Social Science Writing Project

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Student Workshops: Fall 2015

Fridays 2:00pm-4:00pm in Sierra Hall 386

September 25, 2015: Communicating Through Writing

Communicating Through Writing

Instructor: Miriam Neirick

In this workshop, participants will read a short, prize-winning essay that describes a non-profit organization founded by the essay’s author to combat maternal mortality in developing countries. The essay combines the genres of personal narrative, social observation, and knowledge transmission to communicate a series of messages. Students will work together to identify those messages and to consider whether, and how, the author communicates them effectively. Most excitingly, we’ll get a chance to see how the final essay developed out of an initial set of brainstorming notes, a rough outline, a first draft, and then a second draft, both of which the workshop presenter peer-reviewed. The workshop will emphasize the power of the writing process and the significance of close reading as a practice that will improve writing skills.

October 2, 2015: Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Instructor:Ed Jackiewicz

The statement, “A writer is anyone who writes,” adequately summarizes the theme of this workshop on creative writing.  Students and professors alike often struggle with putting those first words of an essay or research assignment down on paper. In this interactive session students will tap into their creative side and write without any rules.  The objective is to unleash the writing potential and creativity that lies within each of us.  I am often asked how one can become a better writer and the simple and not intentionally flippant answer is “to keep writing (and reading).” This workshop is one way to encourage writing in a safe, non threatening, ungraded environment. 

October 9, 2015: Reflecting on our Identity as Writers

Reflecting on our Identity as Writers

Instructor:Moshoula Capous-Desyllas

Participants in this interactive and creative workshop will have the opportunity to explore and self-reflect on their identity as writers. Through a series of experiential activities, students will come to a deeper understanding of how their identity as a writer informs their writing process and writing style. Students will engage in dialogue about how they write, how they feel about their writing and how they can move toward the writing identity that they aspire to embody.

October 16 Writing Using Statistical Methods

Writing Using Statistical Methods

Instructor:Lori Campbell

This workshop will focus on how to use statistics more effectively in writing. We will cover how to use statistics from other people’s research and how to write a paper using statistics from your own research. We will examine how to write about descriptive statistics, such as means, medians and percentages as well as some inferential statistics, such as regression analyses. Additionally, we will cover how to present graphs, tables and other visuals to the public. At the end, we will provide a helpful list of Do’s and Don’ts.

October 23 Writing Literature Reviews

Writing Literature Reviews

Instructor:Christina von Mayrhauser

This workshop will demonstrate and give students practice in writing literature reviews. We will first discuss and practice how to identify and analyze relevant literature. We will next practice translating the results of the analytical discovery process into a "literature review"  -- a body of text that typically forms part of an academic paper or research project proposal. Students will come away from the workshop having learned first hand that an effective literature review is a tool that can help them join scholarly conversations and figure out how they can contribute to those conversations, using analytical and writing moves typically employed across the social and behavioral sciences.

October 30, 2015: Quotations in the Academic Essay

Quotations in the Academic Essay

Instructor:Raquel Kennon

This workshop explores methods and best practices for quotation integration.  First, students will analyze citation usage in a variety of writing sources including published academic texts and student essays.  Second, we will discuss as a group how quotations are integrated in each sample.  Which citations are integrated smoothly?  Which ones are integrated poorly?  What are the differences?  Third, we will discuss the mechanics of quotation integration including capitalization, punctuation, citation length (few words vs. block), and the use of signal phrases.  Finally, we will consider discipline-specific citation styles and proper citation as a key component of academic integrity.   

November 6, 2015: A Social Psychologist's Tips for Tricking Yourself into Writing More

A Social Psychologist's Tips for Tricking Yourself into Writing More

Instructor:Debbie Ma

This workshop exploits basic psychological biases and tendencies to promote more productive writing habits. Participants will discuss research findings from cognitive and social psychology that describe why writing can be so challenging and provide tips for how we can set ourselves up for success.

November 13, 2015: Writing from the Heart: Embodied Writing

Writing from the Heart: Embodied Writing

Instructor:Sabina Magliocco

Ever wonder what makes writing vivid, immediate, and compelling? Often, it’s “embodied writing:” writing that draws from all five senses to communicate information to the reader. In this workshop, participants will learn to make their writing more powerful and informative by using embodied writing techniques. We will work on several exercises to practice incorporating information from the senses into our writing.

November 20, 2015: Outlining


Instructor:Lisa Ramirez

In this workshop, students will learn how to effectively incorporate outlines into their writing process. Students will be introduced to a general outlining format which they can use as a framework for their essays. Together we will discuss the challenges of writing outlines and how we can overcome them. Participants will practice creating outlines and we will deconstruct an essay back to its original outline form. Overall the goal is for students to understand that outlining not only helps in writing clearer essays but it also makes the writing process much easier.

December 4, 2015: Writing Times and Places

Writing Times and Places

Instructor:Mark Otten

Should I go the living room, the library, or... the beach? This workshop will be a practical discussion of when and where one might find it best to write.  For example, we have more stuff than ever to distract us from being productive: phones, iPads and laptops with notifications going off constantly, etc.  A collection of options will be presented for students to consider (e.g., hiding your phone for an hour, playing music - or not, writing with a buddy, finding the right time of day/night to write).