All events offered through the Center for Writing & Rhetoric are free and open to students, staff, and faculty. In addition to the events and webinars below, we often facilitate others as part of the First-Year Experience Program, New Student Orientation, ReOrientation, and the Big Pitch Competition, amongst others.
Workshops & Webinars
Big Pitch Information Session
September 9, 12 p.m. | Facilitated by Marcus Weakley, CWR Director
Learn all about the event from the changes for the virtual format to the rules for participation and criteria the judges use to assess the pitches to the structure of the preliminary and final rounds. We will also discuss all the deadlines, the dates for the series of preparative webinars being offered, and how to take advantage of all the support programs put in place for the event.
Writing Effective Thesis Statements
Wednesday, September 15, 12 p.m. | Facilitated by Katrina Denman, Senior Writing Consultant
This webinar will address the dos and don’ts of creating an effective thesis statement for research papers and other writing projects. It includes introductions to and brief exercises on thesis writing, including brainstorming, refining your approach, elements to include, and pitfalls to avoid. Whether you’re new to graduate school or writing a dissertation, this webinar will offer tips and suggestions for honing your thesis-writing technique.
Big Pitch Strategy Session
Monday, September 20, 3 p.m. | Facilitated by Marcus Weakley, CWR Director
Preparing a presentation that is limited to one slide and three minutes to a non-specialist audience is a unique challenge; doing that on a complex topic that is meant to be condensed but not dumbed down is even more so! This webinar will address a number of helpful strategies in approaching this rhetorical situation, from the use of narratives or themes to structure key ideas to how to insert real-life examples to how much technical information is appropriate.
Anti-Discrimination Workshop Series: Anti-Racism in the Writing Center
Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 12 p.m. | Facilitated by Anisha Ahuja, Writing Consultant
This webinar is an introduction to the Center for Writing and Rhetoric’s pedagogy and commitment to anti-racism and anti-discrimination. The CWR has transformed its approach to writing instruction to affirm all students’ writing styles and empower CGU students. This is the first of a workshop series being created and put on by the Anti-Discrimination Committee at the CWR.
Thursday, September 23, 12 p.m. | Facilitated by Marcus Weakley, CWR Director
A major part of academic work across disciplines is engaging with the work of other scholars. New work enters existing conversations or creates new ones based on what has and has not been done by others. Consequently, literature reviews are a common part of academic writing, so many graduate students are expected to master the genre. This workshop covers the purpose, structure, and mechanics of literature reviews as well as tips for organizing, integrating, and analyzing sources.
Turning Seminar Papers into Journal Submissions
Monday, October 4, 1 p.m. | Facilitated by Troy Mikanovich, Senior Writing Consultant
Writing a strong seminar paper is a good first step if you want to publish your work in an academic journal, but the process of getting there can be daunting and confusing. In addition to providing a general overview of the journal submission process, this workshop will outline a process for reworking the papers that you have written for class to prepare them for submission to an academic journal. The presenter, Troy Mikanovich, has served as the Assistant Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion (JAAR) and an Editorial Assistant for Reading Religion—feel free to bring questions!
Basics of Presenting
Tuesday, October 5, 12 p.m. | Facilitated by Anisha Ahuja, Writing Consultant
In this webinar, we will go over the basics of effective public speaking and presentations. The webinar is a brief overview of several elements of public speaking, including organization and structure or presentations, nonverbal do’s-and-don’ts’s, and tips for preparation. The material discussed is applicable for both face-to-face and asynchronous presentations.
Writing Dissertation Proposals in the Humanities
Wednesday, October 6, 12 p.m. | Facilitated by Katrina Denman, Senior Writing Consultan
You’ve finished your course work and passed qualifying exams – now what? This workshop will provide an overview of writing dissertation proposals in the Humanities, specifically in History, English, Cultural Studies, and Religion. It will offer guidelines on the structure and essential sections of the proposal, such as questions to be addressed, methodology, and chapter overviews. The workshop will also provide insight on integrating your quals work into the proposal, as well as serving as a forum for questions on the dissertation proposal process.
Coping with the Load: Time Management for Graduate School
Tuesday, November 16, 3 p.m. | Facilitated by Marcus Weakley, CWR Director
Effective time management involves a wide range of topics, so this workshop hones in on two areas that can have a strong impact for graduate students: developing a weekly planning system and creating sustainable new habits. Learn practical methods for developing new habits and explore options for how to create and refine a planning system that integrates days, weeks, months, semesters, and academic milestones.
