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

Coming soon!

 

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.

All workshops are in Stauffer 121 unless otherwise noted.+

September 2018

Workshop Title and Description Date(s) Time(s)
Academics Success: the basics
What are the keys to academic success for university students? Why do great high school students struggle at university? How can you plan an independent study schedule based on your course syllabus? What are professors expecting from written and class work? We’ll introduce you to some simple but effective strategies that’ll set you off on the right foot at Queen’s!
Location: Stauffer Library room 121 
Thursday, Sept. 6

Friday, Sept 7

Tuesday Sept 11

12:30pm – 1:20pm

12:30pm – 1:20pm

12:30pm – 1:20pm

Notetaking for Class & Reading
Lectures can sometimes seem like a blur: everything’s too complicated, explained too fast, and you just forget everything afterward anyway. Our note taking class will help you pay attention to the most important parts of the lecture and your readings, organize your information in an effective way and explain how to work from lecture and reading material when you’re writing assignments or revising for exams.Location: Stauffer Library room 121 
Thursday, Sept. 6

Friday, Sept 7

Monday, Sept 10

Monday, Sept 17

1:30pm – 2:20pm

1:30pm – 2:20pm

1:30pm – 2:20pm

1:30pm – 2:20pm

Organizing Study Time at University
Looking at your syllabus and wondering how you’ll get everything done on time? Effective organization is one of the keys to scoring top grades at university. We’ll show you how to get school work done without burning yourself out, how to use time management to ensure you’re working better not more, and help you create a personal plan for the next few weeks.Location: Stauffer Library room 121 
Monday, Sept 10 12:30pm – 1:20pm
Reading Faster, Reading Better

Are you wondering how to work your way through masses of textbooks, articles and other readings? Do you wonder how to read fast enough to succeed? Learn how to approach your course readings strategically and efficiently with advice from Student Academic Success Services.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Tuesday, Sept 11

Wednesday, Sept 12

1:30pm – 2:20pm

1:30pm – 2:20pm

Intro to Academic Expectations & Resources

What are the keys to academic success for students unfamiliar with Canadian academia? What are the differences between Canadian universities and those abroad? How much do you have to study alone? What are professors expecting from written and class work? How and when should you talk to your teachers? We’ll introduce you to some simple but effective strategies that will help you through your first weeks at Queen’s!

Location: (QUIC) Queen’s University International Centre

Wednesday, Sept 12 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Reading Academic Texts in English

What do professors mean when they want you to “do your reading”? What do you need to know? Are you struggling to finish all your readings? Do you wonder how to read fast enough to succeed? Many students struggle to adapt to reading effectively in another language. In this class for English language learners, you’ll learn how to approach your course readings strategically and efficiently.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Wednesday, Sept 19 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Presentation & Tutorial Skills

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.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Thursday, Sept 20 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Writing Your First University Essay

Writing your first university essay is tough! What do professors look for, how is your writing expected to be different from high school, and why do you have to write so many papers at university? We’ll take you step-by-step through a process that will both develop and highlight your academic and critical thinking, and help you to express complex ideas in clear writing.

Location: Dupuis Auditorium

Thursday, Sept 27

Friday, Sept 28

5:30pm – 6:20pm

5:30pm – 6:20pm

October 2018

Workshop Title and Description Date(s) Time(s)
Reading, Research and Essay Writing

Finding and reading sources is a vital part of essay writing in any subject. But how can you do this effectively? How do you gather, compare and evaluate material? How do you turn your ideas into an essay outline and draft? We’ll take you through the process step-by-step in this class.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Tuesday, October 2 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Intro to Writing in the Sciences

Many science students arrive at university hoping they’ll never to write an essay again. Writing, though, is a crucial part of lab reports, design projects, and case studies in the sciences. Join our Peer Writing Assistants to hear about effective techniques to improve your writing.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Wednesday, Oct. 3 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Writing Skills for Undergraduates

What do Queen’s professors look for in written assignments? How can you improve on your work from last semester? This seminar, led by professional writing staff, aims to assist undergraduate students from all disciplines in the development of university-level writing skills.

Location: (QUIC) Queen’s University International Centre

Wednesday, Oct. 3 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Developing Arguments in Essays

Do the words “thesis” and “argument” leave you in a cold sweat? We’ll show you how – and why – academic writers make written arguments, how to construct an advanced thesis for a university-level paper, how to organize half-ideas into a top-quality paper, and more.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Tuesday, Oct. 9 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Procrastination, Focus & Motivation

It’s that time of year: deadlines are piling up and exams are looming, but you just can’t get started? Everyone procrastinates, but beating your time-wasting habits might be easier than you think. We’ll show you how to produce a simple, personalized plan that will relieve stress and give you the time and focus needed to score top grades.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Wednesday, Oct. 10 1:30pm-2:20pm
Ace that Midterm!

It’s time to sit your first written tests at university. How do you know what to study (and what to leave out)? When should you begin? How can you write a test effectively? We’ll help you prep and enter midterm season with confidence.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Thursday, Oct 11

Friday, Oct. 12

 

1:30pm-2:20pm

1:30pm-2:20pm

Beyond Spellcheck: Editing Writing

Advanced editing strategies ensure your writing is what professors are after: concise, clear, and critical. Join us to discover how to edit and rewrite your work in any subject.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Thursday, Oct. 18

1:30pm-2:20pm
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 class to answer your questions and produce a plan of action.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Tuesday, Oct. 23

1:30pm-2:20pm
 Research & Writing Strategies for Independent Projects

Writing an undergrad thesis or independent research project? Now is the time to stop putting it off and get to work on your research. We’ll explain what’s expected of an upper-year research project, how to narrow down and organize a monumental reading list, and how to develop an effective writing and research habit.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Monday, Oct. 30

1:30pm-2:20pm

November 2018

Workshop Title and Description Date(s) Time(s)
Improving Presentation Skills

Giving presentations 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 grades.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Monday, Nov. 5 1:30pm-2:20pm
Catching Up: Finish the Semester Strong

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 class to answer your questions and produce a plan of action to see you through to the end of the semester.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Thursday, Nov. 15 1:30pm-2:20pm
Writing in the Sciences

Many science students arrive at university hoping they’ll never to write an essay again. Writing, though, is a crucial part of lab reports, design projects, and case studies in the sciences. Join our Peer Writing Assistants to hear about effective techniques to improve your writing.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Friday, Nov. 16 1:30pm-2:20pm
Improve Your Writing

As you prepare to complete your term papers, we’ll show you how to work with teachers’ feedback, improve on writing you completed earlier in the semester, and continue to push towards improving your grades. Bring your assignments!

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Tuesday, Nov. 20 1:30pm-2:20pm
Multiple Choice Exam Success

1000 decisions to make in just three hours? SASS’ peers can help you prepare for and write multiple choice exams in any subject.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Tuesday, Nov 27 1:30pm-2:20pm
Preparing for University Exams

Taking your first exams at Queen’s can be a leap into the unknown. Our workshop leaders will help you improve your time and study habits as you prepare for your exams.

Location: (QUIC) Queen’s University International Centre

Tuesday, Nov 27 1:30pm-2:20pm
Essay Exam Success

Dealing with essay exams can be tricky: how do you produce a complex and clear argument in just a few minutes? We’ll show you how to revise, how to practice, and how to ace the exam.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Wednesday, Nov. 28 1:30pm-2:20pm

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.

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).