Workshops and Retreats

CWSC evidence-based workshops are open to postdoctoral fellows from across the disciplines and professions.

Upcoming Workshops

Workshop Roster

Abstracts: Communicating Research Findings With Brevity and Concision

Abstracts play a vital role in the communication of research. Studies show that abstracts are the most frequently read part of a research article, and that abstracts help researchers determine whether or not to read the entire study. But how do writers communicate the relevance and legitimacy of their research to members of the discipline?

This evidence-based workshop introduces researchers to two typical structures of abstracts, while accounting for differences in disciplines and purposes. Participants will write or revise a draft abstract during dedicated writing time and receive feedback from the facilitator. Therefore, this workshop is most useful for those with a research project underway.

Conclusions in Research Articles: Writing

The research article is the most privileged form of publication in which academics present their intellectual contributions. As such, conclusions offer writers several final opportunities to engage with readers in this high-stakes writing situation.

With conclusions in mind, facilitators explore some of the macro-level organizational patterns of research articles written in English, for example, standard sections and section headings, while accounting for disciplinary norms and differences. Questions of interest include the following: what is the relationship between the introduction and conclusion sections of a research article? How do writers move from results to conclusions in a research article? Participants will write or revise a draft conclusion section during dedicated writing time and receive feedback from the facilitator. Therefore, this workshop is most useful for those with a research article underway.

Lay Summaries: Going Public With Your Research

Lay summaries offer researchers opportunities to increase the visibility and accessibility of their scientific studies and thus invite public dialogue. As a way to promote science communication, many open access journals, public policy institutes, and granting agencies require researchers to provide summaries of their studies for non-specialists. But how do experts communicate specialized research to non-specialist audiences, and why?

This workshop introduces graduate researchers to some of the ways in which lay summaries differ from scientific abstracts, the multiple purposes of lay summaries, and how lay summaries enhance science communication. Participants will write or revise a draft lay summary during dedicated writing time and receive feedback from the facilitator. Therefore, this workshop is most useful for those with a research project underway.

Literature Reviews: Mapping the Scholarly Conversation

Literature reviews accomplish several purposes for scholars. In the introduction to a research article or thesis chapter, for example, writers review relevant research in order to establish a research gap or articulate a problem or need that the current study addresses. But how do writers summarize the scholarly conversation already underway and, then, join that conversation?

This workshop introduces researchers to the typical structure of the literature review in research article introductions and theses, while accounting for variation in communicative purposes, audiences, and disciplinary differences. Participants will write or revise a draft section of a literature review during dedicated writing time and receive feedback from facilitators and peers. Therefore, this workshop is most useful for those with a research project underway.

Statements of Teaching Philosophy: Writing

Increasingly, faculty positions in research and teaching streams require a statement of teaching philosophy as one component of a teaching portfolio or dossier. Teaching statements reflect personal beliefs about teaching and learning, but also reflect disciplinary cultures and institutional structures and norms in a particular context. Research shows that one of the central questions the teaching statement addresses for readers is, why do I teach? Furthermore, the teaching statement must demonstrate how the pedagogical approaches are actualized in practice, in the classroom.

This workshop grounds the discussion of typical organizational and stylistic features of the teaching statement in several real world examples from diverse disciplines. As well, the workshop includes dedicated time for participants to revise a statement of teaching philosophy and receive feedback from the facilitator. Therefore, the workshop is most useful for those with a draft teaching statement underway.

Writing in the STEM Disciplines

This workshop introduces researchers to the typical organizational structure of a research article in the STEM disciplines, while accounting for variation in disciplinary differences. That is, some conventions and features of academic writing remain constant across STEM disciplines, while others vary to account for discipline-specific norms and expectations of community members. The workshop facilitators draw on evidence-based research to identify some of the similarities and differences in style at both the macro- and micro-levels of the text.

The workshop includes dedicated time for participants to revise a section of a research article. Workshop facilitators and writing consultants from the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication are available for peer feedback on a draft. Therefore, this workshop is most useful for those with a research article underway.