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Learning Centre

Learning Centre workshops

We offer 62 different workshops which run throughout the year, including during semester breaks. Workshops are free of charge and will be held online via Zoom.

Workshops are intensive two-hour or three-hour sessions, with some running over several weeks. In these workshops, you'll develop skills in specific areas such as critical reading, research writing or developing an argument.

Workshops are open to all enrolled University of Sydney students and are free of charge.

All workshops and student consultations will be held online via Zoom in 2021. 

To get the most out of workshops, bring examples of your work that you can use in the session.

Camperdown Campus

Register for a workshop online

Download a copy of the March and April Program 2021 (pdf, 153KB)

Critical thinking 

This course considers what it means to think critically, offers a step-by-step perspective on critical thinking, includes practice in thinking critically about a text in your own discipline.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students
What to bring: a reading (e.g. article or book chapter) from a discipline you are studying

Date (choose one):

  • Friday 16 April 2021, 11am-1pm 
  • Wednesday 28 April 2021, 10am-12pm 

Critical reading of a research article 

This workshop covers interpreting and asking critical questions about a text and its subject matter.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: senior undergraduate students (third year and above), masters and doctoral students
What to bring: a journal article from the field of study

Date:

  • Monday 15 March 2021, 1-3pm

Essay writing 

This course covers characteristics of persuasive analytical essays for social science and humanities. Focuses on developing an analytical argument and incorporating evidence.

Duration: 6 - 8 hours in total ( 2 hours per session, 3 or 4 sessions), online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and masters by coursework students

Date (choose one):

  • Friday 12, 19 and 26 March 2021, 10am-12pm (6 hours in total)
  • Wednesday 17, 24, 31 March and 7 April 2021, 11am-1pm (8 hours in total)

Foundations of grammar

This course looks at four basic areas of English grammar (for example, sentence structure, verb groups, verb tenses and noun groups) from the point of view of the academic reader and writer. It will build your understanding of grammatical terminology and description.

Duration: 6 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students
What to bring: a sample of your writing

Date: 

  • Tuesday 9, 16 and 23 March 2021, 11am-1pm

Functional grammar for academic writing

This course builds on the workshop 'Foundations of grammar' and looks at expressing meaning through grammatical choices in academic writing.

Duration: 6 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: students who have successfully completed 'Foundations of grammar' or a grammar diagnostic test
What to bring: a piece of your own writing

Date:

  • Tuesday 23, 30 March and 6 April 2021, 2-4pm 

Introduction to Critical reading 

This course introduces process of critical thinking and reading, practises strategies for evaluating and asking critical questions about readings.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate students
What to bring: an example of course reading

Date (choose one):

  • Wednesday 10 March 2021, 1-3pm 
  • Thursday 25 March 2021, 11am-1pm

Reading strategies

This course practises basic strategies of skimming and scanning.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate students

Date (choose one):

  • Friday 26 March 2021, 2-4pm 
  • Monday 19 April 2021, 10am-12pm

Reading for effective notetaking

This course practises strategies for thoughtful note-taking and summarising by identifying structure of text using two different types of text.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate students, masters by coursework and doctoral students
What to bring: an example of course reading

Date (choose one): 

  • Monday 19 April 2021, 2-4pm
  • Tuesday 27 April 2021, 12-2pm

Register for a workshop online.

Download a copy of the March and April Program 2021 (pdf, 153KB)

These workshops cover the same areas as the twelve hour essay workshop, therefore either enrol in the twelve hour workshop or in the short workshops below, not both.

Analysing an assignment question

This course provides strategies for identifying the focus of the question and investigating how the wording of a question affects the structure of the response.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and masters by coursework students

Date (choose one):

  • Monday 22 March 2021, 3-5pm
  • Thursday 1 April 2021, 11am-1pm 
  • Friday 23 April 2021, 1-3pm 

Analytical writing

This course looks at the differences between analytical and descriptive writing, and the process involved in developing an analytical approach to ideas and information.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and masters by coursework students

Date (choose one):

  • Thursday 18 March 2021, 1-3pm
  • Friday 9 April 2021, 10am-12pm
  • Tuesday 13 April 2021, 9-11am

