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.

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

How to be a Better Peer (Reviewer)

An important–and dreaded–stage in the drafting process is peer review. Teachers often employ this strategy after first drafts to offer peer-feedback on assignments, but are the peer comments really that helpful? One of the most difficult parts of peer review is figuring out what to address. Should I look at grammar, style, to content? How much should I mark up? This workshop will give students a language to address peer writing, and strategies to help students make the most out of peer review.
Tuesday, November 4 and 11 from 12:30-1:15pm and
Wednesday, November 12 and 19 from 11:00-11:50am

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).

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