The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) launched the Academic Writing Workshop Series designed for postgraduate students and postdocs.
The Academic Writing Workshop Series took place over seven weeks during the Spring 2021 semester to support postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows with their academic writing.
The workshops focused on several modules, ranging from transversal engagement across skill-sets including critical thinking and data analysis, data organization and display, and writing planning, as well as vertical requirements with tips and examples towards literature review, experimental papers, grants and online writing.
Aspects related to academic writer blocks, procrastination, and lack of focus are common to all writers—beginners and experts included—and this course aimed to provide tools and tips on how to minimize these aspects to successfully deliver a high quality of writing.
Discussions engaged participants with core academic questions related to plagiarism, engagement with peers and reviewers/editors, ways to respond to criticism and reviewers comments, as well as pathways towards successful grant writing.
Lastly, consideration for research vulgarization and risks/benefits of online expression of researchers were also discussed to help the attendees improve their online presence efficiently and safely.
Dr. Prasoon Raj, Postdoc, Nuclear and Radiation Science, one of the participants who completed the workshops, said: “The Academic Writing Series covered plenty of essential topics. Guidance on writing review papers, background of a peer-review process, grant writing tips, and communication through broader/social media were some of the very useful elements for me. Individual experiences of course students gave perspectives for many publication-related issues which I am facing (or may face). It is seriously a must-do for early careers. Quite a good balance of contents, with ample scope for discussions.”
Ahmed Khalid Mohamed Abdalla Alzaabi, a Master’s of Petroleum Engineering student, shared his experience from this program: “I had an engaging experience in learning how to tackle various academic challenges such as writing well-structured sentences based on importance, meaning, and purpose. Moreover, I learned how to present my results in a clear manner to deliver a clear message and get various conclusions from it. My favorite part was how everyone in the course shared their experiences and lessons learned from the course assignments and their research topics. Overall, I highly recommend this course to graduate students starting their journey in research.”
Yongjie Liu, a PhD student from the Department of Chemical Engineering, Center for Membrane & Advanced Water Technology (CMAT) also completed the workshop series: “The Academic Writing Series focused on Critical thinking, Development of research question/rationale, Literature assessment and benchmarking, Data organization and ordering, Development of critical argument, and Data presentation and layout. I think the course outline is logical covering shallower topics and then delving into deeper topics. Dr. Ludo also gave feedback on our assignments without reservation. I feel better in starting to write an academic draft than before because Dr. Ludo taught me a great way to search for relevant references and how to organize data.”
The course was very well received by the attendees and will be offered for a second round from April to May 2021 with a team of instructors to discuss specific writing challenges and provide tips towards more efficient writing and engagement. The lead faculty facilitator of the program is Dr. Ludovic Dumee, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering.
5 May 2021