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Brain Food

Brain Food is a series of workshops which teach graduate students effective ways to approach their research, writing, and data analysis. Undergraduate students working on a major research paper or capstone project are also welcome to participate.

To register for these sessions, visit the Library’s Events Calendar.  

Note for Faculty Members: If you are considering requiring your students to participate in Brain Food, please notify Brain Food staff in advance by emailing library@uoguelph.ca.

Workshop Descriptions

Time Management During the Thesis Process

Learn how to predict your time to completion and use project management tools to help you meet your goals as a graduate student. Learn practical strategies to help you achieve school-work-life balance and manage procrastination.

Formulating Your Research Question

Your research question forms the basis of your research project. In this session, we discuss how to formulate an effective research question and how to use it to guide and inform your thesis or dissertation from start to finish.

Outlining Your Thesis 

This session offers a visual mapping strategy that you can use to organize your research and writing, structure your argument logically, manage your evidence, and ultimately create an outline of your entire thesis writing project.

Working With Data

Research is fundamentally data driven.  In all disciplines we gather information about the who, what, where, when and how phenomenon happens or has happened.  Whether you call this data or not, it results in the collection of quantitative and qualitative information (data).  Come to this workshop to learn techniques on how to start work successfully with your data at all points in the data lifecycle to better answer your research question.

Advanced Search Strategies for Gathering the Literature 

A good thesis demands a good literature review, and that means finding and critically analyzing the key literature in your field. In this session, you will learn advanced search strategies for making the most of library databases and search engines to find relevant sources.

Strategies for Reading the Literature

A key component of thesis work is reading the literature that forms and informs your research. Learn skills and strategies for reading efficiently, critically, and strategically and for setting up a note-taking system.

Writing the Literature Review

Your literature review is a key component of your thesis or dissertation. This session will discuss how to connect the literature review to your argument, build the structure for your review, and avoid some of the common traps when writing.

Writing the Results and Discussion Sections

This session introduces writing strategies that will help you describe your data and communicate the significance of your research findings.

Paraphrasing & Summarizing

In this workshop session, we provide foundational skills and strategies to help you paraphrase and summarize more effectively when writing the introduction, literature review, and discussion sections.