Menu

WoW Wednesdays Banner

“Working on Writing” or “WoW” is a series of workshops held on most Wednesdays that tackle both big picture and sentence-level writing concerns to help participants strengthen their writing skills, no matter what their discipline or experience level. Each session is an interactive workshop with time to practice the strategies learned, so please bring your assignments, writing drafts, projects, etc., as well as your laptop to fully participate.

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 opens in January.


WoW Wednesdays

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, and then provide time for you to practice these strategies on texts from your own classes or research, so bring an assignment with you.
When asked what makes a good piece of writing good, oftentimes the answer is, “It just flows.” But what does that mean? This workshop unpacks what it means for text to “flow” and identifies strategies to help you improve the cadence of your writing. During the session, you will learn how focusing on individual sentences can help you recognize and avoid choppy writing and awkward wording. Participants will have the opportunity to practice strategies that will help improve their piece of writing, such as varying sentence structure, making good decisions about word choice, and linking ideas together through effective transitions.
Writing a literature review can be intimidating, but this workshop offers strategies for breaking the process of writing a literature review into manageable sections and helps you learn how a literature review frames the original work you are doing in your research. During the session, you will have the opportunity to work within groups to directly apply strategies for analyzing scholarly articles (such as identifying structure through transitional words and phrases, annotating content, and using concept mapping to construct your ideas) to a piece of literature so you can approach your next literature review with confidence.
Academic writing doesn’t have to be stuffy and dry, and believe it or not, sometimes it is okay to use the word “I.” During this workshop we will analyze some writing samples to practice recognizing “voice” or style, and learn how writing in the first person works, and doesn’t work, in various parts of scholarly writing. Participants should bring a piece of writing to work on as there will be hands-on time to revise your piece or think about its voice or style.
The material you use when applying for a job — cover letters, resumes, CVs, personal statements, ePortfolios, etc. — are not just different templates into which you simply place your information. Rather, they are a representation of your identity, and your personal brand as you introduce yourself to potential employers. This workshop will help you work through each genre of job material individually while also helping you craft those materials into a coherent, synthesized message (or story) that effectively represents who you are as a potential employee. Bring your draft job materials and your laptop.
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.
Writing an IRB protocol can seem like a cumbersome undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re currently writing an IRB protocol (or thinking about writing one), join us for this workshop to gain a better understanding of common writing problems with IRB protocols and learn strategies to correct them. Members of the IRB will be available during the session to answer questions, and you will have the opportunity to apply the strategies learned to peer review your own IRB protocol draft or draft a new IRB protocol.
If you’re working on an ePortfolio for a class, job search, or graduate school application, join us for this workshop to learn strategies and gather resources to help you move from a draft to a more polished ePortfolio. During this session, we will discuss design principles to help you create an ePortfolio that is aesthetically pleasing and reinforces your message. We’ll also discuss common technology mistakes and how to incorporate some of the technical features of the platforms into your website. To participate, bring your ePortfolio draft (whatever you have ready) and your laptop.
Demonstrating effective writing and communication is a critical component of your ePortfolio, whether you’re preparing one for a class, job search, graduate school application, or any other purpose. During this workshop, we will help you create dynamic, meaningful reflections for your ePortfolio and determine how to refine your ePortfolio to create one cohesive story. Bring your draft (rough text, bullet points, or more complete drafts) and your laptop to participate.
Creating an effective survey requires more than just attention to the questions being asked; it also requires attention to the visual design. This workshop focuses on how to design your survey so that the directions are clear, it is easy to read and understand, and it displays appropriately across different devices. Bring a draft of your survey questions and your laptop to work on creating an effective design that will help make your survey a success.
Editing and proofreading your own work can be a daunting task. This hands-on workshop helps you determine what makes self-editing so difficult and arms you with a series of strategies for successful self-editing, such as tricking your brain to disrupt your natural autocorrect, developing a common error log, and reading a piece backwards or out of order to help identify errors. Participants will have ample time to practice the strategies learned on examples from the facilitator as well as their own work, so bring a project you can use to test out your new skills.
It’s easy to fall in love with elegant (but often 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 some cases, not only will your writing will be more effective if it is clear and concise, but you may need to tighten up your writing to meet a given word limit. This workshop will offer specific strategies and methods for revising writing to be more clear and concise and allow you time to practice those strategies on your own work, so bring a piece to work on.
The end of the semester is fast approaching, and soon you’ll be focusing on writing for exams, for class, for comps, etc. This workshop will help prepare you for this writing by taking you through the process of understanding how to read exam prompts and questions actively, developing an effective writing process within time constraints, and practicing specific strategies to manage exam situations. Leave the session with concrete strategies you can use to tackle your final exams with confidence.

Questions about WoW Wednesdays?

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