Virginia Commonwealth University

Make it real.

Undergraduate and Graduate Workshops

Our workshops aren’t just about writing. They’re about curiosity and imagination, about using sources and expressing ideas, about being creative and thinking critically.

Led by experienced Writing Center consultants, each workshop offers an opportunity to work interactively on a particular thinking, reading, or writing skill. You don’t need to do anything to prepare for the workshop or bring anything except yourself and your interest. Workshops are open to anyone in the VCU community, and no registration is required.

Undergraduate Workshop Schedule

*We offer a variety of workshops throughout the fall and spring semesters on different topics such as turning a vague idea into a viable research question, understanding academic sources, and making the most out of personal statements.

*All workshops last approximately 50 minutes and will be located in the Writing Center satellite room of the Focused Inquiry Learning Lounge (FILL) on the 5th floor of Harris Hall. No registration is required. Current workshop information is also posted on our Facebook page:

Writing Center Spring 2014 Undergraduate Workshops–Round Three: April 9-28

“Inter-genre” Creative Writing Workshop
Monday, April 14, 21, 28 at 11:00am
Do you have a creative writing piece that needs a little extra feedback? Have you been considering taking workshops but not sure you want to commit? Maybe you’re just looking to get some new ideas for your writing? An inter-genre workshop is a great place for all kinds of writers to encounter new perspectives and engage with a new audience. Encountering new genres and getting feedback from writers in other genres leads to exciting results. We will begin workshops with “automatic” and collaborative exercises, then read and discuss your pieces. Make sure to bring 2-3 pages of unfinished work in ANY genre. Poets, playwrights, science-fictionists, surrealists, experimentalists, novelists, beatniks, essayists, and so forth at any and all levels of experience are welcomed.

De-stress About Structuring Your Paper: Organize Your Argument
Wednesday, April 9, 16, and 23 at 12:00pm
Facing the blank page is the thing most writers fear, even—especially?—in thesis-based research papers. All these ideas are swimming around in your head, but you cannot figure out where they belong on the page. This causes you to either get completely blocked or ramble through creating a vague, unclear research paper. When you have a clear picture of how to structure a thesis-based research paper, it not only makes it easier to get started, but creates a much more persuasive paper. Join us for this workshop to learn tools for structuring and arguing a convincing case, which in turn will decrease your writing anxiety!

Let’s Get Personal: How to Market Yourself in a Personal Statement
Thursday, April 10, 17, 24 at 10:00am
Oh no! You compiled all of your materials and now you have to—GULP!—write a personal statement. The prompt is so vague, and they only want 500 words or less. Where do you even begin? It shouldn’t be this hard, right? It’s just a scholarship essay-letter of interest-internship application- your future in med-law-grad school. Wow, that is intimidating, particularly when you’ve always been encouraged to “remove the “I”” from your writing. Never fear, a workshop is here; we will focus on how to go at that prompt, provide an appropriate engaging example, and do it in 500 words or less. By reimagining the personal statement as a marketing strategy, you will discover how to think about yourself and your experiences from a businesslike perspective. We’ll discuss how to sell yourself through descriptive, demonstrative, and extra concise language so the reader really understands why you’re the right choice.

Graduate Workshop Schedule

There are no graduate level workshops scheduled at this time. Please check back later or email questions to Brian McTague, Director of the Writing Center, at

No registration is required, but seating room is limited.