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Learning Hub (Academic Language and Learning)

  1. What we offer
  2. Learning Hub (Academic Language and Learning) workshops
  3. Peer-facilitated programs - Learning Hub

Learning Hub (Academic Language and Learning) 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

The general workshop program is designed for undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students at the University. The second half of the semester is an ideal time to work on aspects of your academic language and learning needing development. The Learning Hub is offering a series of workshops that will help you get on top of your studies. All sessions are 2 hours long with an optional 30 minutes extra for questions.

Clearer writing

This workshop looks at how to write clearer paragraphs. It focuses on how to structure a paragraph, how to structure information within your text, and how to use vocabulary such as conjunctions and referents to link ideas. This is a great workshop to attend if you have ever been told that your “ideas don’t flow logically”.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and postgraduate by coursework students

Date:

  • 14 October, 11am-1.30pm
  • 25 October, 1-3.30pm

Developing oral presentation skills

Oral presentation skills are not only useful for you while studying at university but are also transferrable to your professional life after university. This workshop provides an opportunity to learn how to prepare presentations with clear objectives and structure, apply engaging presentation techniques, and become familiar with different question-handling strategies.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and masters by coursework students

Date:

  • 11 October, 11am-1.30pm
  • 18 October, 1pm-3.30pm

From critical reading to critical writing 

This workshop will provide you with sets of questions that require you to take a ‘critical’ stance to disciplinary knowledge. These will help you to challenge assumptions and ideas as well as extend your knowledge. The workshop then aims to help you apply this critical stance to your reading and show your critical thinking in your writing. It is a detailed look at how to interact with knowledge and how to meet the university’s academic expectations of criticality and originality in your work.

Duration: 2.5 hours per workshop, 5 hours total, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students

Date:

  • 6 and 13 October, 2-4.30pm

Foundations of grammar

Can you tell a verb from an adjective? Can you identify the subject of a sentence? This course covers four basic areas of English grammar (sentence structure, verb groups, verb tenses and noun groups). By the end of the course, you will have developed your knowledge and understanding of basic grammar so that you can analyse your own writing and use language more clearly and effectively. To know if you need to take this course or a more advanced one, take the short diagnostic test.

Duration: 2.5 hours per workshop, 7.5 hours total, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students
What to bring: a sample of your writing

Date (choose one):

  • 23 and 30 August, 6 September, 2pm-4.30pm
  • 8, 15 and 22 September, 11am-1.30pm
  • 11, 18 and 25 October, 2-4.30pm

Functional grammar for academic writing

How can I write more complex sentences? When do I use a semicolon? Should I use passive voice or not? This workshop will change your understanding of grammar from simply rules to write correctly to resources to create meaning in your academic writing.

Duration: 2.5 hours per workshop, roughly 7.5 hours total, online via Zoom
Target audience: students who have successfully completed 'Foundations of grammar' or have passed the short diagnostic test.
What to bring: a draft of current writing and sample paragraph from your discipline

Date (choose one):

  • 2, 9 and 16 September, 1-3.30pm
  • 27, 28, 29 and 30 September, 12-2.30pm
  • 21, 28 October and 4 November, 11am-1.30pm
  • 29, 30 November and 1, 2 December, 11am-1.30pm

Grammar clinic for editing and proofreading

This series of workshops allows you to practice identifying and correcting common grammatical errors in students’ writing.

Duration: 2.5 hours per workshop, 10 hours total, online via Zoom
Target audience: students with English as an additional language
What to bring: draft of current writing

Date (choose one):

  • 27, 28, 29 and 30 September, 11am-1.30pm
  • 22, 23, 24 and 25 November, 2-4.30pm 

Preparing for exams

Are you taking exams this semester? Are you unsure of how to best prepare yourself for exams at the university level? In this session, you will learn about how and when to revise for exams based on current research on memory and study skills. You will get tips for different types of tests, for preparing body and mind, as well as time management and dealing with anxiety.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and postgraduate by coursework students 

Date (choose one):

  • 21 September, 11am-1.30pm
  • 22 September, 1-3.30pm
  • 19 October, 2-4.30pm
  • 27 October, 11am-1.30pm
  • 2 November, 11am-1.30pm
  • 3 November, 2-4.30pm

Proofreading and editing your own work 

This workshop focuses on strategies for proof reading and editing at section, paragraph and sentence level. It will help you to make your assignments more accessible for your lecturers and tutors. The workshop also introduces technological resources that you can use to analyse and evaluate your writing’s readability and academic style. You should bring a sample of your own writing so that you can evaluate and improve it during the workshop.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and postgraduate by coursework students
What to bring: a draft of current writing or submitted assignments

Date (choose one):

