Graduate School Workshops

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Surviving Your Candidacy/Comprehensive Exam
Tuesday, January 5, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
**ONLINE** This workshop will examine the purpose of candidacy/comprehensive exams and include strategies to consider as you prepare for them and write your answers. You will have the opportunity to ask program-specific questions and seek one-on-one assistance from the presenters. This is a collaborative effort sponsored by NIU’s Writing Center and the Graduate School.
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Increase the Visibility of Your Research
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 5:15 PM
**ONLINE** Whether planning to publish, or having already published something, there are many ways to increase the visibility of your research to help others discover, use, and cite your work! In this workshop, you will: a) plan how to make research freely available on the web, b) use ORCID to ensure that research is attributed to creators, and c) consider sharing research on academic social networks that fit personal ethical principles and research goals. This is a collaborative effort sponsored by NIU Libraries and the Graduate School.
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Writing Your Thesis/Dissertation Proposal
Thursday, January 7, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
**ONLINE** This workshop will examine the general characteristics of a proposal, the proposal defense process, and the steps for applying for an IRB if it is necessary for the research project. This is a collaborative effort sponsored by NIU’s Writing Center and the Graduate School.
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Using Academic Databases and Search Engines
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
**ONLINE** This workshop covers advanced search functions across several widely used databases like EBSCOhost and Google Scholar. Emphasis will be placed on understanding engine category systems, refining searches to find more relevant sources, and identifying patterns in scholarship. These techniques will help you identify useful materials quickly and consider ways to organize your search results for effective integration into your graduate work. This is a collaborative effort sponsored by NIU’s Writing Center and the Graduate School.
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How to Avoid Plagiarism
Thursday, January 14, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
**ONLINE** This workshop will examine what plagiarism is, how it happens, and the academic/professional consequences. More importantly, it will clarify the differences between direct quotations vs. paraphrasing and provide information about how to use, and acknowledge, sources. This is a collaborative effort sponsored by NIU’s Writing Center and the Graduate School.
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Storing, Annotating, and Employing Sources: Reference Management Systems
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
**ONLINE** This interactive workshop will focus on improving your understanding of how to use reference management systems, software that helps you store, organize, and insert sources into your research. Other software tools like citation generators and Microsoft Word will also be discussed. This is a collaborative effort sponsored by NIU’s Writing Center and the Graduate School.
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Unpacking and Managing Research Articles and Other Sources
Thursday, January 21, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
**ONLINE** This interactive workshop models strategies for you to read, understand, and use stacks of material effectively to frame and design a research paper or study. It will also demonstrate how to use a reference management system like Mendeley to help you organize the content you generate. This is a collaborative effort sponsored by NIU’s Writing Center and the Graduate School.
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Learning to Play Well with Others: Working with Your Thesis/Dissertation Committee
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
**ONLINE** This discussion-based workshop focuses on how to work with your committee, including member selection, dynamics, expectations, and feedback as well as general strategies for success. Another critical topic to be covered includes how to communicate with your committee according to academic and professional standards, especially through email and collaborative platforms. This is a collaborative effort sponsored by NIU’s Writing Center and the Graduate School.
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Defending and Submitting Your Thesis/Dissertation Under COVID-19 Policies
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 5:15 PM
**ONLINE** This presentation is for graduate students preparing to submit a thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School for May 2021 graduation. Carolyn Law, Thesis/Dissertation Advisor, will walk students through the modified process while NIU remains under COVID-19 policies and restrictions. She will take your questions about meeting deadlines, fulfilling paperwork requirements, scheduling and conducting an online defense, and completing the steps of electronic submission. This program is the best way to ensure compliance with the Graduate School requirements.
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Top 10 Survival Strategies to Finishing the Thesis/Dissertation
Thursday, January 28, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
**ONLINE** This workshop highlights how to balance your work, life, and academic responsibilities to push through to completion. It will consider establishing and following schedules, breaking projects into workable segments, and the importance of including rewards to keep yourself motivated. This is a collaborative effort sponsored by NIU’s Writing Center and the Graduate School.
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