Sussex Centre for Language Studies

Workshops

The workshops focus on academic and English language skills and include subjects such as note-taking, 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 for the autumn term is now open!

To book these workshops please use 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.

Developing 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. 

Effective literature searching (in conjunction with the Library)

  • The basis of any academic assignment is the use of relevant supporting literature. This workshop will teach you how to search effectively using the resources available through the library. Learning how to search effectively, will not only help you to ensure you select appropriate literature,  it will also save you time.

English for employability (in conjunction with the Careers and Employability Centre)

  • Many students wish to apply for work while studying in the UK. Although the processes may seem very similar to those in other countries, the employer’s expectations may be different. This workshop will help you better understand what employers in the UK would expect both on a written application and in an interview.

Introduction to referencing and using sources in academic writing 

  • The majority of academic work from essays to dissertations, from presentations to critical reviews, requires the use of other’s work. Using sources correctly with help you to develop a strong argument and will also help to ensure that you meet the University of Sussex’s Academic Integrity standards.

Lexical complexity in academic language

  • 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.

Listening in an academic environment

  • There is no substitute for authentic practice to improve academic listening. 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.

Paraphrasing, summarising and quoting in academic writing

  • Paraphrasing, summarising and quoting the building blocks of academic writing. To develop a good academic style, it is essential to know how and when these are used, and what the different functions are in academic writing.

Proofreading, editing and creating concise writing

  • Good academic writing, as with all writing, takes time to develop and requires both practice and re-writing. This workshop will introduce techniques to help you proofread and edit your own work. You will learn how to identify some unnecessary words and phrases, and, by removing these, to make your writing more concise.

Punctuation in academic writing

  • 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.

Reading critically and taking effective notes

  • This workshop will introduce good reading techniques and evaluate how and why notes are taken. Learning to read critically and to make effective notes is the base on which all academic study is built. Developing these skills will have an impact on your ability to participate in seminars and discussions, write essays and reports and perform to your best ability in exams.

Relative clauses and noun phrases in academic writing

  • 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.

Signalling nouns and reference words in academic writing

  • Structure is one of the most important elements in making sure your essay is clear to the reader and your argument is consistent throughout. This workshop focuses on how to structure your main paragraphs effectively, particularly in terms of topic sentences and concluding sentences. It also looks at how to construct your introduction and conclusion, the academic conventions involved, and the role of the thesis statement in tying the essay together.

Speaking in academic contexts

  • Giving presentations and participating in seminars are core academic skills. This workshop is divided into three sections: Part one will be a discussion about the 'rules of the game' in a seminar. Part two will look at techniques to help you fully participate in seminars; and part three will look at techniques for giving effective presentations.

Structuring your essay: introductions, conclusions and paragraphing

  • Structure is one of the most important elements in making sure your essay is clear to the reader and your argument is consistent throughout. This workshop focuses on how to structure your main paragraphs effectively, particularly in terms of topic sentences and concluding sentences. It also looks at how to construct your introduction and conclusion, the academic conventions involved, and the role of the thesis statement in tying the essay together.

Textual cohesion in academic writing

  • 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.

The process of essay writing

  • This workshop will cover many aspects of essay writing, first addressing the question: What is an essay? We will then look briefly at planning an essay, writing introductions and conclusions.

Using cautious language in academic writing

  • 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.

Using nominalisation to develop academic style

  • In academic writing there are certain grammar features which are characteristic of academic style; one of these is the use of noun forms in preference to verb forms. This is nominalisation. This workshop will show you how to incorporate this into your own academic writing.

Using participles and participle clauses to develop academic style

  • 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.

Verb tenses; the passive voice and impersonal forms; avoiding vague language

  • This workshop is based on language issues which frequently occur in academic writing. It reviews tense use and demonstrates how avoiding the use of vague terms can result in clearer communication and stronger author voice.