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WCC Workshops Spring 2023

Research Slam 2023: Information Session

When: Wed, Feb 8th, 2023
Time: 3-4:30pm

Location: Zoom
(pre-registration is required to receive the link)

Register here

During this information session, Elena Kallestinova, Ph.D., Director of the WCC, in collaboration with Eric Grunwald, Director of the ELS, and Amanda, Cornwall, Assoc. Director of the Grad Student Professional Development in CAPD, will address why you should participate in this competition, how you can prepare and submit your application, as well as what resources can help you during this process. For more info about MIT Research Slam, check https://researchslam.mit.edu/


Deliver to Win – How to Present Your 3-Minute Talk Effectively

When: Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2023
Time: 3-4:30pm EST
Zoom (pre-registration is required to receive the link)

Register here

Would you like to enhance your presentation skills and learn how to deliver with impact? This activity-based workshop will help you build confidence as a presenter and will equip you with life-long tools to deliver your ideas eloquently, engagingly, and effectively. Come ready to participate!

This workshop is designed for everyone who wants to enhance their presentation skills, as well as those who plan to participate in the Second Institute-wide Research Slam Competition, featuring postdocs and PhD students. 

The workshop is offered by the MIT Writing and Communication Center. For more info about MIT Research Slam, check https://researchslam.mit.edu/

Previous Workshops

Joining the Conversation: Using Sources in Academic Writing

When: Thu, Feb 2nd, 2023
Time: 10-11:30am

Location: Zoom
(pre-registration is required to receive the link)

Register here

We use source materials in academic writing to provide background information, to support claims, and to establish credibility – in short, to join a scholarly conversation. But how do we incorporate sources into our work? Led by WCC Instructor and Communication Specialist Pamela Siska, this interactive workshop will cover the basics of citing, quoting, and paraphrasing, as well as more complicated topics such as common knowledge and self-plagiarism.

Revising Your Poetry

When: Wed, Feb 1st, 2023
Time: 10-11:30am

Location:
Building E17 room 136 (in person)

Register here

In this workshop, Susan Spilecki,  a published poet and a WCC Instructor, will explore ways to strengthen our poetry by capturing a reader’s mind and emotions through vivid imagery, dynamic language and careful use of rhythm, stanza and line structures. In addition to revising poems, you will have a chance to develop your own poetics: your own sense of what poetry is and should be.

Please bring 1-2 poems (hard copy) that you are willing to show to others and be willing to give and receive constructive feedback.


Writing Your Thesis Proposal in the Humanities and Social Sciences

When: Tue, Jan 31st, 2023
Time: 10-11:30am

Location: Zoom
(pre-registration is required to receive the link)

Register here

Before you write a dissertation, you are usually required to get the approval of a “proposal” or “prospectus.” In this workshop, Bob Irwin, Ph.D., a WCC Lecturer and Communication Specialist, and Elena Kallestinova, Ph.D., WCC Director, will address what makes a prospectus successful. Join us to learn how that smaller task can help you with the larger one.


The Nuts and Bolts of Writing a Master’s Thesi

When: Mon, Jan 30th, 2023
Time: 10-11:30am

Location: Zoom
(pre-registration is required to receive the link)

Register Here

Writing a master’s thesis requires advanced planning and cutting down the writing process into manageable parts. In this workshop, Zuhra Faizi, EdD, a WCC lecturer, will present an overview of the main parts of the master’s thesis to help you gain a picture of the whole process.


Styling Your Academic Writing (5-session series)

When: Mon, Jan 23rd through Fri, Jan 27th

Time: 10:00am- 11:30am

Location: Zoom (pre-registration is required to receive the Zoom link)

Register here

This five-session interactive series will equip you with the tools to take your academic writing style to the next level.

Part 1: Clear It Up (Mon, Jan 23rd, 10-11:30am)
In this session, you will learn how to clarify your meaning in complex sentences.

Part 2: Cut It in Half (Tue, Jan 24th, 10-11:30am)
Your next step is to learn how to cut down your word count so that every word matters.

Part 3: Help It Flow (Wed, Jan 25th, 10-11:30am)
It is also important to enhance the flow and coherence of your sentences and paragraphs.

Part 4: Use Good Words (Thu, Jan 26th, 10-11:30am)
To enhance your style, add “good words” to increase clarity and thick description.

Part 5: Make It Sing (Fri, Jan 27th, 10-11:30am)
Academic writing does not have to be boring and insipid. Here you will play with sentences, explore rhetorical devices, and have fun with punctuation.

This series will offer diverse and creative methods for styling writing. We will engage with examples from academic, technical, and creative writing to get us thinking about the context of “good style.” It is tailored to suit the needs of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars across disciplines as well as researchers and other scholars. We encourage you to attend all sessions of the series, but you are also welcome to sign up for separate sessions.

Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Productive Writing (4-session series)

During this four-session series, we will address topics that can help you avoid common pitfalls and become a productive writer.

