students asking questions during a workshopSASS has delivered engaging workshops to Queen’s graduate and undergraduate students, TAs, and faculty since 1986. More than 5000 participants attend our workshops every year.

SASS offers a variety of workshops to support writing, learning, and other academic skill development at Queen’s:

If you’re not sure what kind of workshop or presentation would best meet the needs of your class or group, see the tabs below.

Request a workshopAttend a workshopRequest a ResPres

Request a workshop

Click here to request a workshop

Any course instructor or group of students at Queen’s may request a SASS workshop. Here are our three types of requested workshop and the topics they cover:

Writing and Academic Skills

SASS professional staff deliver practical workshops for Queen’s students across all faculties, first-year to PhD level, on the academic skills critical to student success. Whether for a second-year Biochemistry class, a fourth-year History seminar, a group of PhD students in Political Studies, or the TAs you supervise, our workshops will enhance students’ writing skills, learning strategies, and understanding of academic integrity.

We design your workshop to address the particular academic issues facing your students. Our workshops make clear to students how to:

  • develop a thesis or argument
  • structure a paper
  • paragraph with skill
  • integrate sources well
  • edit for concision and clarity
  • produce various types of writing, such as a literature review
  • give seminar or conference presentations
  • manage time
  • prepare for exams
  • avoid procrastination
  • read critically
  • take effective notes in lectures or from textbooks
  • approach other writing and learning challenges, at your request.

To ensure SASS can meet your needs, please provide a first and second preference for the date of your requested session, ideally with two weeks’ notice.

Please complete a workshop request form. A workshop coordinator will contact you to discuss the request.

Academic Integrity Workshop

The Turn It Around workshop, delivered by professional staff, provides students with detailed information about how to demonstrate academic integrity using sound scholarly practices. In this workshop, students learn not only how, but why scholars avoid plagiarism. Students will learn the practices that indicate skilled academic integrity: paraphrasing, quoting, and knowing when and what to cite. This workshop gives students all they need to know to submit their work with confidence in their own academic integrity. Request a Turn It Around workshop.

TA Training

Coming soon!


Here are a few testimonials from faculty who have invited us for in-class workshops:

Your presentation was just perfect for the class–and really brought out all the different aspects of doing a literature review that are sometimes so hard to make explicit.” – Dr. Mick Smith, Environmental Studies

Your presentation was really well considered, thoughtful, open minded. Your good humour and willingness to consider alternative viewpoints were very welcomed by… students who are [weary] of being lectured to.” – Dr. Jan Winton, Fine Art

The students all commented on how much they got out of it, and I am delighted that we have been furnished with a common vocabulary to identify and talk about some of their writing problems.” – Dr. Rebecca Manley, Department of History

Attend a workshop

Every fall and winter term, SASS offers scheduled workshops on a variety of topics for both graduate and undergraduate students. These workshops are delivered by professional staff and/or SASS peer volunteers, depending on the content and audience. See below for our current offerings, or view workshops in the SASS event calendar.

All workshops are in Stauffer 121 unless otherwise noted.

September 2018

Workshop Title Dates and Times
Academics 101: From High School to University Wednesday, Sept. 13 @ 12:30-2:20 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 14 @ 2:30-3:20 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 15 @ 1:30-2:20 p.m.
Notetaking in Lectures Monday, Sept. 18 @1:30-2:20 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 19 @ 12:30-1:20 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 19 @ 2:30-3:20 p.m.
Unpacking Your Readings
(for Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities students)
Wednesday, Sept. 20 @ 1:30-2:20 p.m.
How To Develop a Thesis Statement Thursday, Sept. 21 @ 2:30-3:20 p.m.
Balance School and Life: Time Management Skills 1.0 Tuesday, Sept. 26 @ 1:30-2:20 p.m.
How To Write Your First University Essay Tuesday, Sept. 26 @ 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 28 @ 7:00-8:30  p.m.

October 2018

Workshop Title Dates and Times
Effective Writing for First-Year Science Students Monday Oct. 2 @ 7:00-8:30 p.m.
(in Speaker’s Corner)
How to Write Effective Paragraphs Tuesday, Oct. 3 @ 1:30-2:20 p.m.
Midterm Prep: Multiple Choice Exams Wednesday, Oct. 4 @ 2:30-3:20 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 5 @ 10:30-11:20 a.m.

Midterm Prep: Short Answer and Essay Exams Wednesday, Oct. 4 @ 11:30-12:20 p.m.
Midterm Prep: Quantitative Problem Solving (Math and Science) Tuesday, Oct. 10 @ 1:30-2:20 p.m.
Get On Track: Time Management Skills 2.0 Monday, Oct. 23 @ 1:30-2:20 p.m.

