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Workshops

SASS 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.

Please choose one of the following:

RequestAttendResPres

Request a workshop

Any course instructor or group of students at Queen’s may request a SASS workshop.

Workshop request form

Here are our three types of requested workshops 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 academic integrity workshop, delivered by professional staff, provides students with detailed information about how to demonstrate academic integrity using sound scholarly practices. 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 an academic integrity workshop.

TA Training

Our training for Teaching Assistants and Markers will enhance their ability to provide effective feedback on student writing. Please fill in our online workshop request form to arrange a session for your TAs or Markers, or to find out about a scheduled session in which your TAs/Markers can participate.

We design workshops to address TAs’ particular needs. Our workshops make clear to TAs how to:

  • establish goals for marking
  • apply strategies to ensure consistency, fairness and efficiency
  • find and use appropriate resources
  • give constructive feedback
  • prioritize issues in assignments.

Testimonials

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.

During winter 2021, all workshops will be held online via Zoom.

January 2021

Workshop title and description Date(s) Time(s)

Studying Efficiently: How to Get it All Done 

Spend an hour with SASS’ peer volunteers finding ways to break new ground in your approach to studying this semester. Whether you’re finding reading slow going, want to work through video lectures more efficiently, or are just looking for ways to find structure and focus while working remotely, you’re sure to learn something to speed up your work and reduce academic stress!

Register for: session 1 / session 2

January 11 1:00pm-2:00pm

6:00pm-7:00pm

Reading Faster, Reading Better

Did you struggle with masses of textbooks, articles and other readings last semester? Wondering how to read fast enough to succeed? Learn how to approach your course readings strategically and efficiently with advice from SASS peers.

Register for: session 1 / session 2

January 12 1:00pm-2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Ideas for Better Notetaking 

Do you find notetaking tough while learning online? In this workshop, SASS peers will show you some great tips and strategies to make notetaking a bit easier this semester.

Register for: session 1 / session 2

January 13 1:00pm – 2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Speaking with Confidence

Giving presentations and participating confidently in class can be scary. What are professors looking for, why do they ask you to give presentations, and how can you speak with confidence and clarity? We’ll show you some simple but powerful strategies to overcome anxiety, speak with confidence, and boost your presentation and participation grades.

Register for: session 1 / session 2

January 18 1:00pm – 2:00 pm

6:00pm-7:00pm

Improving Essay Writing

How can improved writing skills improve your thinking – and your grades? We’ll work on the higher-level skills that academic writing requires, showing you practical strategies to incorporate at any stage of the writing process and in any discipline.

Register for: session 1 / session 2 

January 25 1:00pm – 2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Writing Better Lab Reports 

Lab reports can seem intimidating, so our writing experts are on hand to lead you through the process of writing. Especially suitable for students in Biology, Chemistry and related disciplines.

Register for: session 1 / session 2

January 26 1:00pm – 2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

February 2021

Workshop title and description Date(s) Time(s)
Editing Reports & Essays 

Not sure how to effectively edit and proofread your writing? In this workshop, we’ll show you simple strategies to edit and proofread any assignment!

Register for: session 1 / session 2

February 10 1:00pm – 2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Beating Procrastination

While studying from home, procrastination can be tough to avoid, but there are strategies that can help you reduce your urge to procrastinate. Join our team of learning assistants to create an anti-procrastination plan so you can get back on track and maintain focus.

Register for: session 1 / session 2

February 17 1:00pm – 2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

March 2021

Workshop title and description Date(s) Time(s)
Catching Up in School

Most students find that they fall behind in one or more courses. It’s never too late to get back on track, so our Peer Learning Assistants have designed this workshop to answer your questions and produce a plan of action.

Register for: session 1 / session 2

March 1 1:00pm – 2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Making Written Arguments

How do you write persuasive arguments? In this workshop, our peers will show you how.

Register for: session 1 / session 2

March 8 1:00pm – 2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Studying Efficiently: How to Get it All Done

Spend an hour with SASS’ peer volunteers finding ways to break new ground in your approach to studying this semester. Whether you’re finding reading slow going, want to work through video lectures more efficiently, or are just looking for ways to find structure and focus while working remotely, you’re sure to learn something to speed up your work and reduce academic stress!

Register for: session 1 / session 2

March 9 1:00pm – 2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Editing Reports & Essays

Not sure how to effectively edit and proofread your writing? In this workshop, we’ll show you simple strategies to edit and proofread any assignment!

Register for: session 1 / session 2

March 22 1:00pm – 2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

April 2021

Workshop title and description Date(s) Time(s)
Final Exam Prep: Multiple Choice Exams 

Are multiple choice exams really about memorizing the entire textbook? Or is there a better way? We’ll show you how to save time, prep more thoroughly, and finish your semester on a high!

Register for: session 1 / session 2

April 5 1:00pm – 2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Final Exam Prep: Essay Exams

Essay-style exams can be tough to prepare for. In this workshop, SASS peers will show you how to memorize and review course materials, anticipate and prep potential answers in advance, write a quality exam under time constraints, and more.

Register for: session 1 / session 2

April 6 1:00pm – 2:00pm

6:00pm – 7:00pm

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? Request a Residence Presentation!

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.

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.

Anti-Procrastination

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: ian.garner@queensu.ca

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).