Events to develop graduate engineering writing and presentation skills

The Graduate Writing Lab offers workshops, showcases and other events on communication topics relevant to UVA Engineering graduate students and postdocs.


see Graduate Writing Lab Events for UVA ENGR Grad Students on a Google Calendar and library, PhD Plus & other UVA events here . Note that WriteHere! has its own calendar due to the frequency & nature of the offering. Also see the library data services workshops for series on R, python, writing tools, data visualization, survey design, and more.

All GWL offerings are still available for Spring 2020. We're just adjusting how you access them. Read more here.

Upcoming Events

*events with a * may be available via Zoom

  • *Writing & Reference Management Tools Showcase

    Th. May 28, 2-3pm | ZOOM


    Join us for this showcase of writing & reference management tools to help with your research article writing. Finding tools that work for your writing process is a key step in developing as a researcher. There are many options for writing software (ex. word, latex/overleaf, scrivener), reference management (ex. endnote, mendeley, zotero) and a host of other tools. At the showcase, you'll be able to see a variety of options and hear from people who have used the tools.
    Format: Presenters will each provide a short intro to a tool they use, explaining how they use it, the benefits, key aspects, etc. Then the session will be open to questions and discussion.

    At the time of the event, sign in with your UVA Zoom account and then use the link to join-

    Topic: Writing & Reference Management Tools Showcase

    Time: May 28, 2020 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    https://virginia.zoom.us/j/99837065922

     

    More info & add to calendar
  • *Perfecting Paragraphs (Workshop)

    Th. June 11, 2-3:30pm | ZOOM


    Take control of your paragraphs as you learn strategies to make the most of sentence organization within a paragraph, improve flow, and help key information stand out. This workshop focuses on perfecting paragraph structure in engineering research articles. If you are looking to strengthen your paragraphs through paragraph structure and organization so that your ideas come across clearly to your readers, this is the workshop for you.

    You can submit questions, areas of concerns, and sample paragraphs for inclusion in the workshop through the registration form. Register online: https://virginia.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4Vid3nEzr3tXsYl

    This event is designed for UVA Engineering graduate students and postdocs, but faculty and staff are welcome to attend if space allows.

    Also join us for a follow up interactive session at the June 18th GWL chat- bring a paragraph to discuss your work.

    About the presenter: Natalie Thompson is a GWL consultant and a doctoral candidate in the English department. In addition to years of experience teaching and tutoring writing, Natalie spent a year teaching English as a foreign language in Valenciennes, France.

     

     

    Details, registration, & add to calendar
  • *GWL Chats: Bring a Paragraph

    2-3pm Th. June 18 | Zoom


    A roundtable style discussion via Zoom hosted by the GWL. Participants and hosts usually have video and audio on.
    Event link
    This week: Bring a Paragraph
    Bring a paragraph or 2 to this week's chat that you want to discuss. Use your paragraph as a jumping off point for discussion of writing, grammar, structure, organization or clarity questions or just bounce ideas off others for how to revise or get a sense of how others understand what you wrote. This is a great follow up to discuss how your paragraph might benefit from or is an example of the techniques and strategies from last week's workshop.

    Your paragraph might be an example of a structural issue you want to talk about or a complex organization or flow concern you are trying to sort out. This is a great opportunity to bring a paragraph you were told is unclear for further discussion, explanation or revising help. You could also bring an example you really like or a paragraph you are really proud of. We welcome confusing paragraphs in context. Choose a paragraph within a piece of writing or something stand alone. You may have a chance to get feedback on your paragraph from the group.

    GWL staff will be in the chat to help field questions as well.

    This is an interactive discussion amongst participants with no prepared content. Join,  discuss your experience and learn from others. 

    more on GWL chats at https://engineering.virginia.edu/current-students/current-graduate-students/graduate-writing-lab/events/graduate-writing-lab-chats

    Sign in with your UVA Zoom account then use the link below to join:

    Topic: Bring a Paragraph- GWL Chat

    Time: Jun 18, 2020 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

     

    Join via

    https://virginia.zoom.us/j/95663977835

     

     

     

     

     

    more info & topics

Past Events

  • *GWL Chats: Pretty, Clear- Figures/Design

    2-3pm Th. May 14 | Zoom


    A roundtable style discussion via Zoom hosted by the GWL. Participants & hosts usually have video and audio on for these interactive sessions.

    This week: Pretty, Clear: Figures/Design

    This is an interactive discussion amongst participants with no prepared content. Join,  discuss your experience and learn from others. 
    This week focuses on figures and visual aspects of data display in papers, posters, and presentations. Bring questions, tips that you've learned, favorite software, examples of figures you've found highly effective or particularly ineffective or deceiving, figures you'd like help improving, software questions, etc.

