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

Email Etiquette

Do you struggle with achieving the right tone, in emails to your professors or students?  Are you uncertain about how to address people via email, or how to politely ask your professors for a favor?  This blog post will assist students in navigating email interactions. We will focus on achieving the appropriate level of respect and formality when writing to professors, colleagues, students, and strangers. Additionally, we will discuss how to deal with common situations, such as when others do not respond to your email.

Email Etiquette


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


Enhancing Your Vocabulary

A great way to improve your English vocabulary is by being an attentive reader. Without a doubt, you encounter unfamiliar words as you read; learn how to use these moments as opportunities to improve your diction. This post will focus on how to determine meaning from context, keep track of new vocabulary, and incorporate new words into your own working vocabulary.

Enhancing Your Vocab

To help you make educated guesses about new words, study common root words, prefixes, and suffixes:  Etymologies Handout

Study the Academic Word List – for faster access, the sublists themselves.

And, a separate set of specialized Academic Word Lists, by discipline.

And, finally, a list of games and worksheets for further practice.

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

English Pronunciation Strategies and Techniques

Even when you use a word correctly, your audience may not understand you if you mispronounce it.  This post will provide international students with strategies and techniques for improving their English pronunciation.

Pronunciation Strategies

When making and studying with Word Note Cards, follow these steps: Using Word Note Cards


Practice every day for 10-20 minutes, in a quiet environment.  Maximize your listening by listening to others’ speech for both content and pronunciation, and self-monitor by recording yourself speaking and listening to it immediately and again 24 hours later.

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

Academic CVs for International Students

Crafting the perfect CV for a variety of academic job can be a challenge.  What information should you include? How should it be organized? How do you present yourself in the best possible light?  This post will cover writing an academic CV, with a particular eye to the expectations of the American academic job market.
For more advice, as well as sample CVs, see the Graduate Career Services website.
The Professor Is In also offers some excellent advice on crafting an academic CV.
If you are also considering careers outside of academia, you will need a résumé as well.  Your résumé should be a short document–no more than 2 pages!–that offers a snapshot of your skills and experiences.
The basic differences between a CV and a résumé:
The Graduate Career Services website offers more advice and some sample résumés.

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