Academics Plus Workshop Series


Fall 2017 Schedule

The Academics Plus workshops are designed to help international students transition to a new academic culture and learning environment by providing academic reading, writing, and study strategies, and introducing helpful campus resources. The hour and a half workshops are an ideal space to discuss academic, language, and cultural topics.

Dates, times, and locations of workshops are listed below. If you have further questions about the Academics Plus series, please email Julianne Reynolds, Associate Director, Office of Learning Resources and Learning Instructor for International Students, at

Register for Workshops


Syllabus Analysis and Semester Planning
Tuesday, August 29, 6:30 - 8:00 PM; Weingarten Center
Wednesday, August 30, 6:30 - 8:00 PM; Weingarten Center

How carefully do you read your course syllabi? If you're only checking the grading policy or seeing what readings are due this week, you might be missing a lot of valuable information written between the lines. This workshop will teach you how to analyze your syllabi carefully to really understand your professors' expectations. You will also learn how to use your syllabi as a time management tool to map out important deadlines and plan ahead.

Sharpening Your Reading and Critical Thinking Skills
Thursday, August 31, 6:30 - 8:00 PM; Weingarten Center
Tuesday, September 5, 6:30 - 8:00 PM; Weingarten Center

Reading primary and secondary sources will enhance your learning and deepen your understanding of the history, theories, and current issues of your field of study. However, the amount of assigned reading can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially when English is a second language. The good news is that there are many pre-, during-, and post-reading strategies you can use to increase your understanding and retention of texts. This workshop will address those strategies and teach you how to adapt your strategies for different courses. Bring an example of a text you've been assigned to read this semester.

Polishing Your Academic Writing and Research Skills
Wednesday, September 6, 6:30 - 8:00 PM; Meyerson Conference Center, Van Pelt Library
Thursday, September 7, 6:30 - 8:00 PM; Meyerson Conference Center, Van Pelt Library

There are many steps to writing a successful paper. This workshop will focus on finding and selecting appropriate sources through Penn Libraries and crafting your research into a cohesive paper. Strategies for paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting will be shared. This workshop will be co-facilitated by the Weingarten Center and Penn Libraries.

Refining Your Academic Listening and Note-Taking Skills
Monday, September 11, 6:30 - 8:00 PM; Weingarten Center
Tuesday, September 12, 6:30 - 8:00 PM; Weingarten Center

Information flies fast and furious in lectures and discussions. Are you taking notes on the right things? Do your notes make sense to you when you review them later? Come find out how to identify key information in lectures, maintain your focus and concentration in class, and gain familiarity with a variety of note-taking styles and strategies.

Honing Your Presentation Skills
Wednesday, September 13, 6:30 - 8:00 PM; Weingarten Center
Thursday, September 14, 6:30 - 8:00 PM; Weingarten Center

Do you have a class presentation coming up? Learn about the myths and realities of what it takes to be an effective presenter, even in your second language. This workshop will cover the basics of public speaking as well as common pronunciation issues in academic discourse. This workshop will be co-facilitated by the Weingarten Center and a Speaking Advisor from Communication Within the Curriculum (CWiC).