Academic Skills Workshops: Autumn 2022

The School of Classics is pleased to share the Semester 1 calendar of skills workshops for undergraduate students.

Are you studying modules in the School of Classics? Join us throughout the semester as our tutors help you master critical topics for your first and second year courses. Not only will you engage with innovative and exciting topics relevant to your learning, but you will also have the opportunity to receive guidance on different pieces of coursework throughout the semester. 

If you have any questions please reach out to our workshop coordinators:  Rowan Munnery (rtm7@st-andrews.ac.uk) and Meghan Dulsky (mgd7@st-andrews.ac.uk). 

Schedule


First Steps in Source Analysis

Thursday 22 September, 12pm
St Mary’s College – Lecture Room 3
Rebecca Hachamovitch (rh87@st-andrews.ac.uk)

You have an ancient source in font of you, but how do you use it more effectively than simply relying on the surface level information it provides? This is a question that many first and second year Classics students ask, so this workshop looks to introduce you to methods that will allow you to approach any ancient source with confidence. Whether it is Cicero’s speeches, Catullus’ poetry, Herodotus’ history, or inscriptions from Delphi effectively working with these different forms of information more straightforward than you might think. This workshop will offer a hands-on case study of how to analyse these varying types of sources and will link it to content from the first and second year courses for the Autumn semester.


Artifacts and You

Monday 26 September, 12pm
Castlecliffe Room F2 – John B Henderson Lecture Room
Sarah Prince (sp280@st-andrews.ac.uk)

You have an artifact in front of you, but how do you analyse it effectively? What can artifacts tell us about the society in which they were produced and in which they were used? This workshop will equip you with the skills to conduct a deep analysis of an artifact’s form, manufacture, and purpose. You will cover a series of simple prompts that can be broadly used to consider a range of important aspects and apply them to artifacts in order to learn how to analyse material objects. This will provide direct support for the artifact analysis assignment in AN1001, but also serves to teach an important set of skills for any type of historical analysis and writing.


Introduction to Essay Writing

Monday 3 October, 12pm
Castlecliffe Room F2 – John B Henderson Lecture Room
Rebecca Hachamovitch (rh87@st-andrews.ac.uk)

One of our most requested ASP workshops returns this semester – essay writing for first and second year Classics students. This workshop will act as an introduction to academic writing and will serve to show what we are looking for in a good essay and how we mark it. Our tutor will outline expectations for essays in sub-honours courses as well as the basics of writing independently. You will cover how to research through course reading lists and library resources, as well as reviewing essential organization techniques, and best practices for outlining written work. You will then have the opportunity to discuss and practice the most important aspects of academic essays – creating effective and cohesive arguments and writing quality analysis.


How to Critique a Lecture

Monday 10 October, 12pm
Castlecliffe Room F2 – John B Henderson Lecture Room
Florence Felsheim (fmf@st-andrews.ac.uk)

This workshop offers direct support for the lecture review assignment in AN1001. Our tutor will first cover the requirements of the assignment, and then guide you through a thoughtful discussion of how to best approach this innovative piece of coursework. You will be asked to think about why they are watching a lecture on the classical world: they will practice going beyond being a passive observer to being an active participant in their learning: essentially, you will be encouraged to question why they are taught specific content and how different schools of thought change their perspectives on the ancient world. Not only will you discuss how people are responding to Classics in the present day, but you will be actively encouraged to think about different ways to analyse and approach antiquity. Alongside these discussions, the tutor will walk you through an example of how to best approach this assignment.


Comments on Commentaries

Monday 24 October, 12pm
Castlecliffe Room F2 – John B Henderson Lecture Room
Isabella Schmidt (is88@st-andrews.ac.uk)

Literary criticism is often seen as a terrifying phrase but fret not! This workshop is aimed at teaching you how to utilise commentaries for both language courses and classical studies modules. You will be led through reading passages from a critical perspective in two settings. In translation to discuss key thematic points that will be important for producing informed literary criticism, as well as in the original to focus on discussions of terminology and translation choices. This aims to provide you with a better understanding of the resources that are available to you when it comes to literary criticism and how to apply the information they contain.


Critical Skills for Reading Critically

Monday 31 October, 12pm
Castlecliffe Room F2 – John B Henderson Lecture Room
Sally Mubarak (sm502@st-andrews.ac.uk)

While you use published scholarship to inform and support your arguments in your work, being able to critically read, analyse, and evaluate it is just as important as finding it in the first place. When new arguments or interpretations a paper advances are convincing or have been superseded by subsequent work are always key factors to keep in mind. You will be cover three key skills in comprehension, contextualisation, and critical analysis, in order to help you read scholarship with a critical eye. This workshop will provide direct support for the article review assignment in AN2002, but also provides essential skills for all forms of historical writing and inquiry.


Greek and Latin: A User’s Guide

Monday 7 November, 12pm
Castlecliffe Room F2 – John B Henderson Lecture Room
Florence Rogers (fr39@st-andrews.ac.uk)

Translating Greek and Latin is often perceived as the biggest stumbling block in Classical Studies, and language exams are frequently seen as some of the most fearful. This workshop aims to put your minds at rest, by helping you in your daily practice as translators. The workshop will familiarise you with the tools of the trade, discuss different approaches to reading texts, discuss the varying challenges or prose and poetry, and provide some targeted practice on specific passages. This is aimed at both complete beginners and those who simply want to brush up on additional skills in order to provide consolidation and support for what you have learned over the semester.


Essay Writing for Exams

Monday 14 November, 12pm
Castlecliffe Room F2 – John B Henderson Lecture Room
Edward Armstrong (eja6@st-andrews.ac.uk)

The final ASP workshop offered in Classics will help you prepare for essay-based exams by answering any and all questions about this particular form of examination. This workshop will help you discover different types of study preparation for written tests as well as learn about a variety of writing techniques for any timed writing assignments. These skills include how to break down what essay prompts are actually asking you, how to outline an essay in a few minutes, and how to ensure that the argument is always present throughout the essay. This workshop is intended to help you overcome the very real and very normal anxieties that arise during written examinations.


[Updated 20 September 2022]

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