Theme Days at the Writing Center: Are They Worth Your Time?

Illustration: Beatrice Toreborg

Theme Days at the Writing Center: Are They Worth Your Time?

By: Wiktoria Grzybowska

4th of May 2022

On the 11th of April I attended a Theme Day at the Writing Center out of pure curiosity. That day’s theme was “Starting Research & How do I start writing?”. As we all know, starting is often the hardest part, so I was eager to learn any tips an academic professional might have—and I’m happy to report, I was not disappointed.

The attendees were presented with some strategies for how to start research and writing so that the text we end up with is a polished, high-quality one. For example, the importance of doing a lot of reading and organizing it in an annotated bibliography or a literature review. Personally, I’m usually tempted to skip this step, but putting in the work to organize your research will actually pay off later and result in a better workflow and ultimately, a better paper. 


Aside from whole strategies and stages of academic research, we were given some simple tips that may seem obvious to some, but helpful to others. For example, anytime you struggle with your research, you can book a time with a librarian and ask them for help in finding good resources. Another tip is that you should never start your research thinking you know the answer to the question your paper will be posing—it’s best not to have preconceived notions and form an informed opinion after you do your reading. 


Perhaps most importantly, everyone that attends any of the Theme Days, is granted access to a Canvas course full of helpful resources. That includes templates, outlines, tables of content, videos, and notes on all the topics the Writing Center has ever taken on. The resources there are many and helpful to every student, no matter your field of study.


Overall, I thought the meeting was helpful and the teacher, Adam Gray, was clear and encouraging. Having said that, I’m surprised that mere nine student (including myself), attended the meeting. Considering what the Writing Center has to offer, I don’t think they get enough attention from the students. So yes, the Theme Days are absolutely worth your time! Even if it’s just for the resources you’ll get out of it on Canvas.

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