Sussex Centre for Language Studies

In-sessional academic development workshops

The workshops focus on academic and English language skills and include subjects such as note-taking, summarising and paraphrasing, essay writing, paragraphing, referencing, introductions and conclusions and advanced language skills.

Each workshop lasts two hours (unless otherwise stated), repeated several times throughout a week. The workshops are not interlinked so you can come to as few or as many as you like. Please note that only students with English as an additional language are eligible to attend these workshops.

Booking is now open for Spring 2018. To book these workshops please log in to Sussex Direct: under your Personal menu, select Training Courses then the option Training Courses Booking Facility. Under Academic Development: Study skills you will find a list of the workshops by topic - pick a date/time that suits you and click the 'Book Now!' button.

Spring term 2018


Week 2: Academic Practice: Listening and Speaking

  • There is no substitute for authentic practice to improve academic listening and speaking skills. This workshop uses authentic listening texts to initiate discussion as to why students can find listening in the academic environment problematic. We will also introduce strategies to help you overcome these difficulties.

Week 3: Academic Grammar: Punctuation

  • As different languages use punctuation differently, this can be an area of confusion and miscommunication. This workshop looks at some of the more common uses of the comma, semi-colon, and colon in British academic writing.

Week 4: Academic Grammar: Participles and Participle Clauses

  • One way to develop academic style is to increase the use of participles and participle clauses in your writing. This workshop will help you identify these when you read, practise producing them and help you to adopt them in your own writing.

Week 5: Academic Grammar: Lexical Complexity

  • This workshop will cover lexical complexity in academic language. The focus will be on the use of suffixes and prefixes. This workshop will help you become a faster reader and help you develop a more extensive academic vocabulary.

Week 6: Academic Practice: Academic Style and Vocabulary

  • Although many academic writers have different styles, there are some core aspects of academic writing that apply to all styles. These include: nominalisation, academic word families, formal vs informal language, emotive language and connotation.

Week 7: Academic Grammar:  Textual Cohesion

  • In good academic writing the order and flow of the information in a paper should be clear and the structure logical to the reader. We will look at the patterns of how new information is conveyed and how it is linked to information which has already been given. This is known as textual cohesion.

Week 8:  Academic Grammar: Relative Clauses and Noun Phrases 

  • Relative clauses are one key feature of academic writing, being used for definitions, qualifications etc. Noun phrases are a related feature which, once grasped, can allow you to convey precise meaning.

Week 9: Academic Practice: Cautious Language

  • In academic writing an awareness of cautious language allows the writer to decide the strength with which they argue their case. In this workshop we will discuss the reasons for using cautious language, identify it in others' writing and then put this into practice.

Week 10:  Academic Practice: Using Sources: Reading to Writing

  • It is the use of source material which allows a writer to place themselves within an academic community; to provide supporting evidence for the arguments and views they want to present, and to provide a rationale for research conducted. This workshop will look at the use of sources and how the sources are referenced to ensure they are used to their full potential.

In conjunction with the Library, we are also offering Effective Literature Searching workshops, for undergraduates in February, and postgraduates in March:

  • This practical workshop will help to develop your research skills, including improving your search strategy, carrying out searches using online databases, locating full text journal articles and tools for keeping up to date with research.


Please note: These are not the Academic Practice Workshops for referred students.