Clearer writing

This course aims to make explicit the linking structures in English which make writing clear and logical and includes writing practice in using these structures.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students
What to bring: a draft of writing

Date (choose one):

  • Wednesday 17 March 2021, 2-4pm
  • Friday 9 April 2021, 1-3pm

Developing an argument

This course focuses on developing an argument by synthesising, evaluating and presenting evidence from relevant literature to substantiate a point of view.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and masters by coursework students

Date (choose one):

  • Thursday 4 March 2021, 10am-12pm 
  • Monday 8 March 2021, 10am-12pm
  • Tuesday 20 April 2021, 2-4pm

Language strategies for referring to evidence

This course focuses on the range of grammatical structures, reporting verbs and tenses that are available, and provide guidelines for choosing appropriately.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students, in particular first-year students

Date (choose one):

  • Monday 1 March 2021, 1-3pm
  • Tuesday 20 April 2021, 9-11am
  • Monday 26 April 10am-12pm

Introduction to critical writing in essays 

This course identifies the types of university assignments that require a critical approach. It covers developing and demonstrating a critical perspective within essays. Includes examples, language features and writing practice.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduates and masters by coursework students

Date (choose one):

  • Tuesday 9 March 2021, 2-4pm
  • Thursday 11 March 2021, 10am-12pm 

Professional report writing in the Social Sciences

This workshop focuses on the language resources necessary to develop arguments and critical evaluation in order to (1) respond to real-life scenario or case study, (2) demonstrate critical analysis of a particular realworld problem, and (3) make recommendations to a course of action by an imagined client, business or government department.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and masters by coursework students

Date:

  • Monday 15 March 2021, 10am-12pm

Quoting, summarising and paraphrasing evidence

This workshop helps you to identify the differences between quoting and reporting and gives practice in language strategies to help avoid plagiarism.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students

Date (choose one):

  • Wednesday 10 March 2021, 10am-12pm 
  • Monday 29 March 2021, 10am-12pm
  • Thursday 22 April 2021, 10am-12pm 

Using evidence in essays

This course covers evaluating sources of evidence, using evidence critically and to support your argument, synthesising evidence to find patterns and develop your argument and paraphrasing skills.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduates and masters by coursework students

Date (choose one):

  • Thursday 11 March 2021, 1-3pm
  • Thursday 15 April 2021, 11am-1pm

Writing a critical review of a journal article

This course covers developing and demonstrating a critical perspective in a critical review of a journal article. Includes examples, language features and writing practice. 

Duration: 3 hours
Target audience: undergraduate and postgraduate students (including coursework and research students). 
What to bring: the text to be critically reviewed, if possible

Date:

  • Wednesday 14 April 2021, 10am-12pm

Writing a critical review on a topic area

This course covers developing and demonstrating a critical perspective in a more complex critical review of a debate, methodology, theory, topic area, etc. It includes examples, language features, writing practice.

Duration: 3 hours
Target audience: senior undergraduate stduents (third year and above) and masters by coursework students

Date (choose one):

  • Tuesday 2 March 2021, 10am-12pm
  • Friday 16 April 2021, 2-4pm 
  • Monday 26 April 2021, 2-4pm 

Writing in an academic style

This course focuses on some of the characteristics of successful academic writing across all disciplines, e.g. formality, objectivity, conciseness and impersonality.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students
What to bring: a draft of current writing 

Date (choose one):

  • Wednesday 24 March 2021, 2-4pm 
  • Thursday 25 March 2021, 2-4pm 
  • Wednesday 21 April 2021, 10am-12pm 
  • Thursday 29 April 2021, 10am-12pm

Register for a workshop online

Download a copy of the Honours Program 2021 (pdf, 148KB)

These workshops, desined for students commencing their Honours year in 2021, will be delivered on 3 - 5 March via Zoom. Workshops are free of charge and open to enrolled University of Sydney students. 

