If you’ve ever had an in-class workshop, you may have thought “Great! Time to sit back and relax while we go through another useless presentation and then class is over!” But, there’s a great reason your professor invited the UCWBL’s Workshops team members into your class: to have you work on skills that are not only relevant to your class now, but are relevant, transferrable skills that can make you a more successful, less stressed, and efficient student and writer.
Workshops can cover all sorts of topics: citations, Digication ePortfolios, and even group work skills. While each workshop is tailored to fit the needs of your class and the desires of your instructor, we create workshops so that students can take away transferrable skills. We know you don’t want to sit in front of another PowerPoint, so we try to mix it up, letting you know relevant, new information and then applying that knowledge in activities.
For example, do we think that all students want to learn the ins and outs of APA? Maybe not, but we do know that if your instructor is requesting a workshop you might need more help or a refresher. Let’s briefly take a look at what our APA citations workshop consists of:
- Discussion about why we cite work
- Explaining terms relevant to APA citations: summary, paraphrase, direct quotes
- Differences between in-text citations and a works cited page
- Citation Creation activity: apply the information reviewed in our presentation
- Time for questions
While this seems relatively simple from the outside, take a second to think about all that you can say about APA off the top of your head. What do parenthetical citations look like? What happens when you have two articles written by one author in the same year? Where does one list the year in the citation?
If you couldn’t answer one of these questions, our workshop will still benefit you. While it may seem mind-numbing to review, citing is a skill every writer should know back to front and can always need a reminder for. Think about how many papers you write with citations in one year. Is it 5? 8? 10? No matter the number, a resource like Diana Hacker, a website we often show in the workshop that has an easy to use drop down menu to review citations, is a useful resource to have. Even though it may be a singular skill, it’s still an important one.
As a workshops team member, I am happiest when I know that each member of the class has taken something away from the workshop, even if it’s as a simple as comma placement or finding a new resource. So please, the next time Workshops team members visit your class, give them a smile and your full attention. You just might learn something.