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 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:

Have No Fear: Demystifying Introductions and Conclusions

There is nothing more terrifying than the blank computer screen. Many a writer has been derailed by the very basic question of what to write first and, later, what to write last. The process of crafting an introduction or conclusion does not need to be a horrifying experience. This workshop will attempt to figure out what good introductions and conclusions do, while offering some strategies to get you past your fear of starting and ending your work.
Mondays, September 22, 29, and October 6, from 11:00-11:50am

Let It Flow: How to Organize Your Writing

You have assembled all of the parts you need to build your paper, even tried to put them together, but so far the pieces do not fit together the way you thought they would. You’re frozen. As writers, we are often faced with that same frustrating feeling: we have the pieces we need but do not know quite how to thaw them out. In this workshop we will focus on strategies for constructing papers that make sense and flow logically. This workshop will show you how to identify all the pieces and give you the tools you need to put them together, allowing you to build your way to a strong finished paper.
Tuesdays, September 23, 30, and October 7, from 1:00pm –1:50pm

Breaking the Spell: The Meaning(s) of Line Breaks in Poetry

Long lines, short lines, lines that lay flat, lines that wobble, lines that begin a new idea, spill over, bring closure, stop too soon, never seem to end. With so many ways to make a line of poetry, how does a poet ever choose? In this workshop, we will read several poems by a contemporary poet and discuss some of the ways that lines (both individually and in groups) work to make meaning in a poem.
Wednesdays, September 24, October 1, and October 8, from 11:00am – 11:50am and
Thursdays, September 25, October 2, and October 9, from 4:00pm – 4:50pm

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.
Thursday, September 25, 3:00-4:00pm
Thursday, October 2, 3:00-4:00pm
Tuesday, October 7, 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.
Wednesday, October 15, 12:00-1:00pm
Tuesday, November 4, 4:00-5:00pm