Five Minute Workshops

What are Five Minute Workshops?

Five Minute Workshops are brief, summary discussions or explanations of a principle, an approach, or other method related in some way to writing. Because good writing is strongly related to critical thinking and reading, we may also include short segments related to these topics as well.

An instructor might use a Five Minute Workshop to provide the entire class with some examples and counterexamples of a specific writing principle. This oral presentation might save the instructor time (when compared to writing similar comments on individual papers), and it has the advantage of placing a writing principle in a particular context (it applies here but not here). The primary challenge to the instructor is to keep it short and focused.

  • Identify a writing or editing principle.
  • Give a few examples.
  • Specify a context: when it applies, when it doesn’t apply.
  • Provide a rationale: why it matters (and when it doesn’t).
  • Apply to a list of sentences culled from student papers.
  • Keep it short and focused.

Five Minute Workshops are available below.  While both the general resources and the workshops may be especially helpful to instructors of Writing Intensive courses, they are available for anyone to use. Each page contains a printer-friendly version, so feel free to use and distribute these in your classrooms or departments.