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Writing Week

Posted on 31 January 2017

Writing Week offers you the opportunity to help yourself with a variety of workshops and drop-in sessions to hone or learn new skills and develop your writing.

‌Update: new resources from Writing Week 2017

You can now watch video recordings of most of our workshops for the 2017 Writing Week - see the video links below to watch now.

Free your genius: Writing week

Sessions for Writing Week 2017

Mastering the text: note taking and analysis

Do you struggle to move from the ‘reading’ phase of your research to the ‘writing’ phase? Sometimes it’s difficult to get your thoughts in order after reading numerous articles, chapters and critics. We’ll show you various methods for taking notes, so that you can make the most of your time in the library. You will also learn a few ways to plan your essay or chapter and how to integrate quotations into your text. 

  • Monday 13 February 10.00am - 11.00am
  • Tuesday 14 February 1.00pm - 2.00pm
  • Thursday 16 February 11:00am - 12 noon
  • Friday 17 February 1.00pm - 2.00pm 

Watch now.

Posters with a Powerful Point, LFA 204/5

Informative posters are an increasingly popular way to share information and research work at conferences and exhibitions, but what’s the best application to use? Word? Publisher? Surprisingly good results can be obtained using PowerPoint which, although intended for presentations, shares many features with publishing applications. In this session we’ll explain and demonstrate what approach to use, how to configure PowerPoint and enhance the quality of your images and text. 

  • Monday 13 February 1.00pm - 2.00pm 

Get your grammar on!

Does grammar get you down? Do you see lots of notes in your feedback about tenses, punctuation and long sentences? Don’t despair! We’ll show you how to take your grammar to the next level. In this session, you will learn how to express yourself in a clear and concise way. We’ll brush up on important grammar and punctuation skills that will help you express your thoughts in writing. 

  • Monday 13 February 2.00pm - 3.00pm
  • Tuesday 14 February 2.00pm - 3.00pm 

Watch now.

Taming the Text Processor

Everyone knows how to use a Word Processor, right? Yes, the essential idea is very straightforward, but knowing how to take a structured approach when producing academic work can save time and enable you to make full use of the advanced features available. This hands-on session focuses on approaches to using both Google Docs and Microsoft Word that will be invaluable for ‘serious’ academic work such as a dissertation or thesis, not to mention your future career. 

  • Monday 13 February 2.00pm - 4.00pm 

Where is this going? How to structure your essay from the start

Have you ever lost your train of thought when writing and wondered, ‘Where is this going?!’ We’ve all been there, and that’s why we’re here to show you how to structure your essay from start to finish. Learn how to set the scene, write a compelling introduction and build your ideas from one paragraph to the next. We’ll show you the fundamentals of essay or chapter writing, so you can join the academic conversation in your field. 

  • Monday 13 February 4.00pm - 5.00pm
  • Wednesday 15 February 11.00am - 12 noon
  • Wednesday 15 February 5.00pm - 6.00pm
  • Thursday 16 February 4.30pm - 5.30pm
  • Friday 17 February 10:00am - 11.00am 

Watch now.

But can I give my opinion?

In this workshop you will explore how academic writing is all about forming your own opinion on a subject and then articulating your opinion persuasively. You will examine some essays and articles critically, to notice how authors treat ideas and facts objectively while at the same time leading readers to their conclusions. 

  • Monday 13 February 5.00pm - 6.00pm 

Find your voice and make yourself heard

Have you ever read an engaging academic article or chapter and wondered how you can write like that? We will show you how to do it! Good writing begins with understanding your audience and knowing how to communicate your thoughts effectively. Once you begin to think critically about your work, you can write it. We’ll also provide tips on how to proofread your own writing, so you don’t have to keep asking a friend to read your essay at the last minute. 

  • Tuesday 14 February 12 noon - 1.00pm
  • Wednesday 15th February 10.00am - 11.00am
  • Thursday 16th February 12 noon - 1.00pm 

Watch now.

Building Cites

In this workshop session we'll look at how we can collect, manage and cite references using reference management software. We'll take a look at two programmes: EndNote Online and Paperpile. Both systems are free to members of the University, but you will need to set up accounts in both cases.

What's covered: 

  • Collecting bibliographic records in EndNote Online and Paperpile
  • Managing bibliographic records in EndNote Online and Paperpile
  • Citing references in MS Word using EndNote Online 

More information about these programs can be found on our Reference Management Digital Skills Guide.

