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.

All workshops are in Stauffer 121 unless otherwise noted.+

January 2019

Workshop Title and Description Date(s) Time(s)

From B to A: How to Improve Your Grades This Year Workshop

How can changing your study habits – managing your time, planning your work, setting goals, reading efficiently – improve academic performance? Our peers will help you produce a study plan to hit your targets this semester.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Wednesday, January 9 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Reading Faster, Reading Better Workshop

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 Student Academic Success Services

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Thursday, January 10 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Taking Notes From Lectures in Class and Reading Workshop

Lectures might seem like a blur: everything’s too complicated, explained too fast, and you just forget everything afterward anyway. Our notetaking 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 show you how to work from lecture and reading material when you’re writing assignments or revising for exams.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Friday, January 11 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Reading Faster, Reading Better Workshop @ QUIC
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 Student Academic Success Services.Location: QUIC, Mitchell Hall, 2nd floor
Monday, January 14 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Speak with Confidence: Presentation & Tutorial Skills (Workshop) 
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 
Wednesday, January 23 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Math Problem Solving Workshop
Got math? Join our workshop on solving math problems. Using actual worked problems, we’ll help you learn to recognize and apply underlying concepts, express real-world problems in mathematical language, and understand the hows and whys of the problem-solving process.Key concepts include exponential decay, unit conversion, dominant eigenvalues, vector calc and maybe even a little modelling!Everyone welcome.Co-presented by math whiz Yuliya Nesterova and learning strategist Claire Hooker.Location: Stauffer Library room 121 
Thursday, January 24 1:30pm – 2:20pm

Feburary 2019

Workshop Title and Description Date(s) Time(s)
ProcrastiNOT
Everyone procrastinates, but what can you do about it? Join our team of learning assistants for a drop-in consultation in Speaker’s Corner, Stauffer Library, to produce a personalized anti-procrastination plan.Location: Speaker’s Corner – Stauffer Library – Ground floor of Stauffer Library, next to the Writing Centre. (North end)
Sunday, February  3 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Revolutionize Your Writing WorkshopHow 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.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Wednesday, February 6 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Improve Your Writing for Undergrads
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 disciplineLocation: (QUIC) Queen’s University International Centre
Friday, February 8 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Perfecting Your Writing: Editing Strategies for Academic 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. Bring your laptop and something to work on!Location: Stauffer Library room 121 
Monday, February 11 1:30pm – 2:20pm
Ace That Midterm! (Workshop) 
Did midterm season leave you a mess in the fall? 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 
Tuesday, February 12 1:30pm-2:20pm
Make the Most of Reading Week: Scheduling & Advice Drop-InAs you look towards the assignments piling up for the end of the semester and wonder how you’ll be able to catch up on the material you’ve missed, Reading Week is a great opportunity to get ahead or back on track.

Our Peer Learning Assistants will work with you to produce a  for the next week.

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Thursday, February 14

1:30pm-2:20pm

Location: Stauffer Library room 121 

Thursday, February 25

1:30pm-2:20pm

March 2019

Workshop Title and Description Date(s) Time(s)
Catching Up! (Workshop)
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, March 12 1:30pm-2:20pm
Editing & Improving Your Writing Workshop

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 

Wednesday, March 20 1:30pm-2:20pm
Exam Prep: Your Questions Answered Drop-In Event 

Drop in for 5 minutes and learn:

– how to study effectively
– common study mistakes
– where to find practice questions and resources.

Location: Speaker’s Corner – Stauffer Library – Ground floor of Stauffer Library, next to the Writing Centre. (North end)

Saturday, March 30 1:30pm-2:20pm
Get It Done ! Drop-in Study Event

As the assignments pile up and exams loom, you’re probably thinking: how am I supposed to get this much work done without catered food, scheduled breaks, and the help of the pros?

We are too! So we’re inviting you to GET IT DONE: a day of supported studying and fun in Ban Righ Dining Hall, brought to you by Student Academic Success Services.

Bring your schoolwork and working minds, because we’ll have everything you need for success, including drinks and food, a comfy study spot, and a team of trained writing and learning assistants to improve your academic work.

Location: Ban Righ – Dining Hall

Sunday, March 31 12:00pm-7:00pm

April 2019

Workshop Title and Description Date(s) Time(s)
Multiple Choice Exam Success Workshop
1000 decisions to make in just three hours? SASS’ peers can help you prepare for and write multiple choice exams in any subjectLocation: Stauffer Library room 121 
Wednesday, April 3 1:30pm-2:20pm
Essay Exam Success Workshop

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 

Thursday, April 4 1:30pm-2:20pm
Build Your Exam Study Schedule Drop-In (Vic Hall)

Learn how to schedule adequate time for studying for each of your final exams – no matter how many you might have!

A Peer Learning Assistant will take you through the process step-by-step and answer your questions about revising, catching up and writing exams.

Location: Victoria Hall Lobby

Friday, April 5 12:00pm-4:00pm

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).