November 2018

Workshop Title Dates and Times
“I just can’t get started”: Motivation and Procrastination Thursday, Nov. 2 @ 11:30-12:20 p.m.
How to Develop a Thesis Statement Friday, Nov. 3 @ 10:30-11:20 a.m.
Distraction-Free Studying: Focus and Concentration Monday, Nov. 6 @ 1:20-2:20 p.m.
Editing Your Paper Like a Pro Tuesday, Nov. 7 @ 1:30-2:20 p.m.
Crunch Time, Catch up: Time Management Skills 3.0 Wednesday, Nov. 15 @ 1:30-2:20 p.m.
Exam Prep: Exam Study Schedule Workshop Tuesday, Nov. 21 @ 12:30-1:20 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 29 @ 2:30-3:20 p.m.

Request a residence presentation

PLAs holding a poster during a presentation

Dons! Are you looking for a fun and effective way to improve your students’ performance in school? Are they drowning in distractions? Wrestling with reading and writing, frustrated by a lack of focus, or stressed by exam season?

SASS’s academic skills presentations are simple, one-hour sessions tailored to Queen’s students’ needs. Peer volunteers will prepare the session, deliver it to your floor, and help you with follow-up programming afterwards.

Request a Residence Presentation


There are six residence presentations to choose from:

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Time management may not sound glamorous, but it’s the bedrock of good study habits for students taking a full course load, participating in extracurriculars and trying to lead a full social life to boot. PLAs will show your students how to manage their expectations, use their time efficiently, and stay healthy while doing it.

This session is appropriate at any time of year. If your students are talking about being overly busy, struggling with finding enough time to sleep, eat and get their work done, this is the presentation you need.

Reading, Listening, and Remembering

Piling through hundreds of pages of dense reading is a tough ask before you factor in the hours of lectures that students attend each week. Processing that material – how to stay focused, prioritize, and remember everything on exam day – is easier with the techniques we’ll teach you in this workshop.

This session is best run between the beginning and middle of the semester. Signs that it might be appropriate include students spending hours on lengthy readings, or complaining about not understanding lectures or complex subject material.


With all the distractions around us, it’s hard to buckle down and get things done. Everyone procrastinates, so we’ll help your students discover the underlying causes of their own procrastination, then develop a personalized plan to stay motivated and focused.

You’ll probably hear students talking about procrastination all year, but this presentation is most effective when run in the middle of a semester. Students will be prepped for the busy end of semester when most deadlines fall.

Writing the Right Way

(NEW in Winter 2018!) Producing written assignments at university can be a mystery. What are professors looking for? How can students pore through readings, produce an appropriate argument, and express themselves according to the demands of academic style? Writing the Right Way will show your students how to answer these questions for any assignment. The talk can be tailored to either science or arts students.

Run this presentation in about week four or five of semester. We will adjust the content according to the semester: fall term workshops focus on basic skills; winter term workshops on identifying and addressing concerns from first semester feedback. Request the presentation if your students have many assignments (including lab reports) coming up, if they’re struggling to understand written feedback, or if they discuss struggling to get started on written tasks.

Study Smarter, Not Harder

What makes a successful student? Innate intelligence? Long hours of work? During this presentation, your students will rethink what goes into achieving a top GPA, reflect on their own study habits, and discover a mix of approaches to improving academic performance.

Try requesting this session in second semester when students are reflecting on what went well (or not so well) during the previous term.

Exam Prep

How do you prepare for five exams in a week? How do you remember everything in the course? What’s the best way to approach a multiple choice test or an essay in exam conditions? How do you deal with nerves? PLAs will take your students through a process of planning, reviewing and writing the perfect exam.

Try to organize this session one or two weeks before midterms or the exam period to give your students plenty of time to put what they’ve learned into practice. Put in your request early; we get very busy during exam season!

Email the program coordinator, Ian Garner, with your questions or for suggestions:


What if I’m interested in other academic programming?

Email Ian for more information on the following program ideas:

  • Try running a regular study group or session for your students. We can help make sure your sessions are tailored to your students’ needs.
  • Passive programming is a great way to develop your students’ understanding of good study strategies. We can provide content and material to produce a great passive program focused on academic skills.
  • SASS runs academic skills events across campus throughout the semester. Why not bring your students to a suitable event?
  • Accompany your students–or volunteer to help at–Get It Done, our all-day drop-in study marathon. The event takes place once per semester (in late November and March).