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In the fall and winter terms, ELI presents free, interactive workshops focusing on specific English writing and speaking skills undergraduate students need to succeed in their courses and prepare for their professional careers.

Undergraduate workshops are open to all undergraduate students in all U-M schools and colleges.


Communicating Effectively in Zoom Rooms - Thursday, September 10, 8-9:30am (Eastern Time)

Whether learning on campus or from a distance, most of us are spending a lot of time on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. Being able to participate effectively in online discussions will likely be essential for a long time to come. In this fun, interactive workshop, we will practice a range of features of effective video communication: ways to get a turn to speak, to communicate clearly, and to respond effectively to others. Come ready to practice with one another and to identify strategies for practicing on your own. Please come prepared to participate actively in small group discussions.


Writing in "Academic Style" - Thursday, September 17, 8-9:30am (Eastern Time)

Whether you are writing a research article, class assignment, conference abstract or dissertation, the words, grammatical structures, and organizational patterns you use all signal whether your text sounds “academic.” We will look at features of academic style, and how these differ across a range of writing that undergraduate and graduate students do. In this workshop we will work on how to make effective stylistic choices for the types of writing you are doing and the academic identity you wish to convey to your readers in various writing contexts. Bring a text you are currently working on for analysis. Please come prepared to participate actively in small group discussions.


Writing Effective Email - Thursday, September 24, 8-9:30am (Eastern Time)

Have you ever struggled to write important email messages? Have you ever wondered whether your email messages reflect the professional persona you wish to project? Given the importance of email in academic and professional settings, the ability to write effective e-mail messages is an essential skill. In this workshop we will focus on strategies for writing clear, effective and professional email. We will discuss the aspects of email that make it likely to be read, to be easily understood, and to create a good impression. Bring a few samples of your important email messages to analyze. Please come prepared to participate actively in small group discussions.


Refining Your PhD Application Statement of Purpose (SOP) - Thursday, October 1, 8-9:30am (Eastern Time)

A strong Statement of Purpose is a key component of a successful PhD application. Are you trying to figure out how to organize and narrow down all that you might write in your Statement of Purpose (SOP)? How does an SOP differ from a Personal Statement? We will explore organizational strategies for your SOP and how to find the words to articulate why you are a great match for the program(s) you are applying to. Bring a list of ideas, a draft outline, or a draft SOP to work on during the workshop. Please come prepared to participate actively in small group discussions.


Using TED Talks to Enhance Speaking, Listening, and Pronunciation - Thursday, October 8, 8-9:30am (Eastern Time)

TED Talks are everywhere. The most popular ones attract millions of viewers, and they are impacting the way public speakers present their ideas and themselves in and outside academia. In this hands-on workshop, we will explore a range of strategies for exploiting the rich array of ways you can use TED Talks to take your advanced English to the next level. We will look at resources for improving speaking, listening, and pronunciation. Please come prepared to join in online conversations with other participants.