Writing Workshops 2015

2015 Writing Groups and Partners | The IGLP Approach to Giving Feedback
Respecting Unpublished Work
Writing Workshop Junior Faculty

Intensive writing workshops form the core of our time together at each IGLP Workshop. Each day, participants break into small groups to share their own scholarship and discuss their own ongoing research. The writing workshops are organized to promote learning from others working on similar projects as well as to promote cross training by engaging with projects quite different from one’s own. The smaller group format allows participants to engage on a one-on-one basis with their peers and specialist faculty members, as well as to share ideas and receive feedback on their work. Each of the writing workshop groups was led by a member of the Junior Faculty who were selected from among the participants of previous Workshops.

At the 2015 IGLP Workshop, we hosted 11 Writing Workshop Groups. Each Group will consisted of 8-10 scholars and was convened by an IGLP Junior Faculty member. Each group met 5 times and will discuss the papers of two participants at each session.

Each Participant will be assigned to a group and will be paired with a partner. Partners will be expected to comment on each other’s papers during one of their group’s sessions. A member of the core faculty were also present during each Writing Workshop session to give feedback on the papers being discussed that day.

IGLP Writing Workshops are designed and convened by IGLP Senior Faculty Members Karen Engle and Dan Brinks from the University of Texas.

The 2015 Writing Workshop Junior Faculty included:

Madelaine Chiam (Australia) PhD Candidate and Senior Fellow, Melbourne Law

Julia Dehm (Australia) Residential Fellow, Insitute for Global Law and Policy

John Haskell (United States) Assistant Professor, Durham Law School

Gleider Hernandez (Canada) Senior Lecturer, Durham University

Onur Ince (Turkey) Assistant Professor, Koc University

Lucas Lixinski (Brazil) Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales

Amaya Alvez Marin (Chile) Associate Professor, University of Concepcion

Umut Ozsu (Canada) Assistant Professor of Law, University of Manitoba

Oishik Sircar (India) PhD Candidate and Teaching Fellow, Melbourne Law School

Antonio Marzal Yetano (Spain) Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow, European University Institute

An IGLP Approach to Presenting and Offering Feedback on Papers of Colleagues.

All of us give feedback and comment on other people’s intellectual work. We all try to situate our own work in relationship to the ideas other people have had about issues we care about, which also requires that we accurately reflect on their prior work. We hope the Writing Workshop will help us all become better at this crucial professional activity. We propose a simple three step approach.

First, restate the paper. What does it say? Reflect as accurately as possible what the other author has said as you heard or read it. By itself, this can often be extremely helpful – letting the author know what came across.

Second, identify the scholarly intervention. What is the main contribution of this piece to the existing literature? What appears to be the author’s purpose in publishing this piece and why would/should others want to read it?

Third, offer constructive feedback. How can the author’s project be improved, her or his intervention strengthened?

We purposely leave out a fourth element that is, unfortunately, common in reviews of other people’s work – explaining what you would write, how you would intervene. That is crucial for your own work. Indeed, each of us begins our work by moving from what others are saying to what we wish to say. But this is only rarely helpful to another author. In what follows, we give you the outline that will guide discussions in each of the sessions, and some more specific suggestions to inform your remarks. Outline for the Discussion of Each Paper Each paper is allotted roughly 55 minutes for discussion during the workshop, as detailed below. Please note that all the members of each section are expected to have read each of the papers in advance. Author Introduction (2 minutes or less) 1. Describe the basic nature of her/his thesis or major argument.

  • Mode/Venue: Is it meant as a law review article, or a book chapter? Is it part of a dissertation? Is it for a peer-reviewed journal?
  • Genre: What is the literature with which it engages? To whom is it meant to speak? What is the intended audience?

2. Identify areas of difficulty where feedback might be most helpful. Peer Discussant Presentation (12 minutes or less) Your presentation should approximate the format below: 1. Describe the paper and identify its central argument(s)/contribution(s). (5 minutes) a. What appears to be the central issue/puzzle that the paper seeks to address? b. How would you state the paper’s central argument or thesis? (If you see more than one potential argument, articulate the various possibilities.) c. How does the author develop the argument? (Offer a brief summary of the paper.) d. In what debates/discussions does it seek to intervene? Who is the author writing against? For? e. How would the author complete the sentence: “Until now, everyone has thought _____ but now we should think ______.” 2. Identify the types and modes of scholarly intervention. (2 minutes – see page 3 for incomplete typologies) a. What evidence/methods does the author use to support the claims made? b. How does/should the author explain the nature of her/his intervention? c. How would you classify the type and mode of intervention? 3. Offer constructive feedback. (5 minutes or less) a. Identify one or two broad areas in which the paper might be improved. b. What might be helpful for the group to discuss to assist the author? Faculty Discussant Presentation (12 minutes or less) Group Discussion (25-30 minutes)

Respecting Unpublished Work

As scholars, all of us understand the importance of the professional ethics prohibiting plagiarism. We know that our scholarly work must be just that – our scholarly work. When others have helped us, we acknowledge them. Where we rely on the work of others, we cite them. It is important that we all take particular care with unpublished work – most particularly the unpublished work of scholars in the early stages of their career. Workshop participants have entrusted us all with dozens of their unpublished manuscripts. Many will share their ideas with us during our days together. Nothing can more quickly poison the atmosphere of trust necessary for scholarly collaboration than the misuse of unpublished work. Like published work, any manuscript shared at the Workshop may not be quoted or relied upon without citation. Most importantly, the unpublished manuscripts shared at the workshop may not be copied, shared or distributed without the express permission of the author.