Workshops

These workshops bring together the “seven disciplines” of Writing Process Reengineering and the “unfiltered” approach to peer feedback. There is no required preparation for the workshops, except perhaps to think of some topic you might want to write about. If you’re interested, either before or after attending, you might find the “How to Write” video lecture useful, or the “How to Write” talk that is part of the Art of Learning series. You might also read the post on “how to write a paragraph” and my essay on how to write at university (PDF). But none of this, like I say, is required. Just be prepared to follow instructions during the workshop and do some writing.

CBS students can sign up for on-campus writing workshops (Thursday mornings from 9:50-11:30) in the CBS Library course calendar.

Or you can participate in this video workshop. (I have left in 2 + 3 + 2 + 10 + 10 + 5 = 32 minutes of guided writing activity so you can simply work along with us as if you were there. If you do this with a partner, you have someone to do the feedback with at the end as well.)

Video of the November 10, 2022, Workshop

In the workshops we generate an idea, compose a paragraph, and edit it. We then give and receive feedback and discuss the whole process. Our aim is not to render judgment on your writing but to provide you with an experience of writing and being read that will be of use to you going forward.

The workshops last an hour and forty minutes and you are welcome to return as often as you like.

The advanced workshops (which run in the spring semester) have a similar structure but require a bit of preparation before arriving. Participants should be familiar with the approach of the workshops (having attended two regular workshops should suffice). They will be asked to prepare a key sentence the day before and bring whatever notes and sources they will need to compose the paragraph with them to the workshop. This preparation should take no more than 10 minutes but should be completed the day prior to the workshop.

You can sign up for both the regular and advanced workshops through the CBS Library course calendar. New dates (for the coming 8-week period) are added four times a year, around week 42, Christmas, Easter, and early August.

As your writing improves you may want to set yourself specific challenges. You should always pick challenges that interest you, but you might find my “How to imagine…” (“…concepts”, “…facts”, “…acts”, “…science”, “…dragons”) series useful. You are trying “find the difficulty”, “the pocket” for you and your reader.

Eventually you’ll want to put these skills together in longer texts. Perhaps the posts on “How Papers Work” and “How Essays Work” will help you get a handle on it. And there’s the Craft of Research session on “How to Structure a Research Paper”.

Video of the November 3, 2022 workshop