  • 7 September, 3-5.30pm
  • 23 September, 2-4.30pm
  • 12 October, 2-4.30pm
  • 1 November, 11am-1.30pm

Reading strategies

This workshop explores different types of reading strategies depending on your purpose including skimming, scanning, reading for notetaking and reading critically.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students
What to bring: example of reading in your discipline

Date:

  • 1 November, 2-4.30pm

Time management and goal setting

Effective time management and goal setting can help you achieve the desired academic success in a lesser amount of time. This workshop provides you with different time management tools and techniques to plan priorities, avoid procrastination and manage time for better work-life balance and productivity.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and masters by coursework students

Date:

  • 5 October, 2-4.30pm
  • 25 October, 11am-1.30pm 

Using evidence and avoiding plagiarism

This series of workshops will take students through the process of (1) finding and selecting appropriate evidence for your writing purposes; (2) analysing, organising and synthesising evidence; (3) using different vocabulary and grammatical structures to incorporate sources and to avoid plagiarism in your writing.

Duration: 2.5 hours per workshop, 7.5 hours total, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students

Date (choose one):

  • 6, 13 and 20 September, 11am-1.30pm
  • 28, 29 and 30 September, 2-4.30pm
  • 7, 14, 21 October, 2-4.30pm

Writing assignments effectively

This series of three workshops will guide you through the process and steps to complete an assignment in a systematic and effective way from analysing the question to proofreading the final draft.

Duration: 2.5 hours per workshop, 7.5 hours total, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and postgraduate by coursework students. HDR students taking credit points

Date (choose one):

  • 26 August, 2 and 9 September, 11am-1.30pm
  • 6, 13 and 20 September, 1-3.30pm
  • 5, 12, 19 October, 11am-1.30pm
  • 26 October and 2, 9 November, 2-4.30pm

Writing critical reviews

This workshop will help you understand the different types of critical reviews and their purpose. It will also help you develop an effective structure and select the correct language resources to make your critical review stand out.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students

Date (choose one):

  • 8 September, 1-3.30pm
  • 21 September, 2-4.30pm
  • 28 October, 2-4.30pm
  • 9 November, 11-1.30pm

Writing in an academic style

What does it mean to write in academic style? Can I measure how academic my texts are? This workshop focuses on some of the characteristics of successful academic writing across all disciplines, such as formality, objectivity, impersonality, and inclusiveness.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: all students
What to bring: a draft of current writing and sample paragraph from your discipline

Date:

  • 20 October, 2-4.30pm
  • 22 November, 11am-1.30pm

Writing reflective assignments

Many university assignments involve a reflective component. This workshop will introduce you to different kinds of reflective writing, the types of assignments that call for reflective writing, different levels of reflection and key features of reflective language.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and masters by coursework students 

Date:

  • 23 September, 11am-1.30pm

Writing reports

Have you been asked to write a professional or business report for an assignment or project? Are you unsure of how a report differs from an essay, or from the other types of academic writing you’ve already encountered? In this workshop, you will learn about the audience and purpose of reports. You will explore examples of professional and business reports to discover the structure and language resources appropriate to report writing.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: undergraduate and masters by coursework students
What to bring (if possible): an example of a report from your discipline

Date:

  • 7 September, 11am-1.30pm
  • 11 October, 1-3.30pm

Doctoral writing group

The doctoral writing group is a forum to offer support to HDR students in the process of submitting a journal article for publication. Participants will review and offer feedback to each other and receive guidance to improve the quality of their writing.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: HDR students aiming to complete submission of a journal article.

Date:

  • 10, 24 September, 2-4pm
  • 8, 22 October, 2-4pm

Functional grammar for academic writing

How can I write more complex sentences? When do I use a semicolon? Should I use passive voice or not? This workshop will change your understanding of grammar from simply rules to write correctly to resources to create meaning in your academic writing.

Duration: roughly 7.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: students who have successfully completed 'Foundations of grammar' or have passed the short diagnostic test.
What to bring: a draft of current writing and sample paragraph from your discipline

Date (choose one):

  • 21, 28 October and 4 November, 11am-1.30pm
  • 29, 30 November and 1, 2 December, 11am-1.30pm

Getting started: HDR students welcome to the Learning Hub

Starting a PhD is both an exciting and challenging time. This series of three orientation sessions will give you a clearer view of postgraduate research (session 1), the structure of a thesis (session 2), and the purpose and structure of a literature review (session 3). To make the most out of session three, you can enrol in the OLE ‘Writing a Literature review’ in Canvas or watch the playlist.

