Student Workshops Enhance Research, Writing Skills

September 5, 2019

As classes begin, so also begins a series of workshops provided by Pitts Theology Library and Candler School of Theology’s Writing Center designed to increase student success by sharpening research and writing skills.

Pitts Theology Library’s “Weekly Workshops” will be held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in Room 250 of the Rita Anne Rollins Building (unless otherwise noted), with presentations by library staff on a variety of topics meant to help students, faculty and community members learn the skills and tools of research. While registration for Pitts’ Weekly Workshops is not required, it is encouraged. Lunch is provided for the first ten people who register. Learn more and register for workshops.

Candler’s Writing Center workshops will be held on select Tuesdays from 12:00 to 12:50 p.m. in Room 501 of the Rita Anne Rollins Building (unless otherwise noted). They aim to help students writing effectively across different styles. Registration is encouraged but not required.

A list of the workshop titles, dates, and descriptions follows.

Pitts’ Weekly Workshops:

Research 101
Tuesday, September 10
Wednesday, September 11

A number of resources at Pitts can help streamline your preparation for tests and papers. This workshop will explore ways to identify and then use these resources to save you time.

Deciphering Databases
Tuesday, September 17
Wednesday, September 18

During your time at Candler, you will write close to 100 papers. This workshop will help you save time and carry out your research with greater ease. We will explore strategies for finding and evaluating resources using two core databases: the DiscoverE library catalogue and ATLA. Bring a laptop if you would like to practice these skills in the workshop.

Buying Books on a Budget
Tuesday, September 24
Wednesday, September 25
Both sessions will be held in Rita Anne Rollins Building Room 421

Construct a theology library on a $200 budget? Challenge accepted! This workshop will introduce you to strategies for deciding what to buy, where to buy it, and how to find free/cheap alternatives to buying books.

Digital Tools for Practical Ministry
Tuesday, October 1
Wednesday, October 2

Knowing the reality of the current ministerial landscape, you will likely have to wear many hats in your future career! This workshop will give you an overview of the many tools that are available to help you with communication (email systems like MailChimp), data management (not just Excel, but also Tableau and Google Sheets), and web presence (WordPress and Omeka). Investing some time in tools like these will save you headaches in the future.

The Great Citation Race
Tuesday, October 8
Wednesday, October 9

Citation is central to academic writing, but it can be tedious. In this workshop, we will cover how to cite a variety of sources in Chicago style (with reference to the Turabian and SBL styles). At the end, we’ll put what we’ve learned into practice through a citation race–with prizes!

Tuesday, October 22
Wednesday, October 23

This workshop will introduce you to the free citation management tool Zotero, which many Candler students and faculty use to keep track of resources, take notes, and generate citations. Appropriate for new users and those who need a refresher.

Worship Planning: Advent Edition
Tuesday, October 29
Wednesday, October 30

Advent, the season of preparation and anticipation, marks the beginning of the liturgical year for the Church. Unfortunately, it also coincides with the demanding conclusion of your academic semester! Join us for a discussion of resources related to the texts, traditions, and symbols of the season that can help facilitate your preparations for Advent. 

Candler’s Writing Center Workshops:

Mastering the Essay Exam: Keys to Deciphering Prompts and Responding Effectively
Tuesday, September 17

The essay exam can feel a little strange for the uninitiated. Do professors want a three-point essay response? Do they want my opinion, or do they want “just the facts”? Join us for this session as we discuss strategies for reading (and deciphering) the prompt and crafting an effective response.

Creating a Persuasive Argument: There’s More to Writing than Writing
Tuesday, October 29
This session will be held in Rita Anne Rollins Building Room 250

Creating an effective argument requires more than simply getting facts down on a page. It even requires more than writing clear and legible statements. A persuasive argument requires stating your claim clearly, deciding how to support it, and gathering the required evidence to convince your audience. Join the Writing Center and Pitts Theology Library staff as we discuss how to achieve these goals.

Tackling the Personal Statement: How to Effectively Communicate Your Value
Tuesday, November 12

Whether you’re applying for a job, ordination, a scholarship, a grant, or a PhD program, you will often be asked to tell your readers about your life and development. Instead of restating the details of your life from birth to present, join us to explore ideas for presenting your accomplishments in a way that advocates for yourself and your giftedness.