2013 Writing Workshop
The WCVM Research Office organized a Writing Tools Workshop on Thursday, June 13, for all of the 2013 summer research students.
Why a writing workshop? Our goal is to equip students with some basic writing tools that they will need to produce a short news article draft about their research project. Their articles, which are to be written for a lay audience, are due on Friday, July 19, 2013.
Once the students' article drafts are edited and approved, their stories will be posted to WCVM Today. This is a new requirement in the WCVM’s summer research program that will provide students with some additional communications experience for their future careers in veterinary medicine.
The half-day workshop included the following presentations:
- "Veterinary medicine and writing." Dr. Jamie Rothenburger (WCVM '10), graduate student, Department of Veterinary Pathology (presentation not available)
- "The bare bones: your research story." Michael Robin, research communications specialist, U of S Communications
- "Interviewing." Myrna MacDonald, Communications, WCVM
- "Dear Gramma Iris and Uncle Boris: writing for the general public." Colleen MacPherson, editor, On Campus News and news.usask.ca
- "Social media." Presentation with input from Dr. Melodie Chan (WCVM '02) and Dr. Cody Creelman (WCVM '11)
- "Your writing assignment." Myrna MacDonald, Communications, WCVM
- All of the WCVM's 2013 summer research students must produce a 600- to 700-word article about their research projects or aspects of their supervisors' research. The deadline for story drafts is Friday, July 19, 2013. Story drafts can be submitted to Myrna MacDonald.
- Your article should include input from at least one interviewee (for example, your research mentor or a member of your research team).
- Story viewpoint: Since you are a participant in the research project, one option is to begin your story in the first person (from your perspective) and then switch to third person (from your interviewee's perspective). Read "Student studies diseases of wild rats" (by Dr. Jamie Rothenburger) as an example of this style. If you would like to discuss other options, please contact Myrna MacDonald.
- Your audience: Readers of WCVM Today (wcvmtoday.com). Your stories may be repurposed/reprinted by other web sites/publications.
- Editing: Story draft will be edited (mainly for style, grammar, punctuation). The file (including tracked changes) will be returned to you for review.
- Review: Edited story draft will be sent to your interviewee for
- Photos: We can discuss ideas for photos or you can go ahead and take some shots! Please submit high resolution JPG files.
- Publication: Research summer students’ articles (including your byline) will be posted over next five to six months.
- Social media: Your stories will be promoted through Twitter, Facebook. Please feel free to post!
- Article examples? Search “Robyn Thrasher” or “Melissa Cavanagh” using WCVM Today’s search feature. Or read some of the stories listed under "Research" on WCVM Today.
Here are links to some of the resources that were discussed during the workshop presentations:
Questions about the writing assignment?
Myrna MacDonald, Communications, WCVM
tel: 1-306-225-4479 • cell: 306-291-9950