CWS Workshops & Courses

The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) Center for Writing & Scholarship (CWS) has two offerings for students interested in advancing their academic writing skills. The first is a Summer 2018 Dissertation Lab for those in the proposal or dissertation writing stages. The second is a two-credit course (CT-6468), which will be offered through the Center for Writing & Scholarship.

Additional workshops may be added during the Fall 2018 semester.

Summer 2018 Dissertation Lab

The process of organizing, researching, and writing your dissertation is often a lonely experience. The Dissertation Lab summer program is about creating a community of CIIS dissertation scholars where, together, we explore topics of necessity and interest.

The Dissertation Lab is a series of weekly online two-hour workshops designed to help you navigate the complex processes of organizing your research, developing a proposal, or moving on to the dissertation.

Attend all or just the sessions most relevant to you. No matter where you are in the Ph.D. process, the Dissertation Lab is an invitation to continue developing your skills in a peer environment. As a community, we will share resources, best practices, and a lot of encouragement!

Thursdays, June 28th – August 16th
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM (Pacific)
Drop in to some or all of the sessions

Online via Zoom. To receive the Zoom link, send an email to Dissertation Lab.

You must be a California Institute of Integral Studies student to participate. Ideal for CIIS students at the comprehensive exam, proposal or dissertation stages who want to advance their writing and critical thinking skills.

Throughout the eight-week session, we will develop an understanding of conventional academic writing standards for graduate students while exploring what it means have an integral voice as an academic writer/researcher/scholar.

Click on the links below to access the PowerPoint presentation and audio recording for sessions that have already taken place.

  • June 28thHoning a topic and developing a research question, and beginning thoughts on organizing research
  • July 5thDiscovering your creative process, dealing with obstacles (writer’s block, procrastination, and overwhelm), and finding your integral voice
  • July 12th: Cultivating and deepening critical thinking skills, developing your argument
  • July 19th: Research organization skills, different ways to create outlines
  • July 26th: Writing and revision as a recursive process
  • August 2nd: Creating a comprehensive, yet interesting (non-laundry list) literature review
  • August 9th: Understanding the role of methodology: overview, purpose, and common components
  • August 16th: Understanding citation basics (APA, Chicago, MLA), avoiding plagiarism, and developing support resources

Academic Foundations: Composition and Communication (CT-6468, 2-units)

Enroll now for this Fall 2018 online CIIS course. It’s an ideal and flexible complement to your academic program. The course is offered through the Center for Writing and Scholarship (CWS) as CT-6468.

Regardless of where you are in your studies, this course can help take you to the next level of academic writing. It is designed to give students an opportunity to form stronger foundations for effective writing in standard academic papers such as improving critical reading, honing sentence-level grammar, developing thesis statements, organizing paragraphs and essays, creating transitions between ideas, citing texts, and revising for clarity and depth.

Students will develop a self-awareness and confidence in regards to their practices as writers and speakers and will explore linguistic theories to assist in the clear communication of ideas and concepts and how language, culture, society, and identity correlate in shaping the expression of ideas.

A minimum of nine students must enroll for this course to be offered.

Deb Kirby, PhD

About the instructor:
As a CWS senior fellow for three years, Deb worked with dozens of students from the CIIS BAC, Masters, and PhD programs to help improve writing, organization, and creative processes. She earned a PhD in transformative inquiry from CIIS.

Deb’s goal is to help impart lifelong skills related to the writing process, while honoring each individual’s creativity.