Workshop Your Writing

The Academic Writing Center

The Academic Writing Center provides UC students with free writing assistance.

Engineering, neuroscience, women’s studies—no matter what program you’re in, all graduate students have one thing in common: We have to write. There are as many different styles of writing as there are fields of study, so it can be difficult to know where to start. Heading in to the Academic Writing Center (AWC) is a great place to begin.

Through the free services offered by the AWC, you can make an hour-long appointment with a graduate tutor who will closely read your texts from any field of study. If you’re looking for more general instruction, the AWC offers writing workshops a few times every month.

Lindsey Kurz is a graduate assistant and English PhD student who leads these workshops. “It’s nice to be around people who are facing similar challenges,” she says. “I’ve taken dissertation writing workshops myself, and it’s very motivating just to be around other people that are doing similar work.”

The workshops are free, along with bagels and coffee—so check out Lindsey’s description of each workshop below, and get writing advice while you caffeinate! 

Get in touch with the AWC!

Langsam Library, fourth floor, room 401N

Fall hours of operation: 
Regular hours 
Monday-Thursday
9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Drop-in Hours
Monday - Friday
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday
Closed

Schedule an appointment online here or by phone at 513-556-3912

For additional information, please contact AWC Coordinator Dr. Joseph Cunningham at joseph.
cunningham@uc.edu

Writing a Dissertation Proposal

  • Tuesday, January 24 in Langsam Library 462 from 1-2 p.m.
  • RSVP Here
  • “These workshops are for everyone. I find templates for people in all different fields. Let’s say you’re in physics—I’ll show you what a physics proposal should look like, and what you need to include, because every field has different parameters.
    “Everyone in a PhD program will probably have to write a dissertation proposal. Oftentimes, it isn’t something that anyone has been told how to do. It’s a unique genre of writing that you’ve never done before and you’ll never do again. There aren’t really guidelines, so anyone in a PhD program that is going to write a proposal will benefit from this workshop.”

The Style of Graduate Writing

  • Wednesday, January 25 in Langsam Library 462 from 1-2 p.m.
  • RSVP Here
  • “This particular workshop is great for master’s students. We’ll highlight the differences between undergraduate and graduate-level writing. By this level, you know how to use most grammar rules. But there are some more advanced grammar mistakes that happen a lot.
    “We’ll also cover how to structure papers with long arguments. A big difference between undergraduate and graduate writing is the size of the document you’re writing. We’ll learn how to contain your research within this larger format.” 

Composing a Literature Review

  • Thursday, January 26 in Langsam Library 475 from 1-2 p.m.
  • RSVP Here
  • “Not all dissertations have a literature review, but most do. This could be a chapter in the dissertation, or sometimes included in the introduction. I was never taught how to do this—I’m in the fifth year of my PhD in the English department, and I write all the time, but we never covered literature reviews. They can vary between programs, but I’ve found examples of published literature reviews within different fields. It took me a little bit of digging to find these, so you’ll get to skip that research step.
    “This workshop will really emphasize how to structure a literature review. A lot of people struggle with organizing all of their documents, because you read so many, and you have to synthesize them all. I think this can be incredibly challenging. Figuring out how you will structure your review is the first and key step. I’ll share helpful tips on how other people have structured theirs, because there are a few different ways you can do it. We’ll help you wrap your head around compiling all of this information together.”
Lindsey Kurz

Lindsey Kurz is a graduate assistant and English PhD student who leads the writing workshops.

Developing a Research Question/Starting Your Dissertation

  • Thursday, February 2 in Langsam Library 475 from 1-2 p.m.
  • RSVP Here
  • “This workshop is specifically for PhD students, and covers the beginning stages of your dissertation. Master’s students are welcome to attend, but probably won’t have much use for the information unless they want to get a jump on dissertation writing.”

Creating a Teaching Portfolio & Teaching Philosophy

  • Thursday, February 16 in Langsam Library 475 from 1-2 p.m.
  • RSVP Here
  • “This workshop is for people who are going into teaching fields. All of the doctoral or master’s students that want to go into teaching at the higher level will probably have to write a teaching philosophy. This isn’t something we’re normally taught how to do, so we’ll look at examples and talk about how to structure these. If you’re going into education, you’ll get that training in your classes, but for people in other fields who are going into higher academia and will probably be teaching, it’s a good thing to get familiar with.”

Writing a Conference Paper & Abstract

  • Thursday, March 9 in Langsam Library 475 from 1-2 p.m.
  • RSVP Here
  • “This workshop can be very helpful for students new to the master’s programs. Unlike undergrad, you can be writing 15-page papers at the end of your classes. All of a sudden, you’re in this environment where your entire grade is based off of one paper, and it’s pretty daunting. We’ll cover organizing research, how to create an outline, and how to write a concise abstract so that you can submit to conferences. When I started my PhD, I didn’t know anything about conferences or how to write and submit an abstract. Getting involved with conferences is important to making contacts in your field.”

Writing the Introduction/Conclusion to Your Dissertation

  • Wednesday, March 29 in Langsam Library 475 from 1-2 p.m.
  • RSVP Here
  • “This workshop is specifically for PhD students, and covers the process of writing your dissertation introduction and conclusion. Master’s students are welcome to attend, but probably won’t have much use for the information unless they want to get a jump on dissertation writing.”

Publication for Beginners

  • Thursday, April 13 in Langsam Library 475 from 1-2 p.m.
  • RSVP Here
  • “This workshop is for any master’s or doctoral students who are trying to figure out how to find the appropriate journal for their work. There are so many journals out there, and so many different tiers of publication. Based on your field, there are a lot of different management tools you can use to keep track of where you have submitted your work. We’ll cover how to revise your document to be publishable, because sometimes you’ll have to shorten a long piece of writing, or cut your dissertation in half for an article. You’ll learn how to mold your work for publication and find the best place for submission.”

Written by Dakota Wright, Graduate Assistant to the Graduate School Office