Students Staff

Workshops - Autumn Term 2017

Our workshops are open to all students and are run at both our Colchester and Southend campuses during term time. Each workshop lasts about 50 minutes.

If you can't attend a workshop, you can use our 1:1 advising service. Our advisers can help you with all aspects of academic study and assignment preparation, including help with your dissertation.

Workshops will be held in the TDC Helpdesk area of the Silberrad Student Centre, unless otherwise stated. To book a place, either visit the Helpdesk and sign up, or call our team on extension 4834. Bookings are essential as places are limited. Bookings can't be made via email

Autumn term

Week 2: beginning 9 October 2017

  • Time management


    • Tuesday 10 October, 12noon

    Provides hints and tips on how to manage your studies without over-stressing. This is a very practical workshop, delivered by someone who knows just how difficult it is to fit everything in and meet deadlines. Come along and learn how to do it – and relax and enjoy!

  • Study skills: university lectures


    • Thursday 12 October, 12noon

    To get the best from your lectures, it is not enough to turn-up and listen - you also need to prepare, take effective notes and have a review and revision strategy in place that works for you. This session will present some well-tested strategies for lecture research, note-taking and review. The workshop will be task-based; you need to come (with a note pad and pen!) prepared to try out different approaches to find out what suits your learning style best. We’ll be looking at ways to work with a lecture study partner too – so persuade a friend along, if you can.

  • Returning to study


    • Thursday 12 October, 1pm

    Are you a student who is returning to study after a long break or perhaps entering the academic world for the first time? This workshop will encourage you to think about what it means to be a student and how to get the most out of academic study. It will help you to thrive in an academic environment and signpost where you can get additional support to help you along the way.

Week 3: beginning 16 October 2017

  • Writing well: academic style


    • Tuesday 17 October, 12noon

    Knowing how to write at university and what is expected of you can feel confusing. This session will help you with both practical ways of improving your writing and help you think about the principles and questions that underpin the idea of academic style.

  • Using reading lists: TALIS (LIB LAB)


    • Tuesday 17 October, 1pm

    Details to be confirmed.

  • Effective reading notes


    • Thursday 19 October, 12noon

    In this workshop we will discuss why and how we make notes from our reading. We will consider the benefits of making notes, such as avoiding plagiarism, saving time and helping our understanding of text. We will go on to consider the merits of a variety of note-making techniques.

  • Referencing made easy (LIB LAB)


    • Thursday 19 October, 1pm

    Details to be confirmed.

Week 4: beginning 23 October 2017

  • In your own words: How to use reading in your writing


    • Tuesday 24 October, 12noon

    This workshop looks at how you can engage with difficult academic texts and use them in your own writing. As well as discussing the practicalities of how you paraphrase, summarise and quote from sources, we will also think about how to engage critically with texts, and how reading relates to writing.

  • Evidencing critical thinking


    • Thursday 26 October, 12noon

    Critical thinking is at the heart of every academic discipline, and whilst it can sound like a daunting term, it is something that you are already familiar with from your everyday life. In this session we will look at how to make sure you are approaching your studies critically, and how you can develop your existing skills and practices.

  • Critical thinking: Arguments, opinions and beliefs


    • Thursday 26 October, 1pm

    Details to be confirmed.

Week 5: beginning 30 October 2017

  • Critical thinking: assessing arguments


    • Tuesday 31 October, 1pm

    Details to be confirmed.

  • In your own words: How to use reading in your writing


    • Thursday 2 November, 12noon

    This workshop looks at how you can engage with difficult academic texts and use them in your own writing. As well as discussing the practicalities of how you paraphrase, summarise and quote from sources, we will also think about how to engage critically with texts, and how reading relates to writing.

  • Using Reading Lists (computer lab)


    • Thursday 2 November, 1pm

    If you are daunted by lengthy reading lists and don’t know where to begin, this session is for you. The session will show you how to make the best use of reading lists and the Talis Aspire software which the University of Essex uses. It will guide you through how to select and prioritise the most relevant and useful texts, and show you how to make your reading as effective as possible.

Week 6: beginning 6 November

  • Presentation skills


    • Tuesday 7 November, 12noon

    Do you want to be able to communicate more effectively when you give oral presentations? Would you like some practical advice about how to make the experience of speaking to an audience less stressful? This workshop will offer useful tips which can boost your confidence and clarity when you speak in public.

  • Using software: Excel (computer lab)


    • Tuesday 7 November, 1pm

    This session will give an introduction in how to use Excel to present and analyse data, including how to use basic formulae, and format tables and graphs for export to Word.

