Student Workshops

Thesis Boot Camp                                                      

The thesis boot camp is a modular 3–15 hour curriculum that can be expanded or condensed to meet the needs of the community. Combining instruction, discussion, and writing exercises, the thesis boot camp is an intensive writing clinic that allows students to apply writing concepts and information to their own work. The boot camp is appropriate for master’s and doctoral students in all fields who are at the proposal stage or who have worked on their first few chapters. Students will leave with a framework of their first three chapters and tools to structure and manage their writing process. Units may be selected according to the needs of the program.


Basic Training Advanced Training
·      Sense of purpose

·      Technical systems

·      Healthy writing habits

·      Support and accountability

·      Advising and mentoring

·      Positive scholarly identity


·      Introductions

·      Advanced reading and annotation skills

·      Literature review

·      Methodology

·      Writing about and using theory

·      Discussion / Findings

·      Narrative choices

Find the Gap: Moving from Summary to Synthesis in the Literature Review 
It’s time to stop reading and start writing! You know you’re supposed to find the “gap in the literature” and synthesize the existing research in your field, but how do you do this in writing? This workshop takes an in-depth look at how to organize your literature review and narrate the relationships, connections, and trends you see in the literature of your field. Learn how to articulate the gap you see in the literature and explain how this gap justifies your work. Take home tools and templates for organizing and writing your literature review.

Navigating Academic Culture and Identity 
Graduate degrees are becoming a threshold for entry into many professions that did not use to require them. Students of color at all socioeconomic levels may experience isolation, “imposter syndrome,” first-generation status, and a lack of mentors in their racial-ethnic group. Students of low socioeconomic status may face the additional hurdle of having been educated in under-resourced schools. This workshop provides a welcoming space to discuss navigating academic culture, communicating with faculty and advisors, finding community, staying sane, and thriving in graduate school.

Telling the Story of Your Research in Academic Writing 
Your research does not speak for itself. In fact, making research and findings intelligible depends on carefully structuring your paper, thesis, dissertation, or article so that the reader understands the context, has a sense of why they are reading, and knows what to expect. All academic writing follows a very predictable plot. Come find out how to structure your writing so that you keep your reader with you. We will consider issues including active and passive voice, the question of first person, narrative “signposts,” transitions, and more. Remember: In academia, a happy reader can often mean a finished thesis or a published article.

The Best Defense: An Offensive Strategy for Defending the Thesis or Dissertation

The thesis defense is a unique performance in academic culture. It is not simply a test of one’s expertise but also a test of one’s ability to communicate as a colleague and to demonstrate expertise. Students will learn how to prepare to communicate calmly and knowledgably, anticipate questions, and cope with performance anxiety. Get your game face on and prepare to take the field with clarity and confidence.

Advanced Reading Skills for Academic Writers

Many students find that after reading all of their sources for a paper, literature review, or thesis, they sit down to write only to realize that they have to start reading all over again. This workshop demonstrates how to add value to the reading process in order to boost comprehension and build a mental map of the literature. This is a hands-on workshop that uses examples and exercises to illustrate how much more efficient and effective the reading process can be.

To learn more or inquire about workshops, click here.

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