Talking with Others about Your Research

As a scholar you must be able to make your work comprehensible to both specialists and non-specialists. This workshop highlights the different situations in which international students need to be able to explain their research, from academic conferences to dinner with friends. Learn what you need to cover, and begin composing and practicing your research spiel.

A “good” research pitch is compelling, concise, and conveys competency.

Talking with Others about your Research Notes


Organizing a Research Paper

In this workshop, we discuss how to organize academic papers. We cover all levels of organization, from the sentence to the paragraph to the entire paper.

Organizing a Research Paper Notes

Giving and Receiving Student Feedback

One of an instructor’s primary responsibilities is to promote a cooperative class environment. This workshop presents several feedback methods that improve student motivation and achievement. Participants explore both formal and informal tools for making a significant impact on the learning outcomes and satisfaction of students.

When to Give Student Feedback

  • Immediate feedback for knowledge of facts (right/wrong)
  • Delay feedback slightly for more comprehensive reviews of student thinking and processing (Susan Brookhart, How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students)

Giving and receiving student feedback notes

Sample mid-course evaluations


U.S. Classroom Culture: Difficult Situations as a TA

As a teaching assistant, you may find yourself in challenging situations that may be made more difficult if you have not familiar with cultural norms in US universities. In this workshop, we discuss common challenges you may have with your students, how to handle them, and how to potentially avoid them in the future.

When English is your second language

  • Be honest about your English, but never apologize for it.
  • Create an environment in which students feel comfortable asking you to repeat or rephrase what you have said when they don’t understand you.
  • Speak slowly

Difficult Situations as a TA. notes

How to Improve Your Academic English

This workshop presents several techniques non-native speakers can utilize to maximize their success when speaking and writing in English. Participants learn how to identify and overcome the most common mistakes and problem areas encountered by international students.

Features of Academic English

?  Rich detail and description

?  Combine and link sentences:  paragraph length discourse

?  Narrate and describe using major time frames

?  Handle challenges presented by complications

?  Paraphrasing

?  Multiple examples

?  Consistent accuracy, clarity, and precision

?  Without misrepresentation or confusion

?  Can be understood by people unaccustomed to dealing with non-native speakers

?  Variety of communicative tasks

How to Improve Your Academic English Notes

Interviewing and Networking Strategies for International Students

Finding a job or internship can be a confusing and challenging process.  While employers may be looking for applicants with diverse experience and the ability to speak more than one language, searching for a position as an international student can involve additional challenges. For networking and interviewing purposes, you need to be able to describe your researching in a succinct, clear, and interesting way.

What is Networking?

In its truest form, networking is when people meet to exchange ideas, information, and contacts. It can take place in a formal networking meeting, an office, an airplane, bar, holiday party—anywhere two people are talking and building a relationship.  The topic of conversation is irrelevant as long as people are building a rapport, a level of trust, or a bond with each other.  Networking should NOT been seen as a one-way street where you do all the asking and your contacts provide all the help and resources. You should be open to, and offer to, repay the kindness that has been extended to you by your contacts if they should ever need your assistance.  Right now, you may not think you have much to offer your networking contacts, but you do and you will in the future.

Networking and Interviewing Notes

Revising and Editing Academic Writing

Revision is a necessary step in the academic writing process. This workshop addresses techniques for revisions at all levels with an emphasis on sentence structure, paragraph structure, precision of language, and proper tone.

Real revision is more than making a few minor adjustments. It requires being open to the idea that parts of your paper (and sometimes the entire paper) might need to be re-thought and re-written. Editing is the process of fixing minor problems related to presentation.  Proofreading is the correction of mistakes in punctuation, spelling, and grammar.

Revising and Editing Academic Writing Notes


Effective Reading Strategies

Use the time you spend reading more effectively. This workshop teaches you such techniques as active reading and knowing when to skim and when to read deeply. It will addresses matters of comprehension and retention.

How to decide if you need to scan, skim, or read the document:

SCAN if you are looking for only one detail or the main idea.

SKIM if you need to read quickly for key words and sentences in order to get a general idea

READ (and reread) if you need to understand all or most of the text.


Leading and Participating in Classroom Discussions

Successful classroom discussions involve more than just asking questions
and letting students answer. This workshop will concentrate on techniques
for promoting constructive discussion and keeping discussions on track.

Classroom DOs

  • Listen to other students’ opinions and take notes.
  • Build on other students’ comments
  • If you agree with what is being said, say so and explain why.
  • If you disagree, say why and never attack the other personally.
  • Ask other students’ questions of clarification.
  • Connect other students’ comments to each other.
  • Talk to the instructor if you are very uncomfortable with participating.

Notes on Leading and Participating in Classroom Discussions

Some Good Conversational “Moves”


Cover Letters for Academic Jobs

Producing a cover letter can be overwhelming, and the best way to get started
is by studying successful examples from your discipline and related fields.
This workshop has an emphasis on grammar, tone, and presentation of
ideas specifically for international students.

Purpose of a cover letter

  • Connect your skills and experiences to the position for which you are applying.
  • Show that you are familiar with the university (or company) and demonstrate that you are a good candidate for the position.
  • Demonstrate that you understand the conventions of formal academic communication.


  • Position for which you are applying and where you found out about this position
  • When you expect to have your Ph.D. in hand
  • Teaching: experience and philosophy
  • Research: experience and future plans
  • Enclosures
  • Tailor the content to the position.  Write a different cover letter for each institution!