The RISD Writing Center offers workshops designed to help students learn or refresh writing skills all year long. Check out our list of topics below, and check back for occasional updates and additions.

Faculty: please see this separate list, which includes additional workshops that are only available for delivery in your classrooms.

For more information on attending a workshop, please e-mail Meredith Barrett.

Liberal Arts-focused Workshops

E101 Literary Analysis: Overview and Q+A
Presented by: Meredith Barrett
You may already be familiar with writing about literature from high school, but college-level assignments will take you deeper into literary analysis. Your E101 professor will guide you through conventions in the discipline, but this workshop will provide a refresher, a chance to further your practice of writing as a reader, and a place to ask questions. We’ll cover topics including annotating texts; close reading; quoting from the text; and analyzing character, plot, dialogue, symbols, and metaphors.

H101 Formal Analysis Paper: Overview and Q+A
Presented by: Jen Liese
Your first H101 paper assignment—the formal analysis—is probably entirely new to you. Your H101 professor will guide you through the conventions, but you may want to learn more. In this workshop, we’ll review the essentials and the finer points of this cornerstone of art history writing, share approaches for looking, describing, and analyzing, and raise the questions you thought no one else would have.

Grad-focused Workshops

Grad Written Thesis Now
Presented by: Anne West and Jen Liese
This participatory workshop is designed to locate your thesis-writing process now—in its early ideation stages—and imagine what your thesis book will become. We’ll look at exemplary thesis book models and write in response to a series of exploratory prompts. We will also learn about RISD’s many forms of thesis support, including our series of in-depth Wintersession thesis workshops. Grad students from all departments and in any year are welcome, and everyone should come ready to write.

Grad Written Thesis Workshops
Presented by: Anne West and Jen Liese
Four in-depth workshops designed to support thesis writers in developing content, building a robust research process, writing an abstract and outline, and designing the thesis book. Grad students from all departments and in any year are welcome, and everyone should come ready to write.

Spring Break Grad Thesis Writing Retreat
Hosted by: Jen Liese and Meredith Barrett
Sticking around for Spring Break? Spend a little “us” time with you thesis. Come at any stage of your thesis-writing process. Bring your laptop. Work on your own, pair up, or consult with Writing Center staff, who are happy to chat you through roadblocks and answer questions. Bottomless coffee and lunch will be served, courtesy of Graduate Studies. RSVP for one or both days (limited seats per day)

Art and Design-focused Workshops

Writing for Crit
Presented by: Jen Liese
Critiques are an opportunity to share your work with an insightful audience and gain feedback for a project’s development. So why are crits so often sources of stress? And how can we get the most out of the experience? This workshop will invite us to experiment with prompted list-making, self-interviews, and “objective” formal analysis designed to help you articulate your intentions, observations, and questions before crit. We’ll also review quick note-taking methods for crit time itself, and using writing post-crit to reflect and self-direct.
*Participants: please bring a piece you’ve made to engage with in this session.

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