Workshop Presentation

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Revision, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Welcome to part three of my series of Workshops on Workshops: Presentation. Last time, we discussed what goes into a good workshop. Now it’s time to discuss different ways a workshop can be presented.

    When you start your workshop, you want to have a good idea of how long you want it. Something that can be covered quickly might be best in a five paragraph format, while something longer will need a different format completely. Also, keep in mind that many people don’t want to read anything over two pages long, or about a thousand words. There will be times when your workshop will run long, but the majority should be from 500 to 1000 words. If you find yourself going over the 2k limit, it might be time to break the workshop up into two parts.

    Paragraphs are essential to keeping your workshop readable. If you find yourself writing one big block of text with no break in it, try to figure out how to make that into a few paragraphs. People are less likely to read a solid wall of text. It is easier to lose a place in and just plain looks daunting.

    Paragraphs are collections of sentences that have a common theme or something to tie them together. For instance, the paragraph above this was about why you should use paragraphs and this one is about how to use them. When you feel you are at a point where you would naturally reset your tone of voice were you speaking aloud, this is usually a good place to make a new paragraph. Sometimes, this spot isn’t clear. Realizing where to make a new paragraph is a skill that can take some practice, but don’t be afraid of it. Paragraphs should usually be from four to ten sentences (though three to five or more are recommended), but they can exceed that amount.

    Some forms of workshop will need headers to keep the information organized and neat. These have the benefit of letting people easily find the section they wish to reference. Shorter workshops usually don’t need these, but when you are getting to the point where each subject has two or more good sized paragraphs, it is a good time to utilize headers.

    Headers, like paragraphs, are another way to tie information together. They generally show a topic that will be discussed in the coming paragraphs. Sometimes, you may have layers of headers. For instance, you may have a large header of “Pirates” for a workshop on various villain types with smaller headers beneath “Pirates” for Privateers, Corsairs, and Buccaneers. These simply aid in readability and searchability. Keep in mind not to overdo it with headers. If something can all go in one section, don’t force it into three.

    Headers are usually bolded, underlined, or both. They can be of a larger text size. Sometimes, they are italicized, though this is rare.

    Sometimes, you want to add a list to your workshop. Lists are wonderful when you wish to provide a series of names, a series of individual facts too small to be their own paragraphs, or details that otherwise wouldn’t fit together.

    There are two main ways to make a list: Bulleted or Series/List. The latter is used primarily when your list is comprised of a series of single words or phrases. The former is used when you have lines that spill over, so that people know where to look for the next point on the list. If it goes over three words on even one point on the list, consider bulleting. (Note that even simple lists can be bulleted if you want an extra layer of clarity.) Bullets may be circles, arrows, or just simple dashes (my favorite).

    Quotes and Block Quotes

    Technical writing varies from prose in that it is permissible to start a quote in the middle of a paragraph. Quotes that are one to three sentences or lines long can be included in a larger paragraph. Quotes that are four to eight lines (up to 100 words) can also be included as a paragraph of their own or as part of a paragraph. However, any quote exceeding 100 words or eight lines (some say four sentences) should be its own block quote.

    Block quotes are double indented or indented by ten to fifteen spaces(there is actually a block quote setting in your advanced posting options called increase indent.) and are usually preceded by a statement of the source of the quote and the speaker and what the quote pertains to, followed by a colon. This preceding statement is indented normally or not at all.


    References are generally given in parentheses within the text body itself or numbered and given at the bottom of the document. The former is scientific while the latter is literary, for the most part. However, any time you wish to add a fact to the reference itself, you should number it and put the snippet in at the bottom where you list the reference. For scientific papers, all references should be recapped at the end of the paper, but that isn’t necessary for Iwaku Wikis.

    When making a reference, include a link when applicable (use the link tool), include the last name of the author you are referencing and the name of the document being referenced. If you are referencing a scientific paper, just the name(s) should suffice. Main authors should be listed by last name. If you have only one supporting author, you may choose to list their name, too. However, groups of supporting authors should be listed as et al.

    By now, you should know a bit about formatting your workshop. These are only suggestions and style guides, but hopefully they’ve given you new insight into how to make your workshop readable and clear.