‘The Writing Workshop’ organized at St Agnes College (Autonomous), Mangaluru – KONKANCATHOLIC.COM

‘The Writing Workshop’ organized at St Agnes College (Autonomous), Mangaluru

March 4, 2024

Mangaluru: A National Level Workshop on Academic Writing and Research, “The Writing Workshop,” was organized by the PG Department of English, Centre for PG Studies and Research, St Agnes College (Autonomous), Mangaluru, on March 1, 2024, in the conference hall of Sophia Block. The resource people were Ammel Sharon and Diya Deviah, co-directors at The Writing Centre, National Law School of India University, Bengaluru. The workshop provided sessions on active reading, engaging with sources, note-taking, and structuring the research project.

The participants of the workshop included 63 students and 13 scholars and teachers from various institutes across the country. The event began with a prayer, and then the convenor of the event, Ms Joanna Simon, Assistant Professor, PG Department of English, greeted the gathering. The Head (in-charge) of the PG Department of English, Dr Zubaida H., introduced the resource persons. Ammel Sharon is also Project Director of the Queer Archive for Memory, Reflection, and Activism (QAMRA) Archival Project at NLSIU and Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Fellow. Diya Deviah is also an assistant professor of economics and law at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. She has an MPhil in Law from the University of Oxford and was a Global Junior Scholar with the Constitutions and Democratic Resilience Project.

In her address, Sr Dr Vinora AC, the Coordinator of the St. Agnes Centre for PG Studies and Research, spoke about how writing unites people and is an effective medium of communication. She encouraged the audience to keep an open mind, to learn, and to embrace challenges. She reiterated the importance of committing to growing and writing, which the workshop symbolized.

The workshop began with a session by Ammel Sharon on active reading. She emphasized the nuances of academic reading and writing. She went on to comprehensively outline the four levels of active reading integral to effective writing, i.e., elementary reading, inspectional reading/systematic skimming, analytical reading, and synoptical reading. She trained the participants to work with a complex text and break down the meaning and context. In other sessions, she highlighted the importance of making notes of a text in a smart way that effectively encapsulates it and can be referred to even after a span of years. She guided the students to do the same using the Cornell note-taking template. She took up active training sessions on how to structure writing and on engaging with the sources. She gave demonstrations on the structural elements of writing, such as title, subheading, name of the author, affiliation of the author, abstract, keywords, introduction, body, conclusion, etc. Handouts and worksheets were used for all the sessions.

Diya Deviah then gave a deeper understanding of the structure of writing, emphasizing that academic work is collaborative and incremental. Writing requires incorporating the studies of scholars, and the process of writing necessitates the systematic addition of ideas and arguments. She taught participants to funnel ideas into a concise, high-level summary of the article, called an abstract. She dealt with the role of the paragraph in depth since it is the fundamental unit of an essay. She drew her session to a close by teaching how to write topic sentences.

Ammel Sharon took over to briefly highlight the importance of citations in academic writing.
She emphasized that integrity in academic writing makes a researcher trustworthy. She also provided tips on differentiation between summary, paraphrase, and quotation.

Finally, the resource people engaged in a question-and-answer session to clarify the doubts of participants.

The workshop ended with Ms Raveena Mascarenhas, Assistant Professor, PG Department of English, expressing gratitude to the resource people for their practical teachings, beneficial engagement with participants, and thoughtfulness in the way they designed the module and imparted important aspects of academic reading and writing to the participants.
The participants were mentally enriched and practically equipped by the end of the workshop. They were grateful for the workshop and the knowledge and skills imparted by the resource people.