Workshops and Retreats

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


Annotated Bibliographies: Writing

This workshop introduces researchers to the typical structure of an annotated bibliography, while accounting for variations in purpose. Typically, the annotations synthesize multiple studies, help develop a discussion of the current field, and help 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 authors determine relevance? What does it mean to write critical annotations?

Workshop facilitators draw on research to address these questions, while discussing this text as a type of literature survey with its own distinct patterns of organization. Participants will write or revise an annotated bibliography and receive feedback from the workshop facilitators and other participants. Therefore, this workshop is most useful for those with an annotated bibliography underway.

Citing to Communicate: Who, What, When, Where, Why

All too often, scholarly citation is approached by undergraduates as a frustrating obstacle on the path to completing a writing assignment, rather than as an intellectual pursuit in its own right. This workshop aims to reframe that mindset by demystifying the who, what, when, where, and why of citational practices. 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 purpose behind citation, as well as a pragmatic conception of how to apply that understanding in their own academic writing.

The workshop is appropriate for undergraduates at any level, though first year students who have not yet taken “Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing” may wish to do so first.

CGS-Master’s Scholarship Workshop: Writing the Research Proposal

This virtual workshop is for undergraduate and graduate 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, discussions with writer-researchers of the successful proposals, opportunities for one-on-one writing consultations with staff from the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication, and extensive dedicated writing time, facilitated online.

Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing

This two-part workshop is for first-year undergraduates who are new to the types of scholarly communication they are expected to engage with at a research institution like UBC. Participants will be taught how to recognize and read different types of academic texts, and how to begin to produce their own versions of those texts for their classes.

You may find it helpful to read this blog post in preparation for the workshop.

Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference: Abstract Writing

Conference abstracts play a vital role in the communication of scholarly research. But how do writers communicate the relevance and legitimacy of their research to members of their discipline, and, importantly, to researchers in other disciplines? This workshop introduces undergraduate researchers to the typical structure of the scientific abstract across disciplines, while accounting for disciplinary differences and community norms. During the workshop, participants will write or revise a draft of their MURC abstract, and receive feedback from the workshop facilitators and other participants.

Personal Statements: Writing

The personal statement is written for admission to graduate and professional programs at academic institutions like UBC. But what does personal mean in an academic context? How do writers construct an appropriate professional identity? Research shows that personal statements must reflect the values of the profession, and that the personal self you construct in the statement must be a relevant self. That is, relevant to the chosen profession.

This workshop draws on research to introduce participants to some of the typical stylistic features of the personal statement, such as personal narrative, identity construction, and self-promotion, and includes dedicated time for participants to revise a statement and receive feedback from the facilitators and other participants. Therefore, this workshop is most useful for those with a draft of a personal statement underway.

Professional Communication: From Classroom to Workplace

In both the classroom and the workplace, the ability to communicate professionally is a valuable skill. This is especially true today, when so many of our interactions take place digitally through print and video. This workshop applies empirical research on “real-world” classroom and workplace scenarios to teach participants how to make informed decisions about their communicative choices and represent themselves in an appropriate, professional manner.