Class PresentationsIn addition to working with students one-on-one in the center, UWC staff can visit classes and other on-campus groups to talk about the services we offer and to offer support on various issues related to writing. We conduct short introductions to the UWC that get students acquainted with our services; longer presentations on college-level writing that advise students on the process of writing various kinds of papers; workshops that help students revise their work; and presentations that walk instructors and teaching assistants through different strategies for responding to student writing. You can see more detailed descriptions of our presentations below. Please see our Request a Presentation page to schedule a presentation. Check out our comprehensive FAQ section below if you have additional questions about our policies and procedures.
You can download copies of our presentations and workshops here.
Presentations for Student Writers
Introduction to the Writing Center Presentation
Showing your writing to a stranger can be intimidating. To help students feel more comfortable about coming to the UWC, many instructors invite one of our consultants to their class to give a ten-minute presentation. This presentation provides all the essential details about the center (hours, location and policies) and allow students to ask questions about how we can meet their individual needs. If requested, we can provide copies of the UWC brochure and a “Getting the Most from your visit to the UWC” handout which details what students should expect when visiting. Please request your introductory presentation at least one week in advance.
Longer Writing Presentations
In addition to presentations about the UWC, we offer 45-50 minute presentations on various writing-related subjects. All longer presentations include brief introductions to the UWC. Please request your long presentation at least two weeks in advance. Our longer presentations are:
- Avoiding Plagiarism: This presentation advises students on how to research and write in an academically responsible way. Specifically, it defines plagiarism and academic dishonesty; discusses why academic honesty is important; and advises students on some best practices for avoiding plagiarism in their own writing. This presentation does not cover all the discipline- or style-specific rules for citing sources. It is intended to be generally applicable to any academic or professional discipline that adheres to Western notions of intellectual and academic honesty.
- Introduction to College Writing: This presentation introduces students to the expectations and conventions of college-level writing. It explores the intellectual and stylistic standards that are unique to writing in college and gives students an opportunity to practice applying these standards to a sample piece of writing. It also dispels certain "myths" that new college students tend to belive about writing, such as "good writers write quickly and effortlessly."
- Presenting Science Research: This presentation was originally developed for the Science Undergraduate Research Group (SURGe). It advises students in the sciences on some effective ways to present their research in both visual and verbal formats. Specifically, it discusses best practices for constructing science presentation posters and for developing the short verbal "pitches" that typically accompany those posters.
- Writing in Process: This presentation focuses on the basics of writing college-level papers. It is applicable to writing in all academic genres and all disciplines. We walk students through strategies for writing planning, for creating and structuring papers, and for revising papers. This presentation is particularly effective for new college students and for students in Substantial Writing Component courses or other courses that require at least one major writing assignment.
- Writing Lab Reports: This presentation discusses best practices for planning, creating, and revising lab reports in the hard and social sciences. It covers the different sections of a report (title, abstract, materials and methods, etc.) and details the goals of each. It also advises students on cultivating the concise, direct, and active sentence-level style that is particularly important in science writing.
- Writing Personal Statements: This presentation helps students develop and write effective personal statements for graduate school, medical school, law school and beyond. The presentation covers topics such as “what is the admissions committee looking for?” and provides a framework for students’ writing whether applying to professional schools or individual graduate programs.
- Writing Research Papers: This presentation is applicable to research papers that support thesis statements or answer non-experimental research questions. It outlines how to plan, create, structure, and revise research papers, with a focus on constructing arguments. It closely resembles the Writing in Process presentation, but focuses more closely on successful paragraphing, supporting claims, and integrating evidence.
- Writing Resumes and Cover Letters: In addition to a presentation on Writing Personal Statements, we also offer a presentation on constructing resumes and cover letters. This presentation advises writers on how to construct visually and rhetorically effective resumes, and how to write cover letters to accompany those resumes.
