The Writing and Communication Center

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Crafting a Compelling Abstract
Jan/24 Mon 10:00AM–11:30AM

For your paper to be successful, people have to actually read it. A compelling abstract is essential for capturing readers' attention and making them want to read more. But writing an effective abstract is challenging because you need to summarize what motivated you, what you did, and what you found, in a small number of words. In this workshop, Thalia Rubio, a WCC Communication Instructor, a technical writer, and a textbook author, will analyze sample abstracts, discuss editing strategies, and guide you through revising abstracts. You'll also have the opportunity to begin developing your own abstract and will leave with a better understanding of how to write a strong abstract that clearly presents your research.

Literature Review Writing (2-session series)
Jan/06 Thu 10:00AM–11:30AM
Jan/11 Tue 10:00AM–11:30AM

Conducting and writing a literature review is a daunting multi-step process. In this two-session series, we will demystify the process of literature review writing by addressing how to organize your literature review (in the first workshop on Jan 6th) and how to write it (in the second one on Jan 11th). Through this hands-on virtual workshop, you will learn and practice how to launch your literature review process, synthesize your sources, and craft your narrative.

Spice Up Your Writing: Add Music, Personality, and Voice
Jan/21 Fri 10:00AM–11:30AM

Academic writing does not have to be boring and insipid. During this hands-on virtual workshop, you will play with sentences, explore rhetorical devices, and have fun with punctuation. Pamela Siska, a WCC communication specialist, instructor, and published scholar, will equip you with tools to make your writing spicy and exciting, and you will leave with a mission to start exploring your personal voice.

Styling Your Academic Writing (4-session series)
Jan/13 Thu 10:00AM–11:30AM
Jan/18 Tue 10:00AM–11:30AM
Jan/20 Thu 10:00AM–11:30AM
Jan/25 Tue 10:00AM–11:30AM

This four-session series will equip you with the tools to take your academic writing style to the next level. You will learn how to clarify your meaning in complex sentences (Part 1), how to cut down your word count so that every word matters (Part 2), how to enhance the flow and coherence of your sentences and paragraphs (Part 3), and how to add "good words" to increase clarity and thick description (Part 4). This interactive workshop series will offer diverse and creative methods for styling writing. We will engage with examples from academic, technical, and creative writing to get us thinking about the context of "good style.”

This series is tailored to suit the needs of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars across disciplines as well as researchers and other scholars. We encourage you to attend all sessions of the series, but you are also welcome to sign up for separate sessions.

Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Productive Writing: Building a Supportive Community for Feedback and Motivation
Jan/26 Wed 10:00AM–11:30AM

This workshop will provide an introduction to the concept of peer review writing groups: small groups self-organized specifically as a space for workshopping drafts, staying on track with writing projects, and practicing scholarly communication with colleagues. In this workshop, you will learn about the advantages of peer review writing groups and the best practices for establishing your own group. We’ll cover different possible models and the “predictable pitfalls” that can occur in sustaining a group and running meetings. We will also introduce tools and resources you can apply to support structured and constructive ways of giving and receiving feedback on writing.

Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Productive Writing: Constructive Procrastination as a Part of a Healthy Writing Process
Jan/19 Wed 10:00AM–11:30AM

Society tells us that procrastination is bad, when in fact it can be a useful part of the writing process. In this workshop, Susan Spilecki,  a WCC Instructor, communication specialist, and poet, will help you brainstorm all the specifics of your individual writing process, from the beginning of a project to the end,  and discuss the usefulness of different strategies for different people. By reflecting on the way individuals actually learn, synthesize ideas, write, and revise, we can make our own processes more effective. Getting to know what you need for your particular process puts you in control of it, rather than letting it control you. In addition to gaining a better understanding of your existing writing process – and how you actually procrastinate constructively – participants will leave with resources and tools to better manage your process.

Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Productive Writing: Managing Your Time and Expectations
Jan/12 Wed 10:00AM–11:30AM

Writing a dissertation can seem distinct from earlier work, with fewer deadlines, less structure, and less contact with others. At the same time, tackling this bigger project can be seen as a continuation of previous work, but one with more options for choice. During this workshop, Betsy Fox, a WCC Instructor and Communication Specialist, will offer suggestions on managing time, being productive, and making the long-distance journey of a dissertation more comfortable and companionable.

WCC Consultations are open during IAP 2022. Don’t wait -- schedule today!
Jan/03 Mon 09:00AM–06:00PM
Jan/04 Tue 09:00AM–06:00PM
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Jan/27 Thu 09:00AM–06:00PM
Jan/28 Fri 09:00AM–06:00PM

The Writing and Communication Center offers free one-on-one professional advice from communication experts with advanced degrees and publishing experience. The WCC can help you learn about all types of academic and professional writing and further develop your oral communication skills. You can learn more about WCC consultations at the WCC website and register with the online scheduler to make a remote appointment through https://mit.mywconline.com. Please note that the WCC hours are offered Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and fill up fast.

Writing Your Thesis Proposal in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Jan/27 Thu 10:00AM–11:30AM

Before you write a thesis or dissertation, you are usually required to get the approval of a “proposal” or “prospectus.” In this workshop, Bob Irwin, a WCC Lecturer and Communication Specialist, and Elena Kallestinova, WCC Director, will address what makes a prospectus successful. Join us to learn how that smaller task can help you with the larger one.