Graduate Writing Workshops

Through the fall and winter semesters, Writing Support offers workshops that all University of Calgary students can attend. These workshops are designed for students entering or enrolled in a graduate program.

Students studying

Writing Support

Taylor Family Digital Library, third floor

Contact info

Dr. Kendell Heydon

Writing at the graduate level series

Getting started

This workshop encourages graduate students to reflect on how their past academic experiences can help them take on these new challenges.
Throughout the workshop, students are asked to identify their learned academic skills (e.g., researching, reading, thinking, organizing, etc.) that can be adapted for the graduate experience. This workshop concludes with strategies for developing regular writing habits. Throughout the workshop, students are provided with a variety of approaches, which they can then apply to their specific discipline.

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Academic integrity and using sources effectively

At the graduate level, sources are used to clarify a future project, by discussing theory, methodology, or background information on a particular topic. Throughout this workshop, students are provided with a variety of approaches, which they can then apply to their specific discipline. The workshop also discusses various sentence structure patterns useful for summarizing research while avoiding plagiarism.

Key topics covered in the workshops are note-taking and reading strategies for writing effective summaries of scholarly articles, definitions of plagiarism and ways of properly paraphrasing research, and common sentence patterns used to discuss existing research or literature.

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Strategies for writing literature reviews

As part of your research process as a graduate student, you will be expected to produce a literature review that presents a synthesis of current knowledge in your field related to your project. However, a literature review is more than a series of summaries – it is a way to dive deeply into your research. This hands-on workshop offers approaches that students in diverse disciplines can use to identify and evaluate sources, and to organize their initial literature. The session will also cover rhetorical strategies students can use to write a literature review.

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Critical thinking and scholarly writing

This workshop will help students understand the structure of academic argumentation through claims, evidence and warrants. We will also consider a few critical thinking themes that form the blueprint for all academic writing. These include critiquing a position based on context/point of view, strength of evidence, flaws in reasoning and underlying assumptions. Students will have a chance to connect these themes to their own research.

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Developing research proposals

This session provides strategies on developing appropriate research questions, conceptualizing information surrounding a topic, and selecting a project scope that matches your timeframe. While noting differences across disciplines, this workshop discusses strategies students can use to begin the planning and drafting of a research proposal. Key features of the workshop include developing preliminary research questions, creating coherence between parts of the proposal, and revising for errors that prompt confusion or misreading. Please note that this session does not provide information related to preparing proposals for scholarship/funding applications.

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Revising for sentence level errors

Most students review, rewrite, and edit their documents (often more than they like to admit). This workshop will help students structure their revision process to become more effective at revising their documents. The workshop addresses various writing processes to help students become attuned to where they are most likely to make mistakes. Students are also encouraged to develop their own revision checklist, based on their experience with their own writing, as the workshop covers organizational, sentence-level, and surface level errors.

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Strategies for writing graduate scholarships and other applications

This workshop looks at strategies for writing statements of purpose, statements of intent and other documents typically associated with scholarship and program applications. The workshop highlights potential idea and organization strategies. The last part of the workshop focuses on perception management, particularly issues of style and tone. Students who attend can bring copies of their documents and get some structured peer feedback.

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