We offer 45-50 minute revision workshops that encourage students to revise their papers holistically, for greater clarity and overall coherence. These workshops include brief introductions to the UWC. For a workshop to benefit your students, it should be scheduled to occur before they turn in revised drafts of their papers. Your students will need to bring unmarked copies of their papers to the workshop, as well as three different-colored writing implements to mark up their drafts according to the UWC presenter's instructions. Please request your revision workshop at least two weeks in advance. Our revision workshops are:
- Peer Review: This workshop is a version of the Revising Essays and Research Papers workshop that has been modified for peer review. It is applicable to thesis-driven essays and papers that focus on non-experimental research. During a Peer Review workshop, a UWC presenter will lead your students through a peer review process in which they will read a partner's paper and review it for the clarity and coherence of its thesis, main claims, evidence, analysis, and conclusion.
- Revising Essays and Research Papers: This workshop is applicable to thesis-driven essays and papers that focus on non-experimental research. Specifically, it asks students to locate and think critically about the essential elements of their papers: introduction, thesis/research question, body paragraphs, claims, evidence, conclusion. It also provides tips for sentence level editing and clean-up.
- Revising Lab Reports: This workshop is applicable to papers that focus on experimental, objective-driven research and that contain the typical lab report structure (title, abstract, materials and methods, etc.) Specifically, it asks students to locate and think critically about the essential elements of their papers, such as their objectives, background and context, main claims, etc.
TA Training Sessions
The UWC Presentations Group does not have the personnel resources to offer repeat presentations for the multiple discussion sections of large lecture courses, such as UGS 303. If you would like to request a presentation for a large, multi-section lecture course, but cannot spare one of your general lecture meetings for the presentation, we can train your TAs to deliver the presentation during their discussion sections. This process will not only ensure that your students are accessing UWC writing instruction, but also that your TAs are gaining some useful pedagogical training. Please request your TA training session at least two weeks in advance.
Presentations for Instructors and Teaching Assistants
Responding to Student Writing
In the Undergraduate Writing Center, many of our consultants and administrative staff members are also instructors at UT Austin. Accordingly, in addition to supporting student writers, we also offer support for instructors and teaching assistants who are responsible for responding to student writing. Our 45-50 minute Responding to Student Writing presentation outlines strategies that instructors and teaching assistants can use to maximize the effectiveness of the feedback they give their students. Please request your Responding to Student Writing at least two weeks in advance.
- Why should I schedule an in-class presentation?
- When should I schedule my presentation? How much advance notice do you need?
- Do you give presentations to campus organizations and FIGs?
- Will the material you cover only be relevant to my particular class?
- I have a specific assignment for my class. Can you build a longer presentation that directly addresses the requirements of my assignment?
- Can you talk about tips for writing a college essay in an additional ten minutes after your introduction to the UWC presentation?
- I’m unsure whether I should request the Writing Process presentation or one of the Research Papers presentations. Which do you recommend?
- My class is an upper-division SWC course. Will the material covered in a longer presentation be relevant to juniors and seniors?
- How comprehensive are your longer presentations?
- Are the longer presentations only relevant to one particular style of writing?
- What do you need from me before the presentation?
- I’ve apportioned 30 minutes of class time for one of your longer presentations. Can you condense the material you’ll cover to fit the timeframe?
- Will there be time for students to ask questions?
- In the longer presentations, will also you talk about the writing center’s services?
- I have several sections of a class. Will you be able to present to all of them?
- Do you need a media console/laptop and projector in the classroom for your presentations?
- Can I have a copy of the PowerPoint slides you used during your presentation?
- Where can I find additional copies of UWC handouts?
- How do I request a presentation?
One of the most frequent comments on our exit survey is “I wish I’d visited the Writing Center sooner in my college career”. Students hear about the UWC from a variety of places, but many don’t know what we actually do. A presentation allows us to give out information about our services and address any student concerns. In addition to this, our presentations:
- Give positive reinforcement of the importance of writing in a college environment
- Offer a way to open up/continue discussions about writing in class
- Connote the importance of revision and attention to argument
- Debunk myths about the UWC as a space just for poor writers and/or somewhere where you get your paper “proofread” for grammar mistakes
In our experience, students benefit from having a presentation sooner in the semester rather than later. Getting students to think about their writing skills early on gives them more time to think critically about their own writing process and start an in-class dialogue about their papers. We require one week’s notice for ten-minute introductions, two weeks’ notice for longer presentations and workshops, and three weeks' notice for presentations outside of our normal hours of operation (M-Th 9-7, F 9-3). [back to questions]
Absolutely. Please schedule your presentation during our normal opening hours. [back to questions]
Our goal at the UWC is to make students confident and independent writers, so the information we give out in classes is geared towards writing skills that we hope will complement every writing task they engage in. We emphasize in our presentations that different disciplines have different requirements and that students should always consider their audience when writing. [back to questions]
I have a specific assignment for my class. Can you build a longer presentation that directly addresses the requirements of my assignment?
