Writing/Speaking in the Humanities & Social Sciences

Thesis Writing in the Humanities & Social Sciences

This workshop will give an overview of thesis writing in the humanities and social sciences. Thesis writing is a unprecedented challenge in the life of a graduate student; the task of writing a full-length work based on one’s own research requires new and different skills. In this workshop, we will discuss the elements of a thesis, highlighting the specific challenges associated with each. We will also discuss approaches to productivity that can help during the thesis writing process.

Mastering Punctuation & Why It Matters

The role of punctuation in constructing meaning is a very important, but often forgotten, element of academic writing. This workshop will examine how the effective and proper use of commas, semicolons, colons and other punctuation helps readers to understand the ideas you are trying to communicate.

Editing Your Own Work Effectively

While everyone knows that they should leave time for editing, not everyone knows the best way to approach the task of editing. This workshop will offer concrete advice on improving the first draft of an academic paper. We will begin by discussing the need to clarify the different types of editing, before going on to some general strategies to improve the editing process.

Preparing to Publish

Whether ready to publish or not, every graduate student benefits from thinking about the publishing process. In this workshop, we will discuss the basic genres of academic writing (e.g., journal articles, books, textbooks, book reviews) and outline the ins and outs of getting your work published. The focus will be on the information that all students should have as they think about the eventual publication of their work.

Metadiscourse: What It Is and How to Use It to Improve Your Academic Writing

Because academic writing is often complex, expert writers must help readers negotiate their texts by going beyond the essentials of organizing material effectively and expressing it clearly. Metadiscourse is a key writing tool to help your audience grasp the ideas in your work. As opposed to ‘content’ information (i.e., what your research concerns) metadiscourse, by writing about your evolving text, guides readers in a way that both facilitates understanding and ensures that your work is read the way you intended. This workshop will look at the various types of metadiscourse and consider how to best use it to improve your writing.

Writing Literature Reviews

Whatever sort of writing you’re doing at graduate school, in various writing tasks such as articles, course papers or the thesis chapter entitled ‘Literature Review’ you’ll need to be able to review the literature of your field effectively. This workshop will explore this genre of academic writing, identify common pitfalls and examine strategies to maximize your lit review’s effectiveness.

Making the Most of Oral Presentations

Whether you are preparing for a graduate seminar, an academic conference, a job talk or a thesis defence, this workshop is designed to help you improve your oral presentation skills. Topics discussed will include overcoming nervousness, designing effective visual support and handling questions.

Using Outside Sources in Your Work

Almost all graduate research and writing is built upon work that has come before. This workshop looks at how to best integrate the ideas of others into your work. Topics covered will include how to avoid plagiarism, the mechanics of paraphrasing, how to smoothly integrate quotations into your prose and how quote effectively and not lose your own “voice.