Developing the thesis argument 

This workshop exemplifies how to develop the argument in the middle sections of the thesis by evaluating literature and discussing results.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: honours students in the writing process
What to bring: a draft of sections of the middle part of the thesis, if possible

Date:

  • Friday 5 March, 11am-1pm

Managing the Honours year

This workshop examines strategies for setting goals, prioritising tasks and constructing a flexible time plan for the honours year.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: honours students in the first semester of their honours year
What to bring: timelines

Date:

  • Wedesday 3 March 2021, 10am-12pm

Overview of an honours thesis

This workshop provides a generalised description of the typical structure and purpose of each section of the thesis.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: honours students in the first semester of their honours year
What to bring: a content page or a thesis outline

Date:

  • Thursday 4 March, 1-3pm

Writing introductions, conclusions and abstracts

This workshop provides an overview of the structure and language of these sections of a thesis.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: honours students in the writing process
What to bring: a draft introduction, conclusion and abstract, if possible

Date:

  • Friday 5 March, 2-4pm

Writing the honours proposal

This workshop provides models and guidelines for writing a thesis proposal.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: honours students who are writing or about to write their proposal
What to bring: a draft of sections of proposal

Date:

  • Wednesday 3 March, 1-3pm

Register for a workshop online.

Download a copy of the March and April Program 2021 (pdf, 153KB)

Managing literature for coursework

This workshop discusses how literature from your field can be used to support argument in your coursework assignment, and looks at strategies for organising your references.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by coursework students
What to bring: 2 articles for a current coursework assignment

Date (choose one):

  • Monday 1 March 2021, 10am-12pm
  • Friday 12 March 2021, 2-4pm 
  • Wednesday 14 April 2021, 2-4pm

Preparing for postgraduate study - coursework 

This workshop covers time management, working in small groups, accessing and managing electronic and print information.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by coursework students

Date:

  • Mon 29 March 2021, 1-3pm

Writing coursework assignments

This workshop looks at possible structures of coursework assignments, the component parts and the links between them.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by coursework students
What to bring: a draft of a current assignment

Date (choose one):

  • Thursday 18 March 2021, 10am-12pm
  • Thursday 8 April 2021, 11am-1pm

Register for a workshop online

Download a copy of the March and April Program 2021 (pdf, 153KB)

Preparing for postgraduate study - research

This workshop covers preliminary stages of independent research, planning, research approaches and methodologies, characteristics of quality research, and establishing and managing a bibliography. 

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students (early stages).  

Date:

  • Monday 22 March 2021, 12-2pm

Writing a literature review (with online component)

The aim of this workshop is to clarify, and apply to your writing, strategies for structuring your review, and synthesising and evaluating the literature.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target group: masters by research and doctoral students

Required: To attend this workshop you need to have completed the Learning Centre’s online OLE ‘Writing a Literature Review’ as this 3-hour face-to-face workshop builds on ideas presented in the OLE. This workshop is capped at 20 students to allow for maximum feedback opportunities. 

To locate the OLE component log into Canvas, then follow the links in this order:

  1. OLE (on the left hand side bar)
  2. enrol in units
  3. foundational and advanced communication skills
  4. writing a literature review

What to bring: any questions you have arising from the OLE, a draft outline of your literature review chapter/s or sections, preferably a draft of a section of your literature review and 5 research articles.

Date (choose one):

  • Tuesday 2 March 2021, 1-3pm 
  • Tuesday 30 March 2021, 11am-1pm
  • Friday 23 April 2021, 10am-12pm 

Preparing a thesis proposal

This workshop provides an overview of the proposal with particular emphasis on the introductory stage and the expression of aims, research questions and hypotheses.  

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students
What to bring: a sample proposal from your department if available

Date (choose one):

  • Wednesday 31 March 2021, 2-4pm
  • Wednesday 21 April 2021, 1-3pm
  • Thursday 29 April 2021, 2-4pm 

Writing a thesis with publications

This workshop is based on a study of recent successful theses and will cover how to write an engaging introduction and a forceful conclusion, avoid duplication in the several literature reviews required, and develop a final overarching argument.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students

Date (choose one):

  • Tuesday 16 March 2021, 2-4pm 
  • Thursday 22 April 2021, 2-4pm

Learning Centre (Cumberland Campus)

Address
  • Ground Floor, Building A, Cumberland Campus, Lidcombe
Open
by appointment
Last updated: 25 February 2021

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