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“Working on Writing” or “WoW” is a series of workshops held on most Wednesdays. Over the course of the semester, these workshops tackle both big picture and sentence-level writing concerns to help participants strengthen their writing skills, no matter what their discipline or experience level. Check out our wide-ranging list of topics below, and feel free to join us for as many as you wish! Students, faculty and staff are all invited to attend workshops that are of interest to them. Registration is preferred, but not required.


WoW Wednesdays

Writing emails is a no-brainer, right? Guess again. Writing an email to a professor, advisor, or potential employer is a whole different ball game. In many cases, your recipient doesn't know who you are, and the identity you create in your email can and will set the tone for your relationship with the recipient during your academic career and beyond. This workshop focuses on helping you communicate in a polite and professional manner. You'll learn specific strategies for crafting effective, well-edited, professional emails, and also get a general introduction to the Miller Writing Center — a resource for all students and all writing. This is a great way to kick off your semester and get started on the "write" foot.
If you need to write a personal statement for a prestigious scholarship, graduate school application, or other endeavor, join us for this workshop before you submit your application. This hands-on workshop guides you through the process of understanding your goals, your audience, and the expectation for personal statements, and then using that understanding to do the deep thinking needed to craft an effective statement. By the end of the session, you can expect to have drafted your personal statement and obtained suggestions for revision based on peer feedback, so you can leave the room ready to finalize your piece and get that personal statement finished!
Have you ever wondered why it's so difficult to proofread your own work? Are you tired of turning in assignments only to have them returned to you with errors marked that you know you should've caught beforehand? Then this workshop is for you. During this hands-on session, you will quickly see why self-editing is so difficult, develop a series of strategies for self-editing, and practice those strategies on your own work! Bring a project you can use to test out your new skills.
Applications for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program are due at the end of the next month! Join us for this workshop to get the support you need to craft the most effective and compelling personal statement possible. During the workshop, you will go through the process of understanding of your goals, your audience, and the expectations for this personal statement. You will then use this understanding to do the deep thinking needed to craft an effective statement. There will be an opportunity for peer review during the session, which will give you the feedback you need to finalize your piece before the deadline.
Writing a literature review can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. This session will help you understand the goals of a literature review, develop strategies to analyze scholarly articles and relate them to your particular field of study, and practice strategies to pull your resources together and fold them into the story of your own research, creating a balanced and effective literature review.
If you're writing an IRB or just considering writing one, stop by this workshop to get the tools you need to avoid common pitfalls. The goal of this session is to help you gain a better understanding of common writing problems in IRB protocols, learn strategies for correcting the problems for the audience of the protocol, and understanding the importance of revising before you submit to the IRB review board. During the workshop, you will have the opportunity to apply these strategies to peer review your own IRB protocol draft, or draft a new IRB.
Designing a survey can be a challenge, but designing an effective one is often a real mystery. But never fear! This workshop solves the mystery by providing insight into common problems in survey development and validation. In this session, you will learn specific strategies for revising questions so that they are more effective and practice drafting questions and/or giving peer feedback using those strategies so you can get a hands-on experience that will make developing your next survey easier.
Understanding the difference between paraphrasing and plagiarizing is critical when you're working with sources for your academic projects. This workshop clarifies what is and isn't appropriate when it comes to using sources, helping you think critically about what it means to use the work of others, so you can make better choices and avoid unintended plagiarism. By the end of the session, you will have an understanding of the fundamental principles of paraphrasing, quoting, and attribution; develop specific strategies for effective paraphrasing; and have the opportunity to apply these strategies to your own work — so bring a project to work on!
Whether you're an avid reader or only read when you absolutely have to, you're apt to discover that reading at the college or graduate level is a new kind of challenge. This workshop will help you stretch your reading skills to understand difficult material. We'll demonstrate how exploring, challenging, and unpacking difficult texts in writing can help you read with more understanding. We'll save time for you to practice these strategies on texts from your own classes or research, so bring an assignment with you.
It's easy to fall in love with elegant (but unnecessary) phrases you've crafted and difficult to edit the lengthy sentences you've labored over in your attempts to perfect your writing assignment. But in many cases, your writing will be much more effective if it is clear and concise. This workshop will help you develop specific strategies for making effective choices about language and style and allow you time to practice those strategies on your own writing, so bring a project to work on.
Communicating effectively in a multimodal project (like posters, ePortfolios, websites, presentations, etc.) requires more than just attention to the written word. Your project must also convey your message or argument visually in order for your audience to fully understand and engage with your message. This workshop will teach you design principles that will help you "think like a designer," allow you to practice those principles by analyzing and/or building texts, and engage those principles as you draft or revise your own project.
The end of the semester is fast approaching and soon you'll be focusing on writing for exams, for class, for comps, etc. Before you get started on this end of semester craziness, attend this workshop that takes you through the process of understanding the "rhetorical situation" of an exam. You'll learn to read exam prompts and questions actively, develop an effective writing process within time constraints, and learn specific strategies to manage these exam situations. Leave the session prepared to tackle those final exams with confidence!

Questions about WoW Wednesdays?

Contact the Office of University Writing at 334-844-7475 or email ouw@auburn.edu.