Academics Plus Workshop Series


Spring 2020 Schedule

The Academics Plus workshops are designed to help students from diverse linguistic backgrounds 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

Goal Setting and Semester Planning

Thursday, January 16, 5:00 - 6:30 pm; Weingarten Center, Stouffer Commons

Goal setting is an important first step to getting your semester off to a successful start. Learn how to create S.M.A.R.T. goals that work. The second step to accomplishing your goals is having a plan to protect your goals and stay motivated as the semester gets underway and life happens. We will share our best strategies for staying on track as well as a number of time management tools to help you map out important deadlines and plan ahead.

Strategic Reading and Critical Thinking

Tuesday, January 21, 5:00 - 6:30 pm; Weingarten Center, Stouffer Commons

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 not your first 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.

Managing Academic and Personal Well-Being

Wednesday, January 22, 5:00 - 6:30 pm; CAPS, 3624 Market St.

Optimism often runs high at the beginning of a new semester. We vow to be better organized and do things differently this time around to maximize our productivity and reduce our stress. However, if we don't intentionally make changes, our old habits tend to kick back in and we're right back to where we started. This workshop will increase your awareness of proactive steps you can take to stay on top of your academics and your own well-being as the semester gets underway. This workshop will be co-facilitated by the Office of Learning Resources and CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services).

Academic Listening and Note-Taking

Thursday, January 23, 5:00 - 6:30 pm; Weingarten Center, Stouffer Commons

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.

Research Skills and Citation

Tuesday, January 28; 5:00 - 6:30 pm; Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, Room 223 (Meyerson)

Penn Libraries is a vast system of 15 libraries and millions of books and resources. Where do you even begin when you have a paper to write? This workshop will focus on finding and selecting appropriate sources through the Penn Libraries website. Learn tips and tricks for finding the information you need. Then learn how to give credit to the scholars you cite. We will share strategies for paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting. This workshop will be co-facilitated by the Office of Learning Resources and Penn Libraries.

Writing Critically and Cohesively

Thursday, January 30; 5:00 - 6:30 pm; Weingarten Center, Stouffer Commons

Many genres of academic writing ask you to use relevant scholarly research to support your opinion on an issue or topic. This workshop will introduce you to the fine art of engaging with and synthesizing multiple sources while using rhetorical strategies to establish your own voice. Examples referenced will mostly be drawn from published works in the humanities but may be useful no matter what discipline you're studying.