    GWL staff will be in the session to help field questions as well.

    Some questions to think about:

    What is your process for designing your figures?
    What software or packages do you use for making figures, diagrams or flow charts? What's a useful feature others might like to know about?
    How do you go about choosing colors?
    How do your figures or diagrams change from paper to presentation or poster?
    What tips do you have for other grad students who are making figures? 
    What is 1 example of a figure you found to be really effective or that you liked for some reason? Why was it a good example?
    What is 1 example of a figure you found ineffective, ugly, misleading, unclear or that you didn't like? Why is this a figure not to emulate?
    What are some useful resources you've found related to the topic?
    What questions do you have about making figures, diagrams, flowcharts or other visuals for your research?

    more on GWL chats at https://engineering.virginia.edu/current-students/current-graduate-students/graduate-writing-lab/events/graduate-writing-lab-chats

     

     

    more info & topics
  • *GWL Chats: Bring a Sentence

    2-3pm Th. May 7 | Zoom


    A roundtable style discussion via Zoom hosted by the GWL. Participants and hosts usually have video and audio on.
    This week: Bring a Sentence
    Bring a sentence to this week's chat that you want to discuss. Use your sentence as a jumping off point for discussion of writing, grammar or punctuation questions or just bounce ideas off others for how to revise or get a sense of how others understand what you wrote. 
    Your sentence might be an example of a grammar or style issue you want to talk about or a complex sentence you are trying to sort out. This is a great opportunity to bring a sentence you were told is unclear or ambiguous for further discussion, explanation or revising help. You could also bring an example you really like or a sentence you are really proud of. We welcome confusing sentences in context and those grammar questions you haven't had a chance to ask. What about sentences with which/that? semicolons and commas? Choose a sentence within a piece of writing or something stand alone.

    GWL staff will be in the chat to help field questions as well.

    This is an interactive discussion amongst participants with no prepared content. Join,  discuss your experience and learn from others. 

    more on GWL chats at https://engineering.virginia.edu/current-students/current-graduate-students/graduate-writing-lab/events/graduate-writing-lab-chats

    more info & topics
  • Writing Research Proposals*

    w/Katie Pelland, PhD | Th. April 2, 2-3:30pm | ZOOM


    Join us for this interactive workshop on writing research proposals. Research proposals are a particularly persuasive form of technical writing and are used to move to the next step in a program or acquire funding for your work. The tips in the presentation will be most applicable to funding proposals (grants & fellowships) but can also help with dissertation proposals. Register online.

     

    Details, registration, & add to calendar
  • Funding Discovery Tools Workshop*

    with Jeffrey J. Fox, PhD | Wed. March 18, 2pm | ZOOM (updated)


    Learn how to find travel grants, fellowships, research grants and post-doctorate positions using Pivot and GrantForward, two funding discovery tools that all UVA students, faculty, and staff can use. Bring your laptops! The goal for the workshop will be for each attendee to leave with at least one customized search and automated email alert. This will be an informal session; the first 30-40 minutes will be an overview of the tools with some example searches that will be relevant to grad students and postdocs. Then each attendee will create a customized search & set up an automated email alert. - UVA Engineering Research Development & The GWL

    Details
  • Writing Introductions

    with Mahmoud Abdi Tabari, PhD | Wed. Feb. 26, 2:30-4pm | Rodman Room (Thornton A 207)


    Learn about the structure of an introduction and how to write one in this interactive workshop on writing introductions for engineering research. Participants may have an opportunity to work on their own introductions during the workshop. Bring an intro you are working on and/or examples from your field.

    Details, add to calendar & registration
  • Perfecting Paragraphs*

    with Natalie Thompson | Thurs. Feb. 13, 1-2:30pm | Rodman Room (Thornton A207)/Zoom


    Take control of your paragraphs as you learn strategies to make the most of sentence organization within a paragraph to improve flow and help key information stand out. Includes hands on practice with paragraph structure revision. Example paragraphs may be submitted during registration. Register online

    Registration, details, & add to calendar
  • Data Visualization Workshop *

    w/Aaron Williams | Tues. Jan. 28 | 1:30-3pm | Rodman Room, Thornton Hall


    Good data visualization doesn’t just mean pretty pictures, it’s an essential step in turning your research into a compelling message. Just like the text content of a poster or paper, visualizations should be tailored based on the audience and what you want to communicate. In this session we will have a crash course on the history of data visualization, the science behind it, and some practical examples of how to make your visualizations better. Bring your own data or use ours!