CWR Writing Events
Weekend Dissertation Bootcamps
Dates for online Weekend Dissertation Bootcamps
- September 11 & 12
- September 12: Reflection Workshop
- November 13 & 14
- November 13: AXES Writing Tool Workshop
* All Bootcamps will be held from 8:45 am – 4:30 pm.
*Registration opens two weeks prior to each session.
*Each Dissertation Bootcamp features an optional workshop session for participants to develop various aspects of their writing process.
Can I come?
Current CGU students who are ABD are eligible to attend the weekend boot camps. Space is limited and application review is generally first-come, first-served — but we do consider other factors to ensure that as many students as possible can participate. Proposal and Master’s thesis students will be considered after all ABD students’ applications have been reviewed.
How do I know if i’ve been accepted to attend?
We normally notify all applicants of their status via email on the Wednesday prior to the weekend camp. If we are unable to accept you, we can place you on a waiting list and will notify you of any spaces that become available as soon as possible.
Mark your calendars! We are excited to offer additional opportunities for you to write with us! This year, we will be offering writing retreats–a single day writing session–for all students. These retreat days will follow the same schedule as Dissertation Bootcamp days.
Dates for online Writing retreats
- September 24
- December 4
- January 22
* All Writing Retreats will be held from 8:45 am – 4:00 pm.
* Registration opens two weeks prior to each session.
Students of Color Writing Retreats
The Center for Writing and Rhetoric has recently started offering Students of Color Writing Retreats. With a Writing Consultant facilitating breaks and debriefs, this retreat will be a collaborative space for students of color to mutually support themselves in all stages of the writing process and gain invaluable feedback for their work.
DATES FOR Students of Color Writing Retreats
- September 8
- October 17
- December 5
* All Students of Color Writing Retreats will be held from 8:45 am – 4:00 pm.
* Registration opens two weeks prior to each session.
Why participate in a writing group?
- Committing to a writing group helps to hold you and your peers accountable for showing up and working on your writing projects.
- Engaging with peers who are actively working on writing projects can provide a supportive atmosphere where you can share tips and tricks for best writing practices.
- The routine of setting goals each meeting can help you to create a habit of recording your priorities in a way that facilitates realistic daily task lists.
- Group discussions about the research and writing process provide a space for reflexive discussion that can aid in the development of a writing strategy toolbox to use when writing outside of your group meetings.
- The writing group provides a time and space to push your writing and explore other ways of approaching your writing project in a supportive setting amongst peers.
- Committing to a CWR Write-In or Self-Guided Writing Group requires that you are dedicated to the team of peers with which you write. It is important to maintain a regular meeting schedule that participants adhere to. This will help to get you writing on days you would rather procrastinate.
There are two ways to participate in a CWR writing group:
CWR Write-In Studio
Are you looking to join a community of scholars working on their projects in order to get motivated to complete your own goals? Students writing, reading, or studying in the coursework, qualifying exams, or thesis/dissertation phases are encouraged to join our CWR consultant-facilitated working hours. These sessions offer accountability and guided work blocks with a facilitated discussion about different aspects of writing in graduate school. This student-centered event provides space to students across disciplines and at different stages in their degree programs to participate remotely in a real-time study group virtually. Additionally, students can request 15-minute one-on-one breakout sessions to ask the CWR consultant pointed questions about their work or process. Show up with a project or deadline and the CWR consultant will help you navigate 2 focused hours of work and scheduled breaks. We look forward to guiding motivated work blocks with you. Please register for CWR Write-In Studio meetings in advance through Zoom.
Self-Guided Writing Groups
Do you and your colleagues want to start a writing group, but you aren’t sure how to begin? Learn how to facilitate writing, reading, or study groups with your peers with the assistance of a CWR consultant in order to amplify the effectiveness of your group. The CWR has developed an information session with practical tools to support your group in establishing successful work habits. To get started, email CWR@cgu.edu to request a visit from a CWR consultant to facilitate an introductory session with your group. We will connect in order to bring you the tools you need to succeed in maintaining a productive learning community with your peers. You will receive practical guides about how to run a working group as well as some tools for setting goals and planning long term projects.
Email CWR@cgu.edu with subject line “Self-Guided Writing Group” in order to schedule an informational visit to your writing group meeting by a CWR consultant.
Qualifying Exams Preparation Weekend
For most doctoral degrees, qualifying exams are the first major milestone that must be completed after coursework. The challenge of demonstrating breadth of knowledge in a field as well as preparedness for a culminating project is complicated by the shift in structure of the post-coursework phase. One proven method of maintaining productivity and motivation during this transition is to participate in community events that are designed to reduce distraction, facilitate peer engagement, and provide a source of accountability.
