Writing workshops encourage students to have command over their own writing. Workshops should be guided by the instructor but with emphasis placed on student agency.
Writing workshops benefit you, the instructor, as well: instead of meeting with students one-on-one to discuss their writing—an impossible undertaking in most courses—the writing workshop gives you a time- and labor-saving way to help students write papers that are appropriate to the discipline.
From Kerry Walk’s Teaching with Writing (Princeton Writing Program),
In a writing workshop, the class as a whole offers constructive feedback on the writing of a few class members. The time involved is anywhere from five minutes to an hour and a half—in other words, the writing workshop is an extraordinarily flexible teaching method. It’s extraordinarily useful, too, and not just for the student writers on the “hot seat,” who learn first-hand how real readers respond to their work. Students whose role is to give feedback benefit in two major ways. First, they learn about the qualities of writing most valued in the discipline. Second, by becoming better critics of others’ writing, they become better critics of their own. This is an important step because self-critique is essential for effective revision.
- Interview as Instrument for Peer Review (Brooklyn College): Adaptable mini-lesson for students to use interview as an instrument for peer review. Specific focus is on the transition from topic to thesis.