    Details, add to calendar, & Registration
  • Writing Abstracts

    Th. Jan. 23, 1-2:30pm | Rodman Room (Thornton A207)


    Join us for this interactive workshop on writing abstracts about engineering research. Bring an abstract you are working on, an example from your field and/or content you need to write an abstract on to get the most out of the workshop. Cosponsored by GESC.

     

    Details, registration, & add to calendar
  • GWL Info Session

    GWL Info Session

    Th. Jan. 16, 2pm | Wilsdorf 200 | cosponsored by the MSE GSB


    Learn about engineering-specific support for graduate students and opportunities to improve your research writing, presentations, posters, and overall writing processes. For engineering grad students, postdocs and staff/faculty who work w/grad students. Snacks included.

     

  • Midday Games- Snack & Play

    Midday Games- Snack & Play

    12:30-2:30pm Thurs. Dec. 5 | Rodman Room (Thornton A207)


    Join us for snacks, language-based board games, and scicomm games. You may even learn about GWL spring offerings. We will have some games, but you are welcome to bring more.

  • GRFP Editing Swap- GWL GRFP Series

    4pm Thurs. Oct. 10 | Brown Science & Engineering Library 133


    Bring your NSF GRFP application essay drafts to this editing swap to give and receive surface level editing feedback and notes. Attendees should bring 2 paper copies of their application essays and pen/pencil to the event. Attendees will exchange papers and given written corrections and notes on one another's drafts before having brief explanatory conversations. The event is expected to focus on late stage editing, minor corrections, formatting improvements, and targeted feedback suggestions in preparation for the midOctober deadline.

    All attendees will be expected to bring drafts and to give corrections and feedback on the drafts of others. GRFP Mentors will be on hand for questions.

    Details & Registration
  • Writing Management Tools Showcase

    Thurs. Sept. 19, 1-2pm | Rodman Room (Thornton A 207)


    Need a way to keep track of all those pdfs? Wish you had software that made dissertation writing easier? Tired of struggling with Word? Then stop by this software showcase and explore your options. See software first hand and talk to people who actually use it and find out about upcoming how to trainings and resources.

    organizer: Natalie Thompson, Graduate Writing Lab

    Learn more
  • Intro to the NSF GRFP and Grad Fellowships- GWL GRFP Series

    3pm Tues. Sept. 10 | Rodman Room (Thornton A207)


    This presentation will introduce students to the basics of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program & its application process. Additional fellowships and search, resources, and basic tips for grad fellowships relevant to early grad engineering students will also be touched on. If you are a new domestic UVA engineering graduate student in a research degree (MS/PhD), consider attending this workshop to see how you might be able to apply for this or other prestigious fellowships. Primarily for 1st & 2nd yr UVA Engineering grad students, but advanced engineering graduate students, engineering faculty and staff are welcome to attend. Grad students outside of engineering can attend if space permits.

    Details & Registration
  • Optimizing Feedback- WriteOn! Summer Series

    Thurs. May 30, 10am-11am | Wilsdorf 200


    Feedback on your work is a critical part of academia, engineering and science. Join us as we go over types, sources, and stages of feedback and some practical ways to make it work for you. This work shop focus most on feedback for writing, presentations and posters but principals can be applied to other areas as well. Register online

    Details & registration
  • Planning for Productivity- WriteOn! Summer Series

    Tues. May 21, 2-3pm | Wilsdorf 200


    Planning to get some work done this summer? Join us for tips on planning your summer writing, presentations and posters. This hands on workshop includes goal setting, analogue and digital tracking, accountability, motivators, ways to break down large projects into scheduled manageable goals, keeping track of all those papers you should be writing, and more. Get your card stamped at this event. Register online

    details & registration
  • Word Choice in Research Writing

    2-3:30pm Wed. Apr. 3 | Rodman Room (Thornton A207)


    An interactive workshop about word choice in graduate academic writing. The workshop was designed for students whose first language is not English but aspects may be helpful for all. Register online

    Learn more & register
  • Clarity - Strategies for Revising Scientific Writing

    with Nathan Sheffield, PhD | 2-3:30pm Mon. March 4 | Eichenthal Room (Thornton B228A)


    Come learn strategies for improving clarity in your scientific writing. The workshop offers an intro to the strategies through a presentation with examples from published writing and an opportunity to apply these strategies to revising your own work or working in peer review.

