Workshops are provided by the University Center for Writing-based Learning on a request by request basis. These requests are sent to the Workshop Team’s Coordinator Katie Martin. Katie, along with the help of two Graduate Assistants, Gabby M. and Monika M., produce the agenda and documents required and utilized by the facilitators. This blog post focuses on the materials and goals of an MLA citations workshop. The goals of this workshop are to help students understand how and why we do MLA citations. Workshop facilitators utilize three materials; 1) the agenda, 2) the powerpoints, and 3) the activity. You can see examples of the materials by clicking on the links at the bottom of this post.
The agenda allows the facilitator to keep track of how long each section ought to take and what is included. It also allows the facilitator to consider some of the ways in which the students might respond to the presentation in each individual part of the presentation. It basically functions as a lesson plan. Think of a facilitator as your temporary instructor for all things MLA citations.
The powerpoint provides the facilitator with something to guide the class on what they are doing during the workshop. The agenda and powerpoint coincide with each other and each point on the agenda matches with a slide or slides on the powerpoint. You’ll notice when you look at the agenda that certain sections say “Slide 1” or something to that effect. That lets the facilitators know when to switch slides as they move through the agenda.
The activity portion for MLA workshops and other citation-based workshops is called “Citation Creation.” Citation Creation is a chance for writers to apply the knowledge that they’ve learned thus far in the workshop. The workshop facilitators will project an example source, either a journal article or a book title, and the students will then create a citation for it. The example will usually have to do with the topic of the class and sometimes the professor provides real sources the students will be using. In the case of this workshop, MLA has a new container system with a handy graphic that helps writers navigate putting together a citation. You’ll notice the container graphic on the citation creation worksheet. After giving students the time to work through creating the citation, workshop facilitators will reveal the correct citations on the powerpoint.
After working through the citations and answering any remaining questions, that’s usually the facilitators’ cue to head out. We always provide students with some helpful resources that they can reference in the future as well, such as Purdue Owl or the MLA website.
Here are the materials we use during our workshop:
Agenda (click here to see an example of an agenda that facilitators use)
PowerPoint (click here to see an example of the MLA citations Powerpoint)
CitationCreation (click here to see one of our example activities)