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Writing Center Workshops

We have an extensive menu of 30-minute workshop topics designed to refresh your knowledge of writing, grammar, and formatting concepts you have learned over the years.


Faculty, staff, and students can request an in-person or online workshop during class time or a consultation session Monday-Friday between 9:00AM-6:00PM. For online workshops, the Zoom link will be sent via email once the workshop is scheduled.

You can call 757-823-2271 or email for additional information.

Basics of Good Writing

This session is a refresher for what professors expect in college essays. Quick tips for writing a standard essay include basic essay format, thesis development, and basic grammar pitfalls to avoid.

crafting good thesis statements
More is expected in college for writing sophisticated thesis statements. This workshop will move you beyond writing the “laundry list” style thesis statements and provide opportunities to apply strategies that will help you craft thesis statements that are focused, clear, and concise.

better brainstorming and essay planning
Having trouble getting started? Can't come up with any ideas for your essay? This workshop will offer strategies and practice for brainstorming and outlining a plan that will move you and your paper forward.

APA & MLA Basics
In the sciences, the APA citation style is used for major papers. The humanities use MLA. This workshop will help students learn how to locate resources that aid in documenting different types of sources, formatting different types of papers, and avoiding plagiarism for APA and MLA style papers.

avoiding plagiarism
No student will escape college without citing evidence in assignments. Knowing how to identify when information should be cited is a skill crucial to successful writing. This workshop will teach you how to differentiate between common knowledge and information that must be cited to avoid plagiarism.

writing lab reports
You have just been assigned to write a lab report, but you don't know where to start. What sources should you include? What is passive voice? What does a lab report even look like? This workshop will answer your questions and show you how to write a lab report that works for every experiment.

writing abstracts
Both professional and student research articles in APA style require abstracts. This wokshop will help you organize and write your abstract, reviewing best practices in use by professionals in the field.

formatting papers in word and docs
You will use both Microsoft Word and Google Docs throughout college, but how well do you really know it? This workshop covers the basics of paper format as well as teach you how to use the powerful editing and writing tools that both platforms use, including Track Changes, Voice Typing, and formatting images.

correcting run-on sentences
Do you keep seeing comments from your professors about too many run-ons and comma splices (aka fused sentences) in your essays? This workshop will illustrate what causes these errors and offer a strategy to eliminate them from your papers. A “tip sheet” is available at end of workshop.

multi-paragraph essays
How do you know when to begin a new paragraph? In this workshop, you will learn the components of multi-paragraph essays and strategies for drafting introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions.

how to analyze research articles
Research is the foundation of academic inquiry, but research articles are notoriously difficult to understand. This workshop will teach you the tricks to navigating and understanding published research.

eliminating awkward sentences (parallel structure)
In this session, learn how writers fall into traps where they make unintentional errors like faulty parallel structure (awkward sentence structure). Knowing how these errors usually occur will provide insight in how to avoid making them in your papers.

incorporating source material in papers
This workshop will illustrate how to incorporate sources seamlessly into your research paper, grammatically and with correct documentation in order to avoid plagiarism. You will be able to practice with some exercises. A "tip sheet" is available at end of workshop.

writing literature reviews and abstracts
Research articles in APA format, and occasionally Chicago and MLA, require both a literature review and an abstract before submission. This workshop will teach you how to identify, organize, and write both literature reviews and abstracts.

avoiding wordiness
How do you meet a goal of a 2,000-word count or 10-page paper without repeating yourself? This workshop will offer ways and practice to eliminate wordiness and write more concisely. Also, you will learn how to expand your thesis or argument without expanding wordiness.

cover letters that get the interview
The cover letter is designed to get you the interview with the company or organization.  The resume’ provides the history, but the cover letter tells your story of who you are and how you will benefit their company. This workshop helps you fine-tune your cover letter.

revising and editing
Revising and editing your papers can seem daunting. This workshop will differentiate between the two and provide various ways to look at your paper objectively and make changes to improve your drafts. A “tip sheet” is available at end of workshop.