    Monday March 4th, 2pm-3:30pm, Thornton B228A (Eichenthal Room) | A Graduate Wriiting Lab Workshop

    learn more & register
  • Sentence Structure and Punctuation Refresher

    2-3:30pm Thur. Feb 28 | Rodman Room (Thornton A207)


    A hands-on workshop that sorts out common sentence level issues. Is it that or which? Do I need a comma here? When can I use a semicolon? What’s a comma splice? A dangling what? Clear up your writing by editing for sentence level issues. You can bring work to edit during the workshop. Register online

    Learn more & Register
  • Clarity - 4 Strategies for Revising Scientific Writing

    with Nathan Sheffield, PhD | 2-3:30pm Thurs. Nov. 15 | Rodman Room (Thornton A207)


    Come learn 4 strategies for improving clarity in your scientific writing. The workshop offers an intro to the strategies through a presentation with examples from published writing and an opportunity to apply these strategies to revising your own work or working in peer review.

    Thursday November 15 2pm-3:30pm, Thornton A 207 | A Graduate Wriiting Lab Workshop

    learn more & register
  • NSF Workshop Series: Session 3- Complete Application Review

    organized by Keisha John, PhD | 12-5pm (10 minute appointments) Fri. Oct 12 | New Cabell Hall (various rooms)


    Discuss the review of your complete application by faculty members and current NSF Graduate Research Fellows. Each participant will be assigned a 10-minute appointment to receive verbal and written feedback on their application. Note: You need to have participated in session 2 and have sent your complete draft and a CV/resume, to keishajohn@virginia.edu by 5pm on Thursday, October 4 to attend this session. Each application is reviewed by faculty members and experienced NSF GRF recipients in preparation for this final session. 

     

    A National Science Foundation Series Workshop

    This workshop series includes three sessions intended to help eligible applicants learn about the fellowship and craft competitive applications, with individual feedback offered by experienced faculty and NSF GRFP recipients.  The goal of the series is for applicants to have a completed application by mid-October, with time before the final deadline to make additional edits (See here for the list of deadlines and eligibility information:  https://www.nsfgrfp.org/applicants/important_dates).   

    Organizer: Keisha John, PhD  | Director of Diversity Programs, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

    10 minute appointments between noon and 5:00pm | Oct. 12 | New Cabell Hall (various rooms)

    learn more
  • Graduate Fellowship Student Panel: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP)

    with past award winners | 2:30-3:30pm Mon. Sept. 24 | Wilsdorf 200


    Hear from engineering graduate students who have applied for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) and won or recieved honorable mention. Learn from their experiences, get advice and ask questions. Discussion may be applicable to other fellowships as well. Questions may be submitted in advance here or asked at the panel. No registration required but attendees are asked to sign in at the event.

    2:30-3:30pm Mon. Sept. 24 | presenters: NSF Graduate Research Fellows from Engineering | Wilsdorf 200

  • Intro to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

    with Professor John R. Scully | Thur., Sept. 20, 1:30pm-2:30pm | Wilsdorf 200


    Come learn about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) and how to apply. This opportunity to increase your stipend to $34,000/year and earn a pretigious fellowship is open 1st and 2nd year engineering graduate students who are US citizens, nationals or permanent residents. 

    Wilsdorf 200, Thursday. Sept. 20, 1:30-2:30pm | presenter: Professor John R. Scully, MSE

    learn more & add to calendar
  • Writing Management Tools Showcase

    Wed. Sept. 19, 3-4pm | Rice 011


    Need a way to keep track of all those pdfs? Wish you had software that made dissertation writing easier? Tired of struggling with Word? Then stop by this software showcase and explore your options. See software first hand and talk to people who actually use it and find out about upcoming how to trainings and resources.

    Rice 011, Wed. Sept. 19, 3-4pm. |. organizer: Christian Howard, Graduate Writing Lab

    Learn more
  • NSF Workshop Series: Session 2- Draft Writing Workshop

    with Keisha John, PhD | 4pm Thur. Sept 13 | Robertson Hall 221 (McIntire School)


    Attend this session to learn everything you need to know to draft a full application. Over the course of the meeting, we will go over each section of the application in detail (the information form, the personal statement, and the proposal), and will provide tips for how to make each section resonate with reviewers. We will focus on strategies for persuading reviewers to fund your proposal through your stated broader impacts, intellectual merits, and the personal statement. Although the application does not explicitly ask for a CV or resume, the session will also help you think strategically about how to incorporate information from these documents into your proposal. 

    Following session 2, prospective applicants should draft their applications and send the complete draft and a CV/resume, to keishajohn@virginia.edu by 5pm on Thursday, October 4.  Each application will then be reviewed by faculty members and experienced NSF GRF recipients in preparation for the final session. 

