover letters, focusing on formatting, organization, and style.  Students will look at and discuss examples of cover letters, while working to draft their own. 

Personal Statements (50-75 Minutes)

This workshop provides an understanding of the intent and format of personal statements. The session includes general advice on writing personal statements, as well as tips on prioritizing application materials.  Students will then have an opportunity to work on developing and/or revising their own personal statements.


Writing a Literature Review (50-75 minutes)

The workshop is designed to provide knowledge of the parts of a literature review. Students will understand what they should consider before writing and what strategies they can use.  During the workshop, students will have a writing activity, as well as learn to incorporate sources into a focused review of the literature for a specific research project. Faculty should make evaluation criteria available before this workshop.

Creating Poster Presentations (50-75 minutes)

Participants follow a four-step process to create informative and visually appealing posters for class or conference purposes.

Workshops for the Graduate Classroom

Instructors may request any workshop for their graduate-level classroom. However, the workshops listed below are particularly appropriate for graduate students and were created with them in mind.

Abstracts (60 minutes)

This workshop explores how to highlight a work's significance and attract readers through the CPR method of abstract writing. It teaches writers how to outline the context (C) of their research, explain the problem (P) the research addresses, and to articulate how the research is a response (R) to this problem.

American Academic Writing for International Students (60-75 minutes)

This workshop introduces students to 10 general principles of American academic writing (directness, topic development, transition signaling, etc.) and briefly discusses plagiarism. It concludes with hands-on activities using sample texts. This workshop is most appropriate for newly arrived international students who have little experience with writing for an American academic audience.

APA Citation and Style Guide: Graduate Level (60 minutes)

This workshop teaches students the basics of the APA citation style at the graduate level. It covers areas such as formatting, in-text citations, the references page, citing websites, and where to find helpful APA resources. This workshop is most appropriate for graduate students new to the APA citation style.

Beating Writers Block and Creating Effective Writing Habits (40 minutes)

This workshop offers tips for creating writing routines, advice for establishing effective writing habits, and offers suggestions for ways to combat writer's block.

Creating Research Posters (60 minutes)

This workshop teaches students about the elements of an effective, streamlined, and engaging research poster.

From Presentation to Paper (40-60 minutes)

This workshop helps students transform an in-class or conference presentation into an academic paper.

Literature Reviews (60 minutes)

This workshop discusses different types of literature reviews, ways to structure them, how to keep track of sources, and tips for the writing process. This workshop is most useful for graduate students early in their career who are not familiar with a literature review.

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