Writing Workshops

CWSC evidence-based workshops are open to undergraduates from across the disciplines and professions, at any level of study (unless otherwise specified).

Upcoming Workshops

Workshop Roster

CGS-M Proposal: Crafting a Compelling Research Story

This workshop is designed for undergraduate and master’s students applying for funding from the Canada Graduate Scholarship-Master’s (CGS-M) Program. Drawing on evidence-based research about successful grant proposals, facilitators discuss particular elements of this written academic genre: audience, purpose, knowledge gap, competence claim, structure, style, and more.

The workshop includes examples of successful UBC CGS-M research proposals from several disciplines, as well as a facilitated discussion with UBC master’s students about writing their successful CGS-M proposals.

Citation Practices in Academic and Professional Writing

All too often, citation is approached by students as a frustrating obstacle on the path to completing a writing assignment, rather than as an intellectual pursuit in its own right. Academic writing involves a complicated process of text integration, rather than mechanically following the rules of a particular style guide. No matter the citation style they are being asked to engage with, participants will come away from this workshop with a greater understanding of the purposes and functions of citations, as well as a pragmatic conception of how to apply that understanding in their own academic writing.

Common Academic Expressions in English: Basic Functions

Did you know that 40% of language production in English is formulaic, that is, made up of common expressions? However, producing effective writing in English can be challenging for many non-native writers of English. The good news is, these formulaic expressions can be learned. This workshop is designed for those who speak English as an additional language. In this workshop, participants are introduced to common expressions that perform a number of basic functions in academic English. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of how to use common academic English expressions in their writing, as well as the motivation and confidence to develop a larger repertoire of these expressions to further improve their academic English writing proficiency.

Common Academic Expressions in English: Making Connections

One of the major challenges that academic writers encounter is making connections within the text, for example, making comparisons and drawing conclusions. Rather than counting on readers to figure out the meaning of a difficult text, academic writing requires writers to make clear connections between ideas. In this workshop, we introduce a variety of academic expressions that are commonly used by academic writers to outline the overall structure of the text, or specify the relationships between sentences. At the end of the workshop, participants will walk away with an awareness of the writer-responsible nature of academic writing, and develop better facility with using academic expressions to connect ideas in their own writing practice.

Common Academic Expressions in English: Research Article Introductions

Writing an effective Introduction is not an easy task, especially for multilingual writers who speak English as an additional language. As a complement to the workshop “Research Article Introductions: Mind the Gap” this workshop introduces participants to common academic expressions characteristic of Introductions (e.g., background context, literature review, knowledge gap). Participants will walk away with a better understanding of common academic expressions that facilitate effective communication in the Introduction section.

Speaking as a Scholar: Telling Your Research Story

How does one give a successful academic talk? “Make eye contact,” “be confident,” “dress professionally”… The advice that we often receive tends to focus on the performance aspect of “presenting”, rather than viewing it as an opportunity to communicate and further our research. This workshop aims to help participants develop a better understanding of how to engage in scholarly conversations. By analyzing successful examples of academic talks, the facilitator discusses some of the essential elements of this academic genre and offers strategies for telling a successful research story.

Verbs for Citations: Moving From Paraphrase to Summary

“Study A showed that …” “Study B showed that…” Have you ever wondered how verbs like show function in describing and summarizing previous studies when writing your literature review, and what alternative verbs are available for you to tell your research story? By focusing on the use of reporting verbs in published research articles, the facilitator will discuss citation strategies in literature review writing that help you to move away from sentence-level paraphrasing, to summarizing and synthesizing from the larger understanding of previous research.

Writing an Annotated Bibliography: Synthesizing Multiple Studies

This evidence-based workshop introduces researchers to the typical structure of an annotated bibliography, while accounting for variations in purpose. Typically, the annotations aim to synthesize multiple studies, thereby enabling researchers to develop a discussion of the current field, and, if relevant, identify a potential knowledge contribution. Research shows that annotated bibliographies across disciplines typically consist of 3 parts: the full bibliographic citation; a relevant academic summary; a critical evaluation. But how do researchers synthesize multiple studies? What does it mean to write critical annotations? The workshop facilitator addresses these questions with real-world examples, while discussing this text as a type of literature survey or review with its own distinct patterns of organization.

Writing Statements of Intent and Purpose: Crafting Your Scholarly Identity

Graduate school applications typically include a statement of intent or purpose, whereby prospective students describe their research background and expertise and begin to map out a research plan. But how do emerging scholars craft their identity in this high-stakes document? Research shows that the scholarly identity prospective students construct in these statements must demonstrate the relevance and timeliness of the research proposal to the chosen discipline, as well as demonstrating researcher competence. Therefore, this workshop draws on scholarly evidence and uses real-world examples to introduce participants to the macro-organization and some of the typical stylistic features of statements of intent and purpose.

Writing with Integrity: Fundamentals for Emerging Scholars

How do I avoid plagiarizing? “Paraphrase,” “cite everything,” “stick to the style guide”… These answers, and perhaps the question itself, neglect the fact that academic writing involves a complicated process of text integration, rather than mechanically following the rules to avoid being accused of plagiarizing. Despite the widespread interest surrounding academic integrity, what constitutes academic integrity remains unclear to emerging scholars new to academic writing. Drawing on the most recent pedagogical research, this workshop will cover some fundamentals of academic integrity in the writing context.