The Center for Writing & Rhetoric is happy to announce that in addition to our dissertation bootcamps, writing retreats, and writing groups, we will now also be offering an event just for students at the qualifying exam stage. Designed for students doing timed exams, written assignments, dissertation chapter drafts, and portfolios, the event will provide the options of either dedicated work time with peers or a combination of work time and facilitated sessions on exam preparation topics.
DATES FOR qualifying exams preparation weekend
- September 25 & 26
* All Qualifying Exam Prep Weekends will be held from 8:45 am – 4:00 pm.
Summer Dissertation Bootcamp
How is it different from the weekend boot camp?
The Summer Dissertation Bootcamp is a 5-day writing event that lasts from 8:15 am to 4 pm each day. During this time, you will work with peers at a similar stage as you in structured writing blocks. Through communal lunch conversations, guest visits, and workshop sessions, you will dedicate 25 hours of work time to your project while also learning strategies for the writing process. Students who have attended this event in the past have had great success in gaining momentum to complete their dissertations.
Can I come?
Like the weekend bootcamp, there is an application process for the week-long bootcamp, but it requires submission of a detailed work plan and confirmation from your advisor that you have discussed your plan with them. Beginning this year, our summer bootcamp is open to folks at both the dissertation and dissertation proposal stages.
How do I apply?
- Eligible students must submit an application which includes a brief statement on how you hope to benefit from the Boot Camp and a detailed Writing Plan for the week.
- You should discuss your proposed writing goals with your dissertation chair.
- Your chair must email us at email@example.com with approval of your writing plan for the 5 days.
LGBTQ+ Writing Retreats
The LGBTQ+ Writing Retreat will offer queer and trans students the chance to build community with one another and attend a mid-day mini workshop. Students will also have time to work independently with a CWR consultant on call for advice for folks at any stage of the writing process.
- October 24: 8:45 am – 4:00 pm
CWR Collaborative Events
CWR Sista Citizen Takeover: Black Solace Virtual Writing Retreats
The CWR has teamed up with Sista Citizen to bring you the Black Solace Virtual Writing Retreats. These retreats are a black-centered space for students that will occur monthly over the Fall semester and have work blocks, a community lunch, and various break rooms featuring an art gallery, playlist, and meditation space. Come for as many or as few blocks as you like and make progress on your projects in an affirming and productive space. A CWR writing consultant will also be on-hand to co-facilitate and provide short consultation sessions.
Dates for Black Solace Virtual Writing Retreats
- October 10: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
- November 7: 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
- December 5: 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
THRIVE + CWR Workshops
The CWR will be hosting a workshop series at the THRIVE Fall Summit intended to cultivate a space for students of color who may be experiencing a lack of belonging or disconnect from being able to identify as scholars and writers. These two workshops will include exercises of self-reflection and engage the work of minority writers like James Baldwin and Gloria Anzaldúa.
“Finding your Writer-Identity” (Hybrid), October 12: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
This is the first of a two-part workshop series from the Center for Writing & Rhetoric’s Anti-Discrimination Committee. This workshop series is intended to cultivate a space for students of color who may be experiencing a lack of belonging or disconnect from being able to identify as scholars and writers. This will be a multimodal workshop that includes exercises of self-reflection on your relationship to your writing. In this workshop, we will engage with work from minority writers like James Baldwin and Audre Lorde on what it means to write from a marginalized position.
“Embracing Your Writer-Voice” (Hybrid), November 9: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
After reflecting on your own identities as writers, the next step is to determine how your voice comes through in your writing. This workshop will guide you in how to identify when and where to add your voice into the writing process, and what type of writing style suits your own form of expression best. We will read the work of minority writers like Gloria Anzaldúa and reflect on how marginalized people embrace their voices as writers.
Intercollegiate Feminist Center Workshop
“Zine Making Workshop” (Hybrid), December 3: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Get creative in a feminist zine writing workshop with the CWR to flex your artist activist muscles! Learn tips and tricks to the trade and enjoy a brief workshop on the genre of the zine. Then engage in a guided zine writing activity with members of the 7C community. If you join virtually, all you need is an 8X10 piece of paper, writing utensils such as pens, pencils, or markers, and scissors. In-person attendees will be provided with the materials to make their zine live. Feel free to bring along your favorite feminist quotes or images to integrate into your zine.
In-Person Location: Scripps College, Vita Nova 100, 385 E. 9th St., Claremont