     

    A National Science Foundation Series Workshop

    This workshop series includes three sessions intended to help eligible applicants learn about the fellowship and craft competitive applications, with individual feedback offered by experienced faculty and NSF GRFP recipients.  The goal of the series is for applicants to have a completed application by mid-October, with time before the final deadline to make additional edits (See here for the list of deadlines and eligibility information:  https://www.nsfgrfp.org/applicants/important_dates).   

    Presenter: Keisha John, PhD | Director of Diversity Programs, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

    4:00-5:00pm | Sept. 13 | Robertson Hall 221 (McIntire School)

    learn more
  • Writing an Effective NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Proposal (Webinar)

    3:30-5:30pm, Thurs. Sept. 13 | Online, register by Sept. 11


    This national workshop includes two recorded videos and a live interactive webinar. After registering, participants are given access to a video introduction to the GRFP to watch prior to the Sept. 13th webinar. After the webinar led by past award winners, participants are provided with a video on addressing broader impacts. Register by Sept. 11th through CIRTL.

    more info
  • NSF Workshop Series: Session 1- Introduction

    with Keisha John, PhD | 4pm Wed. Sept 5 | Robertson Hall 221 (McIntire School)


    This session will include an overview of the fellowship as well as an informational panel with current UVA NSF GRF recipients. 

    An National Science Foundation Series Workshop

    This workshop series includes three sessions intended to help eligible applicants learn about the fellowship and craft competitive applications, with individual feedback offered by experienced faculty and NSF GRFP recipients.  The goal of the series is for applicants to have a completed application by mid-October, with time before the final deadline to make additional edits (See here for the list of deadlines and eligibility information:  https://www.nsfgrfp.org/applicants/important_dates).   

    Presenter: Keisha John, PhD | Director of Diversity Programs, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

    4:00-5:00pm | Sept. 5 | Robertson Hall 221 (McIntire School)

    learn more
  • June Jump Start

    Write Here! Tues. afternoons & Thurs. morning/midday in June


    Need to get that paper out? Make progress on your thesis or dissertation? Prepare that fellowship app? Join us for the June Jump Start, a series of structured writing sessions to help you make progress on your summer writing goals. Each Tuesday & Thursday join us for goal setting & writing sessions in person or online.

    Tuesdays: June 5, 19 1:30-3:30pm (2 hour sessions); June 12, 26 12:30-3pm (2.5 hour sessions)

    Thursdays: June 7, 14 10am-12pm (2 hour sessions); June 21-28 9:30am-12pm (2.5 hour sessions)

    Learn more
  • Writing and Reference Management Software Showcase

    Th. May 31, 11am-1pm | Rice 011


    Need a way to keep track of all those pdfs? Wish you had software that made dissertation writing easier? Tired of struggling with Word? Then stop by this software showcase and explore your options. See software first hand and talk to people who actually use it.

    Rice 011, Thurs. May 31, 11am-1pm

    Learn more
  • Data Visualization Workshop for Graduate Students

    w/Aaron Williams, Tues. April 10, 2018 | 3:30-5pm | Rodman Room, Thornton Hall


    Good data visualization doesn’t just mean pretty pictures, it’s an essential step in turning your research into a compelling message. Just like the text content of a poster or paper, visualizations should be tailored based on the audience and what you want to communicate. In this session we will have a crash course on the history of data visualization, the science behind it, and some practical examples of how to make your visualizations better. Bring your own data or use ours!

    3:30-5pm Tuesday, April 10, 2018 Rodman Room (Thornton Hall)

    Learn more & register
  • Clarity - 4 Strategies for Revising Scientific Writing

    A Graduate Writing Lab Workshop with Nathan Sheffield, PhD | Mon. March 26, 1-3pm, Rice 011


    Join us for our first Graduate Writing Lab workshop. Come learn 4 strategies for improving clarity in your scientific writing. The first hour offers an intro to the strategies through a presentation with examples from published writing. During the second hour, attendees will apply these strategies to revising their own work.

    Monday March 26th 1pm-3pm, Rice 011

    Learn more & register
  • Online Resources

    The Graduate Writing Lab has compiled a selection of online resources relevant to the writing and communication needs of UVA Engineering graduate students.

    View Online Resources
  • Get Involved

    The Graduate Writing Lab provides a number of opportunities for faculty, post docs, and graduate students to get involved. Those with research or grant writing experience might considering being on a panel or leading a workshop. Future opportunities may exist for assisting with research projects, text cleaning, text analysis, qualitative coding, resource development, consultant training and more. See our current opportunities including position announcements by following the link below.

    See Current Opportunities