Get a head start on your upper-year! Join us for a one day in-person programme that will help you prepare for upper-year courses and assignments and for graduate or professional school applications.

Creating Knowledge will be back in person on September 6th, 2023! This conference focuses on these essential skills for upper year students:

  • Critically evaluating research and communicating findings in literature reviews
  • Conducting effective literature searches
  • Identifying and communicating your relevant abilities in applications
  • Managing longer and more complex writing and research projects
  • Deepening your analytic and critical voice in writing

Who can participate?

New College students or students enrolled in New College Programs (African Studies; Buddhism, Psychology, and Mental Health; Caribbean Studies; Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity; Human Biology; Women and Gender Studies) in third, fourth year and above.

Students in first or second year are not eligible to attend, but we encourage you to sign up in your upper years!


Guaranteed registration for the event is now closed, but you can still join the waitlist by completing the Creating Knowledge 2023 waitlist form.

Please note, due to catering deadlines, we may not be able to accommodate the dietary preferences of participants who joins the waitlist after August 30th.  

If you have joined the waitlist, monitor your University of Toronto email inbox for an update on your waitlist status and an invitation to the Creating Knowledge Quercus Page once you are removed from the waitlist and added to the program. You will need access to the Quercus page to sign up for individual sessions. 

Anyone who is unable to attend is encouraged to contact us to let us know they are not able to attend in person. 

If you have any questions, please contact (Note, clicking on this link will open a pre-formatted email).


We are so excited to offer a variety of sessions for students in across disciplines. Check out our schedule below to see what the day looks like.

TimeConcurrent Session 1Concurrent Session 2Concurrent Session 3Concurrent Session 4
8:30 am – 9:00 amRegistration
9:00 am – 10:00 amKeynote Address: Consciously Cultivating Discernment in our Use of ChatGPT
10:15 am – 11:15 amPreparing Graduate and Professional School Applications: A panel discussionLife After Graduating
(Session Cancelled)
Zotero: A Better Way to Manage your Citations
11:15 am – 11:30 amBreak
11:30 am – 12:30 pmSustaining a long-term writing and research processWriting Scientific Literature ReviewsStructured Approaches to Searching Literature in in the Social Sciences and HumanitiesExploring Critical Perspectives in Computer Science
12:30 pm – 1:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm – 2:30 pmDisseminating knowledge: sharing your research with your communitiesWriting Scientific Literature ReviewsSustaining a long-term writing and research processAdvanced Techniques for Searching for literature in the Life Sciences
2:30 pm – 2:45 pmBreak
2:45 pm – 3:45 pmHow to effectively read and critique primary articles in ScienceExploring Marginalized Voices and Critical Research PracticesSharing Thoughts and Creating Worlds: Easy, Dynamic and Inclusive Practices for Prewriting and BeyondZotero: A Better Way to Manage your Citations
3:45 pm – 4:00 pmBreak
4:00 pm – 5:00 pmWrap Up Social: Lawn Games with Profs!

Session Descriptions

Keynote Address: Consciously Cultivating Discernment in our Use of ChatGPT

Speaker: Jane Freeman

Bio: Prof. Jane Freeman is the founding Director of the School of Graduate Studies’ the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication (GCAC). She established GCAC’s modular curricula of non-credit courses, work​shops, and writing centre, and designed several of GCAC’s current courses a​​nd workshops. Her development of GCAC is described in a chapter in Supporting Graduate Student Writers: Research, Curriculum & Program Design (University of Michigan Press, 2016).

Jane completed a BA and a BEd at Queen’s University, an MA at the University of Warwick, and a PhD at the University of Toronto. A Senior Fellow of Massey College and a member of the Stratford Festival’s Senate, Jane’s areas of expertise are Shakespeare, classical rhetoric, and oral and written communication. She completed a book in collaboration with Prof. Ursula Franklin, entitled Ursula Franklin Speaks: Thoughts and Afterthoughts, 1986–2012. In 2023, she was awarded the highest honour for teaching at the University of Toronto, the President’s Teaching Award.

Exploring Marginalized Voices and Critical Research Practices

Facilitator: Mikayla Redden, Aneta Kwak, Jeff Newman

Description: Critical scholars need to consider which voices and perspectives are bring brought into the scholarly conversation and who’s voice is missing from the conversation. Have you thought about who’s voices and perspectives are included in your bibliography or the bibliography of the works you are reading? Join us for a session to critically evaluate the scholarly conversation and exploring ways to find non-dominant voices and perspectives.

Preparing Graduate and Professional School Applications: A panel discussion

Panelists coming soon.