We are happy to tailor our individual presentations to certain class requirements (e.g. adding a slide about writing abstracts or resources for APA style). If your assignment is very specific and not covered by our standard presentations, your students are probably better served by hearing this information from their instructor. As the primary purpose of UWC presentations is to provide general guidance for student writing at the college level, we are unable to generate entirely new presentations for individual assignments. [back to questions]
Can you talk about tips for writing a college essay in an additional ten minutes after your introduction to the UWC presentation?
We would be happy to answer students’ concerns about writing in a brief Q & A after our ten-minute presentation, but it is very difficult to address writing at a college level in such a short time. In these instances, we would recommend having one of our Writing Process presentations. [back to questions]
I’m unsure whether I should request the Writing Process presentation or one of the Research Papers presentations. Which do you recommend?
The Writing Process presentation is geared towards lower-division undergraduates, whereas the Research Papers presentations tend to be more popular for more advanced students. However, in our experience, students of all levels have benefited from either model. [back to questions]
My class is an upper-division SWC course. Will the material covered in a longer presentation be relevant to juniors and seniors?
Many juniors and seniors have not had much college-level writing experience, especially if they are in a major where they’ve not taken many SWC courses. Other students may have experience in writing, and our presentations can offer positive reinforcement of what they have been taught. We take care to prepare our presentations to our audience’s needs, and our presenters can give more advanced advice to upper-division writers. If you are considering a longer presentation, you may wish to ask your students if they would find it useful. [back to questions]
In a 45-50 minute session we give a brief, point-by-point guide to writing papers that we hope will get students thinking about the way they approach college writing. While we certainly try to address student concerns, we think that presentations are most effective in opening up a dialogue about writing and offering specific tips for success. We would encourage instructors to see the presentation as a starting point for writing in the class and not as a panacea for writing problems. [back to questions]
No. While they deal with argumentative essay writing for the most part, the presentations also impart advice about good study habits, breaking assignments down into their components, argumentation and paper structure: elements which are applicable to all college writing. [back to questions]
Please be as detailed as possible in your presentation request. If you have any special requirements (copies of handouts, arrival at a specific time) please note these. It is important for us to get a sense of audience, so any information you can supply about the students would be useful to us. We would also appreciate it greatly if you could speak to your class about why they are having a presentation from the writing center so that they are aware of its relevance. [back to questions]
I’ve apportioned 30 minutes of class time for one of your longer presentations. Can you condense the material you’ll cover to fit the timeframe?
Most of our presentations take at least 45 minutes from start to finish. As a 30-minute session cuts this timeframe by a third, this may not be possible. We kindly request that you apportion as much class time as possible for our presentation. [back to questions]
Yes. We always allow students to ask questions whenever they want. [back to questions]
Yes. We usually spend five minutes talking about the UWC’s services at the beginning of our longer presentations. [back to questions]
We give well over 100 presentations a year, and our schedule gets very congested at the beginning of the semester. We can generally accommodate most presentation requests but we may not be able to give you your most preferred time slot. We appreciate your patience with this. If you requesting presentations for discussion sections of a larger lecture class, we may ask that you request one presentation to be given once during the lecture, rather than multiple times during individual discussion sections. [back to questions]
We do not need a media console/projector for ten-minute introductions or revision workshops. Our longer presentations use PowerPoint or Prezi slideshows, and we would be grateful if you could request a projector if the classroom does not have one. We can also bring our own laptop and projector if needed. Please speciy what technology you have or do not have in your classroom when you request a presentation. [back to questions]
Yes. We ask that you keep the UWC information on the Prezi or PowerPoint and attribute all information that you take directly from the slide to us. You can download a copy of our basic Writing Process presentation here. [back to questions]
You can download PDFs and HTML copies of handouts from our handouts page. [back to questions]
Please visit our Request a Presentation page to schedule a presentation. [back to questions]