Session 1: Building a Supportive Community for Feedback and Motivation (Tue, Jan 17th, 10am, Zoom)

Session 2: Managing Your Time and Expectations (Wed, Jan 18th, 10am, Zoom)

Session 3: Constructive Procrastination as Part of a Healthy Writing Process (Thu, Jan 19th, 10am, Zoom)

Session 4: Tackling Imposter Stress (Fri, Jan 20th, 10am, Zoom)

Register for the sessions of the series here

Below is information about each of the sessions in this series.

Session 1: Building a Supportive Community for Feedback and Motivation (Tue, Jan 17th, 10-11:30am)

This workshop will provide an introduction to the concept of peer review writing groups: small groups self-organized specifically as a space for workshopping drafts, staying on track with writing projects, and practicing scholarly communication with colleagues. In this workshop, you will learn about the advantages of peer review writing groups and the best practices for establishing your own group. Amy Cheung, Ph.D., a WCC Instructor and Communication Specialist, will cover different possible models and the “predictable pitfalls” that can occur in sustaining a group and running meetings. We will also introduce tools and resources you can apply to support structured and constructive ways of giving and receiving feedback on writing.

Session 2: Managing Your Time and Expectations (Wed, Jan 18th)

Writing a dissertation can seem distinct from earlier work, with fewer deadlines, less structure, and less contact with others. At the same time, tackling this bigger project can be seen as a continuation of previous work, but one with more options for choice. During this workshop, Betsy Fox, Ph.D., a WCC Instructor and Communication Specialist, will offer suggestions on managing time, being productive, and making the long-distance journey of a dissertation more comfortable and companionable.

Session 3: Constructive Procrastination as Part of a Healthy Writing Process (Thu, Jan 19th)

Society tells us that procrastination is bad, when in fact it can be a useful part of the writing process. In this workshop, Susan Spilecki,  a WCC Instructor and Communication Specialist, will help you brainstorm all the specifics of your individual writing process, from the beginning of a project to the end,  and discuss the usefulness of different strategies for different people. By reflecting on the way individuals actually learn, synthesize ideas, write, and revise, we can make our own processes more effective. Getting to know what you need for your particular process puts you in control of it, rather than letting it control you. In addition to gaining a better understanding of your existing writing process – and how you actually procrastinate constructively – participants will leave with resources and tools to better manage your process.

Session 4: Tackling Imposter Stress (Fri, Jan 20th)

Imposter stress–the persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud–is real and can influence students’ and scholars’ progress, timely project completion, and general wellbeing. In this workshop, Elena Kallestinova, Ph.D.,  WCC Director and Communication Instructor, will help you understand imposter syndrome and equip you with resources to tackle its negative effects.


Crafting a Compelling Abstract

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When: Fri, Jan 13th, 2023
Time: 10-11:30am

Location: Zoom
(pre-registration is required to receive the link)

Register here

For your paper to be successful, people have to actually read it. A compelling abstract is essential for capturing readers’ attention and making them want to read more. But writing an effective abstract is challenging because you need to summarize what motivated you, what you did, and what you found, in a small number of words. In this workshop, Thalia Rubio, a WCC Communication Instructor, a technical writer, and a textbook author, will analyze sample abstracts, discuss editing strategies, and guide you through revising abstracts. You will leave with a better understanding of how to write a strong abstract that clearly presents your research.


Writing a Literature Review (2-session series)

Session 1: Organizing your literature review (Wed, Jan 11th, 10-11:30 am, virtual)

Session 2: Writing your literature review (Thu, Jan 12th, 10-11:30 am, virtual)

Location: Zoom
(pre-registration is required to receive the link)

Register here

Conducting and writing a literature review is a daunting multi-step process. In this two-session series, WCC Lecturer and Communication Specialist, Chris Featherman, Ph.D., will demystify the process of literature review writing by addressing how to organize your literature review (in the first workshop) and how to write it (in the second one). Through this hands-on virtual workshop, you will learn and practice how to launch your literature review process, synthesize your sources, and craft your narrative.


Strengthen Your Writing through Revision and Editing

When: Dec 6th and 7th
Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm EST

Location: E19-202 (50 Ames St.)

During this two-part workshop series, WCC Lecturer and Communication Specialist, Chris Featherman, Ph.D., will teach you skills and strategies that will help you enhance, sharpen, and refine your writing projects.  

Session 1: How to Revise: Strategies for Focusing and Improving Your Writing Project (Dec 6th, 2-3:30pm, E19-202, 50 Ames St.)

Revision is more than just a stage in the writing process. It’s an opportunity—to focus, develop, even discover what you want to say and how to best connect with your audience. In this interactive workshop—the first in Strengthen Your Writing,  the WCC’s new, two-part workshop series on revising and editing—you’ll learn practical revision strategies you can apply to any writing project so you can make the most of your communication opportunities.

Session 2: How to Edit Your Writing
(Dec 7th, 2-3:30pm, E19-202, 50Ames St.)

Editing, a crucial latter step in the writing process, means more than just checking your draft for errors. When writers edit well, they help readers better understand and appreciate their ideas by turning tangled, thorny sentences into a well-tended garden. In this hands-on workshop—the second in Strengthen Your Writing, the WCC’s new two-part revising and editing series—you’ll learn and practice editing strategies that will make your sentences clear, concise, and cohesive so your writing and thinking can bloom.