Individual consultations: research, writing, learning
We offer free, confidential writing appointments to University of Guelph Students (undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral), faculty, and visiting scholars. We can help you organize and structure writing projects, provide feedback on drafts, answer questions about writing in specific disciplines or genres, and much more. All writing appointments are booked online.
Brain Food Thesis and Dissertation Workshops
To register for these sessions, visit the Library’s Events Calendar. Each of the five workshops in the series is 3 hours in length and is offered one or more times each semester.
Brain Food: Getting Started on Your Thesis
In this workshop session, we provide foundational skills and strategies that will carry you through the thesis or dissertation process.
Topics Covered will include:
Managing the Thesis Process:
We discuss goal setting and time management strategies to keep you motivated throughout your graduate degree.
Formulating Your Research Question
Your research question forms the basis of your research project. In this section, we discuss how to formulate an effective research question and how to use it to guide and inform your thesis or dissertation from start to finish.
Working with Data:
With so many ways to obtain data it’s difficult to make sense of it sometimes. Come to this workshop to learn techniques on how to start working with your data and better answer your research question.
Brain Food: Time Management Essentials
In this workshop session, we address the specific time management challenges that graduate students face.
Topics covered will include:
Graduate When You Want To: Long-term Planning:
Learn how to predict your time to completion and use project management tools to help you meet your goals as a graduate student.
Learn practical strategies to help you achieve school-work-life balance.
Time Management from the Inside Out:
Procrastination and perfectionism are common challenges for many graduate students. In this session, we will identify strategies to modify or decrease unhelpful behaviors.
Brain Food: Writing the Literature Review
In this workshop session, we focus on one of the most difficult parts to write, the Literature Review.
Gathering and Reading Literature:
A good thesis demands a good literature review, and that means finding and critically analyzing the key literature in your field. IN this session, learn some methods for fining and evaluating the literature in order to select relevant and authoritative sources. We’ll also be discussing the use of Zotero for citation management
Writing the Literature Review:
Your literature review is a key component of your thesis or dissertation. This session will discuss how to connect the literature review to your argument, build the structure for your review, and avoid some of the common traps when writing.
Brain Food: Outlining Your Thesis + Explaining Your Research Findings
In this workshop session, we analyze the common features and structures of the thesis/dissertation and then focus more specifically on the results and discussion sections.
Outlining Your Thesis:
This session offers a visual mapping strategy that you can use to organize your research and writing, structure your argument logically, manage your evidence, and ultimately create an outline of your entire thesis writing project.
Writing Results and Discussion Sections:
This session introduces writing strategies that will help you describe your data and communicate the significance of your research findings.
A picture is worth a thousand words! It is time to explore or explain your research findings through visualizations. This workshop will introduce the data visualization process, examine the strengths and weaknesses of standard chart types, and provide an introduction to how to build these charts using Tableau software.
Brain Food: Publishing and Presenting Your Research
In this workshop session, we focus on communicating your research to a wider audience.
Topics covered will include:
Disseminating Your Thesis:
This session will cover that you need to know with respect to publishing and author rights, as well as the e-thesis submission process via the library’s Atrium. It will help you to identify the publishing models and options available to understand copyright and what you should be negotiating with publishers.
Presenting Your Research:
Need to share your research with others? This session will introduce you to resources and strategies for visually and orally presenting your research evidence.
Dissertation Boot Camp (DBC)
This intensive one-week (Monday to Friday, 8:45 am – 4:00 pm) program is designed to help graduate students accomplish their thesis writing goals and accelerate their time to completion. DBC is offered once every semester and accommodates 28-40 students per program.
DBC offers graduate students focused and supported individual time to write as well as lessons on writing issues and access to one-on-one support with writing experts.
In this Bootcamp you will:
- Learn and practice good writing habits during morning and afternoon individual writing sessions
- Consult with our writing staff during individual check-in appointments to address any specific writing concerns and/or help create a personal writing plan
- Meet with staff from the Data Resource Centre, Learning Services, and Research & Scholarship to access support for data management, time management, and publishing
- Participate in mandatory and optional writing workshops hosted over the course of the week (Mindful Ways of Writing: Thesis Structures and Thesis Mapping; Time Management and Goal Setting; Grammar and Style; Writing the Literature Review; Electronic Theses and Dissertations Submissions; and Author Rights)
- Engage with fellow students to share experiences and survival strategies
This program accepts applications from graduate students who:
- Have finished their coursework
- Have had their Thesis Proposal accepted (if this is their department’s requirement)
- Need focused time and space for writing
- Have already started writing their MA thesis or Ph.D. dissertation.
Preference is given to Ph.D. Candidates and to students at the Mater’s level who are enrolled in a thesis-based program. Preference is also given to participants who have participated in the BrainFood: Thesis and Dissertation Workshops and who have not attended a previous Dissertation Boot Camp.
How to Apply:
Complete the DBC Application Form.
Presentation Boot Camp
- Learn strategies to improve your presentation skills
- Focus on specific areas of improvement, such as voice clarity or slide design
- Give a short presentation and receive feedback
Participants who attend both workshops will receive a certificate of attendance.
If you are looking for individual feedback on a specific presentation rather than a series of workshops to build your presentation skills, please book an appointment.
Register for these workshops by visiting the Library Events Calendar.
Talk Like an Academic
Talk Like an Academic is a series of seven workshops that are designed to help EAL graduate students develop English communication skills and confidence while they practice interacting in six different academic communication contexts. This program is offered in the Winter semester.
Write Like an Academic
Write Like an Academic is a series of six workshops that are designed to help EAL graduate students develop their academic writing skills and confidence while they practice interacting in six different academic communication situations. This program is offered in the Fall semester.
Pronunciation Group is a series of sessions designed to help EAL graduate students improve their pronunciation for conversation and presentations. This program is offered in the Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer semesters. Currently, there are three levels available.