  • Critical thinking: Cognitive bias


    • Thursday 9 November, 12noon

    Details to be confirmed.

  • Writing well: Academic style


    • Thursday 9 November, 1pm

    Knowing how to write at university and what is expected of you can feel confusing. This session will help you with both practical ways of improving your writing and help you think about the principles and questions that underpin the idea of academic style.

Week 7: beginning 13 November

  • Finding Resources (Lib lab)


    • Tuesday 14 November, 12noon

    Details to be confirmed.

  • Structuring an essay


    • Tuesday 14 November, 12noon

    Writing university essays can be challenging. In this workshop, we will look at how to generate and organise ideas, how different types of assignment question can suggest different structures, and how to translate that into your academic writing.

  • Proofreading/editing


    • Tuesday 14 November, 1pm

    Details to be confirmed.

  • Analysing essay questions


    • Thursday 16 November, 12noon

    One of the most common complaints from lecturers is that their students have not answered the question – and if you want to avoid making that mistake, the key first step is to understand what the question is asking you to do. In this session we will look at analysing and unpacking assignment instructions so that you can see what is expected from you with different types of question and make sure you are approaching your writing in the right way.

Week 8: beginning 20 November

  • Referencing Made Easy (LRR Training Room) Library Team


    • Tuesday 21 November, 12noon

    This interactive session will introduce you to referencing and why it is important when writing your assignments. You will also learn what to reference, how to construct your references, and where to go for help and support.

  • Critical Thinking – Logical Fallacies Cristobal Petersen


    • Tuesday 21 November, 1pm

    Details to be confirmed.

  • Using Software: Word (COMPUTER LAB - TBC)


    • Tuesday 21 November, 12pm-2pm

    This hands-on workshop in a PC lab will tackle the most common and relevant aspects of formatting written work on the page using Word. It will also help you improve your ability to edit, polish and submit your work in ways most likely to please those who assess it – and therefore earn you higher marks.

  • Science Paper Format/Structuring a Science Paper


    • Thursday 23 November, 1pm

    Research papers can seem intimidating - daunting both to read and to write. But information in a lot of research articles is actually organised in a fairly standard way. This workshop will explain the main components of the ‘Science Paper Format’ (SPF). By understanding these key elements, you will see that SPF writing allows researchers to communicate their study findings effectively and allows readers to locate the information they want. It will help you read academic articles by others quickly and efficiently, and show you how to structure a well-organised research report yourself.

  • Searching Within Resources: Tips & Strategies (LRR Training Room) Library Team


    • Thursday 23 November, 1pm

    Do you find it challenging to find enough information for your assignments? Perhaps you find it difficult to find relevant information amongst the huge number of results that a search returns. This session will equip you with the tips and techniques you need to make your searches relevant and manageable.

Week 9: beginning 27 November

  • Evaluating resources/which websites can I use? (Lib lab)


    • Tuesday 28 November, 12noon

    Details to be confirmed.

  • Critical thinking: Advanced argumentative strategies


    • Thursday 30 November, 12noon

    Details to be confirmed.

  • Structuring an essay


    • Thursday 30 November, 1pm

    Writing university essays can be challenging. In this workshop, we will look at how to generate and organise ideas, how different types of assignment question can suggest different structures, and how to translate that into your academic writing.

Week 10: beginning 4 December

  • Developing a research proposal


    • Tuesday 5 December, 12noon

    This session is intended to encourage thought and discussion about the dissertation research proposal. We will focus on a range of factors to be considered, from practicalities to potential problems, attempting to begin with your own stage of progress and your understanding of research proposal requirements.

  • Effective reading notes


    • Thursday 7 December, 12noon

    In this workshop we will discuss why and how we make notes from our reading. We will consider the benefits of making notes, such as avoiding plagiarism, saving time and helping our understanding of text. We will go on to consider the merits of a variety of note-making techniques.

Week 11: beginning 11 December

  • Thinking about a Masters or PhD?


    • Tuesday 12 December, 12noon

    Are you tempted by the idea of postgraduate study, but have some questions you want answered? If so, come along and talk to people who’ve been through it before for advice on what it is like as an academic experience, and all the practical implications – from funding to career opportunities.

  • Proofreading/editing


    • Tuesday 12 December, 1pm

    Details to be confirmed.

Details of the academic skills, maths and statistics workshop programmes will be available shortly. For more information please contact tdc-southend@essex.ac.uk