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Common Quandaries Workshops and Related Events

The Common Quandaries graduate student workshop and event series offers introductions to a variety of skills, tools, and concepts to researchers on campus.

Workshop in Research Commons


Details and Materials

All About Conferencing and Publishing: A Graduate Student Panel

At this panel, participants learned about the ins and outs of publishing and conferencing as a graduate student. Panelists discussed the beginning, middle, and end of the process, addressed your questions and offered best practices!


Curating Your Digital Presence

This workshop will help you think about:

  • Approaching social media as a professional
  • Engaging in the professional online conversations in one's field
  • Sharing one's work with others

Bring a laptop to set up accounts or get feedback on digital presence!


Data Management

This workshop focuses on:
  • Introduction to the research data life cycle
  • Applications of data management to one's research
  • Tips on preparing and meeting funding agency challenges including grant writing and research institutions


Designed for Data: Tidy Data, Project Planning, and Social Science Research

What we’ll cover:
  • Understanding essential notions of:
    • Data philosophy
    • End-to-end data construction
    • Strategic use of codebooks
    • Tidy data
    • Developing datasets
  • Focusing on data modeling, visualization, and other outputs
  • Troubleshooting methods when using datasets
  • Understanding the best practices with research data


How to Write a Literature Review

The Graduate School Writing Center, in partnership with the Libraries, offers graduate workshops focused on:

  • Entering academic conversation through research and writing
  • Learning about graduate-specific library privileges
  • Implementing effective research and citation practices
  • Writing from sources
  • Introducing general literature review processes


LaTeX for Beginners

During this workshop, we will discuss:

  • LaTeX basics and uses
  • Troubleshooting issues
  • Various features, including article class

This workshop will conclude with a hands-on/Q&A session for participants to start using LaTeX on their own. After the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Understand why LaTeX is useful for technical fields
  • Know when to use it for writing projects
  • Create their own article in LaTeX with references
  • Know where to find additional information and help


LaTeX Reference Management and Citations

Learn how to manage your references within any LaTeX project! During the workshop we will cover how to

  • Export your references from your favorite reference manager
  • How citations work in LaTeX documents

This workshop is designed for students and faculty familiar with LaTeX, but no experience is necessary. This workshop will include a hands-on portion, so please bring a device with LaTeX access (online or installed distribution, see for details.


  • Slides are forthcoming

Managing Large Writing with LaTeX

Working on a book, dissertation, or thesis? Learn how to effectively utilize LaTeX to manage your larger writing projects, producing clean, professional documents for any application! During the workshop, we will cover:

  • Features of the larger document classes
  • How they work
  • Options for tracking changes/edits

After the workshop you will:

  • Understand how the book and report document classes work
  • Know how to manage and troubleshoot your project
  • And be ready to work on your own large project in LaTeX!

This workshop is designed for students and faculty with some past LaTeX experience, but all are welcome. The workshop will include a hands-on portion, so please bring a device with LaTeX access (online or installed distribution).


NVIVO Workshop

NVivo is a qualitative data analysis and organizational tool to help users work with unstructured data. In this workshop for beginner users of NVivo, we will cover the following topics:

  • How to create a new project
  • How to import and organize your data
  • How to code different types of data by creating and managing nodes


ORCID Workshop

Participants will learn about Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID), including:

  • Creating and curating ORCID-IDs
  • Using ORCID to populate Activity Insight
  • Advancing faculty or staff member's scholarly profile

Sponsored by Faculty Affairs and the Libraries


Organizing Your Research and Using Citation Managers

Still adapting your workflow to graduate school? Starting a new project and worried about staying organized? Need a solution for keeping track of your PDFs and research data? In this workshop you will:

  • Learn strategies and best practices for organizing your research sources and data
  • Get ideas for note-taking and documenting your work
  • Discover the benefits of cloud storage apps
  • Get introduced to your choice of citation managers through breakout sessions on EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero.


Details and Materials

Getting Started with Poster Design

During this workshop, participants discussed the incorporation of graphic design elements into the scholastic communication of conference posters.


Speed Geeking, Or How I Learned to Love Talking about my Research Outside of the Discipline

Are you building an academic or professional network? Do you find yourself at conferences and not quite prepared to talk about yourself and your research? Come get some practice with us at Speed Geeking!