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: www.facebook.com/VCUWritingCenter.

Personal Statements: A Hands On Approach to Writing About You!
Sponsored in partnership with VCU Career Services

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 re-imagining 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.
February 24 at 3pm, Forum Room
March 2 at 3pm, Forum Room
March 25 at 11am, ALC 4100
April 7 at 11am, Virginia Room A
April 14 at 1pm, Alumni Boardroom

What am I Going to Write this Paper About?!: Tips for Choosing Meaningful and Strong Paper Topics You Care About

Have you ever been given an open-ended paper assignment and had no idea where to even start? For many of us, this can put the brakes on motivation. Do you ever think you must pick an “academic” but down-right boring topic, hoping to please your professor and earn you that A-plus? Think again! All papers are fueled by passion and personal interest, which spark creativity and make the paper-writing process that much easier.
In this workshop, we will develop strategies for selecting topics that interest both you and your reader(s) as well as brainstorm specific and significant issues surrounding your topic. We will then explore how to use potential counterarguments to your issue as springboards for developing your own unique and debatable claim. In doing so, you will learn how to successfully incorporate your voice into a scholarly conversation –just like that!
Rather than waiting for earth-shattering paper ideas to fall from the sky, this workshop will teach you how to systematically brainstorm topics and issues by beginning with your individual interests. Anything can be made into a paper, so come to this workshop and learn how to put the YOU back into YOUR next paper.
Mondays, February 2, 9, and 16, from 11 am – 12 pm
Thursdays, February 5, 12, and 19, from 2 – 3 pm.

Peer Review and You: As Peer and Reviewer

Do you know how to be the best peer reviewer for your classmates? Do you know what type of feedback to ask for in peer review assignments? This workshop will present some ways to be a productive reader in peer review assignments. Students will receive feedback on a piece of their current writing as they practice peer review skills. Please bring a hard copy of a current paper to work with.
Thursdays, February 19, 26, and March 5, from 4 – 5 pm.

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 (lafloyd@vcu.edu).

There are no grad workshops scheduled at this time.