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

Our workshops last approximately 50 minutes and are held 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:

Reading and Analyzing Academic Writing

No matter what your field is in college, reading and analyzing academic work is an invaluable skill that you have to exercise every day, whether you’re reading something for class or whether you’re doing independent research for a paper. This workshop will give you some tools to read more strategically and critically so that you can get the most out of your reading in an efficient manner.
Tuesday, October 14 and 21, from 12:30 – 1:20pm and Monday, October 27, from 2:00 – 2:50pm

It’s a Small World: The Poem as Microcosm

How is a poem like a Petri dish, a snow globe, a spaceship, and a seismograph, all at once? In this workshop, we will read several poems by several established poets and discuss the ways that poems can act as miniature worlds, both part of and separate from the physical world we ourselves inhabit.
Wednesday, October 22, 29, and November 5, from 11:00-11:50am and
Thursday, October 23, 30, November 6 from 4:00pm – 4:50pm

Finding Good Topics: Writing With Enthusiasm

We have all encountered vague writing assignments with open-ended topic choices. Sometimes we are asked to write about “one of the topics we’ve covered in class” or an issue we “feel is important.” These guidelines can be frustrating, and it is tempting to choose the topic that we think will yield the most information, or one that is more “academic” than others. This often leads us to write about subjects that we aren’t legitimately interested in, resulting in lifeless papers that don’t resonate with the reader. In this workshop we’ll discuss ways to choose topics that we are enthusiastic about, and how to convey that enthusiasm within the parameters of the assignment.
Thursday, October 23, 30, and November 6, from 1:00-1:50pm

Graduate Workshop Schedule

Grad workshops are held in Blair House, 408 W. Franklin St., room 109. Seating is limited, so please contact Lori Floyd-Miller to register (

Start Making Sense: Writing Strong Reflective Essays
In reflective writing, the writer is trying to convey the thinking that has been done while carrying out a particular practical activity, such as performing an experiment, teaching a class, or selling a product. Through reflection, the writer should be able to make sense of what was accomplished and why—and perhaps help him or herself, or other writers, do it better in the future.
Tuesday, October 28, 10:00-11:00am

Selling Your Work: Writing Effective Abstracts, Introductions, and Proposals
Selling your work involves getting the critical distance necessary to think from the reader’s perspective. Abstracts, proposals, and introductions can all be seen as specialty documents created for readers and with a specific purpose. Our goal today is to give you a conceptual model for understanding and meeting readers’ needs.
Tuesday, November 4, 4:00-5:00pm