If you're able to set up accounts with these two programs in advance of the session, it will potentially save time on the day. The above webpage links to information on how to do this, or you can visit EndNote Online or Paperpile.

If you have problems getting set up, we can pick this up in the session as necessary. 

  • Tuesday 14 February 3.00pm - 5.00pm 

Let’s Get Critical! Taking an Academic Approach to Your Reading

This session will help you to understand the importance of taking an analytical approach to reading texts. It will explore how to evaluate sources effectively, and develop practical strategies to read in an efficient and critical manner. 

  • Wednesday 15 February 12 noon - 1.00pm
  • Friday 17 February 4.00pm - 5.00pm 

Watch now.

Pushing through perfectionism

If you: 

  • are too self-critical
  • put things off
  • try too hard
  • always find distractions
  • worry too much about your results and feedback from others
  • or simply don’t feel you are coping as well as you could with academic pressure, then this workshop may help. 

This workshop looks at the most common patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that affect academic achievement and performance, aiming to help with the recognition and modification of these patterns. 

  • Wednesday 15th February 1.30pm - 3.00pm

Watch now.

Pushing through procrastination 

  • Do you find it difficult to start a piece of work?
  • Does a nagging guilt spoil your leisure time?
  • Do you tidy your room, check emails or constantly find ways to distract yourself from your work?
  • Do you dream about handing in that 'perfect' piece of work?
  • Are you very self-critical about your ability to work?
  • Do you always find yourself panicking at the last minute?
  • Do you feel drained yet have nothing to show for it? 

If any of these questions resonate with you, come along. We can help you get to the bottom of your procrastination and find better ways to work. 

  • Wednesday 15 February 3.30pm - 5.00pm 

Watch now.

Writing as arguing

In this workshop you will examine how all academic writing means entering into an argument. You may want to take sides with some of the authors you read; you may want to disagree with some of them. Most of all, you will want to develop your own argument, whether in an essay, a dissertation, a thesis or any part of those texts. 

  • Thursday 16 February 10.00am - 11.00am 

Watch now.

Thesis and dissertations: planning and managing your writing

This workshop is aimed at Master students and PhD students. Come get some tips on how to get started, manage your time while writing a thesis, and how to plan and structure a thesis/dissertation. 

  • Friday 17 February 2.00pm - 3.30pm 

Watch now.

Referencing in your dissertation

Resident referencing expert, Stephen Gow, will run a session detailing the common problems and frequently asked questions students have with referencing in their dissertations. He will also dedicate time to answering your questions about referencing and more general elements of the dissertation process.

  • Friday 17th February 2.00pm - 3.00pm

Watch now.

How authoritative can I be?

In this workshop you will be asked to situate yourself somewhere in the academic world. Will you be near the centre, where you can write with great authority? Or at the very edge, where you have no authority? Or somewhere in between? You will examine some academic writing in order to understand how authors see themselves in the academic world. You will pay particular attention to the technique of hedging, noticing how to use this technique critically to show your readers where you think you are situated (or to reassure them that you are situated where they think you should be).

  • Friday 17 February 12 noon - 1.00pm

Supporting students with specific disabilities

A session for postgraduate students and staff to help you understand the issues and difficulties students with Specific Learning Disabilities (SpLD) face in making sense of and functioning in academia.

  • Friday 17 February 4.00pm - 5.30pm

Writing help all year round

Can’t make the workshops? You might want to chat to one of the following:

The Writing Centre

We offer Undergraduate and taught postgraduate students the opportunity to discuss all aspects of academic writing and together with them develop strategies to make improvements. Come along for a drop-in sessions or make an appointment. Find out more on Writing Centre pages.

Royal Literary Fund Fellows

Royal Literary Fund Fellows are professional writers themselves and provide a consultation service to help boost your confidence in your writing. If you would like some detailed practical advice about how to write more successfully, whether for an undergraduate essay, postgraduate dissertation or PhD thesis, contact the Royal Literary Fund Fellows

Centre for English Language Teaching

The Centre for English Language Teaching provides academic skills support courses in term time and one-to-one writing support, particularly relating to dealing with language issues and adapting to British academic approaches. Find out more on the Centre for English Language Teaching pages.

Academic Liaison Librarians

Your department has an Academic Liaison Librarian who can help you to find the right information for your essays and make the most of our range of online resources. Find their contact details in your department’s Subject Guide or book an appointment with a librarian at a time that suits you.