The workshop structures below are designed to follow the writing sequence of the DSEM although they can be used in other classes or at other times than suggested. For example, part way through the semester you might realize that your students need to work on reading or summary skills. Repeating a workshop or holding a brief impromptu workshop on another class day as needed are both effective ways to help students strengthen their writing. These workshops may be facilitated by Professors and/or Writing Fellows, but they work best if either the Professor or the Writing Fellow takes responsibility for logistics and both circulate and offer feedback as the students work. These structures can be adapted to any course content.

Planning DSEM Workshops

Before you start, the first two documents will be helpful reviews, especially if faculty and Writing Fellow discuss them before the first workshop. Samples of workshops that work offer general examples that may be used in class or adapted.

The First DSEM Writing Workshop

This occurs before a paper is due and gets students used to working with peers and seeing writing and talking as ways to learn, not just as things to be graded. It also introduces students to Writing Fellows and their role as part of class instruction. If they run the workshop with full support of the faculty member, their authority with students will increase, as will the likelihood that students will elect to work with them. Below are a list of possible structures with links to handouts where relevant.

  • Workshops that work 1: Write-to-Learn  –  this document describes a number of workshops that can be used for the first DSEM workshop, or adapted for use as short workshops as necessary throughout the semester. Writing Fellows may also use these working with small groups of students outside of class.  
  • Additional resources to assign or use in workshop (see peer review questions)

The Second DSEM Writing Workshop

This may occur as students are brainstorming ideas for a paper, after they have a general idea of what they will write, or after they have written a very rough draft.