This session will provide insights into the overall graduate school application process. Meet with a panel of professors from the social sciences, sciences, and writing studies, and with a career educator to hear advice on asking for reference letters, finding a supervisor, choosing a program, and writing your personal statement. We will review a list of resources to help you throughout the year as you prepare your application.   

Exploring Critical Perspectives in Computer Science

Facilitator: Aisha Aminu, Computer Science Liaison Librarian

This workshop is an introduction to critical computing. We will explore what critical computing is and why critical perspectives important are important to computing,  technology and design. We will also examine the current landscape in computer science and how technology can benefit or harm marginalized users. Lastly, we will briefly dive into critical frameworks e.g  design justice, participatory design to give participants a starting point to examine and reflect on their work.

Sustaining a long-term writing and research process: How to manage larger projects

Facilitator: Susan Hopkirk

In your upper year classes, you will encounter longer research papers and may even be taking on a year-long research project. These new, more complex forms of writing don’t have to be daunting!  In this session, we will explore the approaches that successful writers in all disciplines use to organize their research projects, keep their momentum going, and keep large projects manageable. We will also discuss some of the psychological and motivational aspects of tackling larger, more complex written works.

Sharing Thoughts and Creating Worlds: Easy, Dynamic, and Inclusive Practices for Prewriting and Beyond

Facilitator: Marci Prescott-Brown

Description: Do you ever find yourself staring at a blank screen when a writing assignment is due, but feel completely overwhelmed? Do you leave your writing untill the last minute? Or do you sometimes have a number of ideas you might pursue for a written assignment, but are unsure how to arrange the information persuasively or which idea (of your many great ones) you should pursue? Both for folks who love writing and those who (really!) don’t, this session will introduce you to innovative tools and approaches to move from getting your ideas out (prewriting) to rough drafting (the messy first draft) to the polished (final) draft! If you want to stop procrastinating when writing assignments are due and feel empowered to get the writing done, this is the session for you! 

Zotero: A Better Way to Manage your Citations

Facilitator: Jeff Newman

Description: Tired of spending hours organizing resources and creating your in-text citations and reference list? Introducing Zotero, a time saving citation management tool that allows you to collect, organize, annotate, and extract your resources as a citation or bibliography. This session will teach you how to use Zotero to manage your resources and how Zotero can be used to collaborate with your colleagues.

Structured Approaches to Searching Literature in in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Facilitator: Mikayla Redden

Description: Looking for a more effective way to find relevant information on your topic instead of scrolling through irrelevant results? This advanced research session will explore search techniques in two major databases, Humanities Index and Sociological Abstracts databases, that will help you get more out of your research process and build your search in a way that will identify the most relevant information to your topic.

Please note, this is an advanced research workshop. Attendees will be expected to already be familiar with Boolean operators, truncation, parentheses, and phrase searching.

How to effectively read and critique primary articles in Science

Facilitated by: Paul Whissell

Learn how to more easily read and effectively critique science articles. We will examine the key features of each section of a primary research paper and review concepts such as significance, effect size, replication and meta-analysis, discussing their implications for your critique.

Advanced Techniques for Searching Literature in the Life Sciences

Facilitator: Aneta Kwak

Description: This advanced research session will explore the OVID Medline database and demonstrate features that will help you with identifying relevant papers for grant proposals, scoping and systematic literature reviews.

Please note, this is an advanced research workshop. Attendees will be expected to already be familiar with Boolean operators, truncation, parentheses, and phrase searching.

Writing Scientific Literature Reviews: Effectively telling your research story

Facilitator: J. Coplen Rose

Unsure of what makes a good literature review or of how to organize one?  In this workshop, we will explore key strategies for telling your overall research story, building argument into your review, managing a large quantity of sources, organizing your article critiques into a coherent narrative, and generally for tackling these larger writing projects.

Disseminating knowledge panel: sharing your research with your communities

Moderator: Mikayla Redden

Sharing the knowledge you create is an important part of the knowledge creation process. But how do you know where to publish or what format you should use to share your knowledge, whether to publish in a journal, present at a conference, or make a podcast? Join this panel session to learn about the valuable skill of communicating the knowledge you create and the possible ways to do so.


  • Cylita Guy, PhD is a Toronto based ecologist, data scientist, and science communicator who studies bats. Her first children’s book – Chasing Bats & Tracking Rats: Urban Ecology, Community Science, and How We Share Our Cities  – published by Annick Press, is now available. In her downtime, you can find your friendly neighbourhood batgirl chasing her next big outdoor adventure.
  • Alyssa Nurse, Editor of Caribbean Quilt
  • Ava Spurr, Coordinator of History and Philosophy of Science Undergraduate Society Conference

Wrap Up Social: Lawn Games with Profs!

Join us for an end of day social featuring snacks and lawn games! You will also have the opportunity to connect with faculty from New College programs in an informal setting.