Duration: 2.5 hours per session, 7.5 hours in total, online via Zoom
Target audience: HDR students

Date:

  • 6, 13 and 20 October, 11am-1.30pm

Overview of a thesis

This workshop will clarify the components of a thesis and their functions. It will help you create a table of contents that reflects the relationships between different sections, write effective titles, and understand how to develop an authoritative voice.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students

Date:

  • 10 November, 2-4.30pm

Preparing for conference presentations

Presenting at a conference is a core part of scientific communication for any research students. This workshop will help build your presentation skills and develop your confidence to communicate your research at seminars, conferences, and similar settings.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students

Date: 

  • 17 November – 11am-1:30pm

Preparing for postgraduate research

This workshop introduces your rights and responsibilities as a HDR student as well as showing you where you can find the various handbooks and codes of conduct. It also discusses the different qualities that make a successful HDR student and HDR project as well as the general requirements of HDR research. Finally, it talks about how to manage your time, how to organise your bibliography, and how to manage your supervisor. This workshop is designed for new HDR students.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students

Date:

  • 11 November, 2-4.30pm

Proofreading and editing your own work (HDR)

This workshop focuses on strategies for proof reading and editing at section, paragraph and sentence level. You will identify and correct errors in your own writing. 

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students
What to bring: a draft of current writing.

Date (choose one):

  • 20 September, 3-5.30pm
  • 8 November, 2-4.30pm
  • 11 November, 11am-1.30pm

Shut up and write session for HDR students

The online shut up and write sessions involve you working on your thesis writing with support from a Learning Success Advisor. You might be writing the literature review or drafting a section of your thesis or fine-tuning an almost complete section. A Learning Success Advisor will be on hand to respond to your writing questions. You may be able to obtain some facilitator feedback upon request.

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

Date (choose one):

  • 3 September, 2-4pm
  • 17 September, 2-4pm
  • 1 October, 2-4pm
  • 15 October, 2-4pm
  • 29 October, 2-4pm
  • 1 November, 12-2pm
  • 5 November, 2-4pm
  • 10 November, 11am-1pm
  • 12 November, 2-4pm
  • 16 November, 11am-1pm
  • 19 November, 2-4pm
  • 22 November, 4-6pm
  • 24 November, 11am-1pm
  • 26 November, 2-4pm
  • 3 December, 2-4pm

Time management and goal setting

Effective time management and goal setting can help you achieve the desired academic success in a lesser amount of time. This workshop provides you with different time management tools and techniques to plan priorities, avoid procrastination and manage time for better work-life balance and productivity.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students

Date:

  • 18 November, 2-4.30pm

Vocabulary for Writing About Data

In this workshop, you will learn how to describe trends from data on tables and graphs through the analysis of samples of real language. By the end of the course, you will be able to use online tools to extract samples of specific expressions and identify patterns that you can apply to your own writing.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters and research students with English as an additional language
What to bring: an article from your field and or draft data description of your writing

Date:

  • 29, 30 November and 1, 2 December, 2-4:30 pm

Working with your supervisor

This workshop aims to improve your understanding of the respective roles and responsibilities that make up the supervisory relationship and provide suggestions on developing an effective working relationship with your supervisor to obtain the necessary support and guidance.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students

Date:

  • 18 October, 11am-1.30pm
  • 4 November, 2-4.30pm

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

Required: To attend this workshop you need to have completed the Learning Hub’s online OLE ‘Writing a Literature Review’ as this 2.5-hour face-to-face workshop builds on ideas presented in the OLE.

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

  • OLE (on the left hand side bar)
  • enrol in units
  • foundational and advanced communication skills
  • 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:

  • 25 November, 11am-1.30pm

Writing a research article 

Are you a research student looking to publish your empirical work? Are you unsure where to start writing up your findings for an expert audience in your field? In this workshop, you will investigate the structure, components and writing style of published articles. You will consider model examples and devise your own strategies for preparing publishable research writing. You will also have the opportunity to discuss and evaluate your own written work in progress.

Duration: 2 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students writing up their research for publication
What to bring: a draft of an article you are working on and a relevant journal article (e.g. an article from a target journal)

Date:

  • 26 October, 11am-1.30pm
  • 18 November, 2-4.30pm

Writing 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: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students
What to bring (if possible): a sample proposal from your department

Date:

  • 27 October, 2-4.30pm
  • 8 November, 11-1.30pm

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: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: doctoral students

Date:

  • 7 October, 11am-1.30pm
  • 16 November, 2-4.30pm

Writing bootcamp

If you need to block out time for writing, then the “Writing Bootcamp” is for you. You can attend either or both sessions. A friendly Learning Success Advisor will be there to offer feedback or support if you need it.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: honours, research and HDR students

Date:

  • 15 November, 11am-1.30pm
  • 15 November, 2-4.30pm

Writing critical reviews

This workshop covers developing and demonstrating a critical perspective in a more complex critical review of a journal article or topic area. Includes examples, language features and writing practice.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target group: all students
What to bring (if possible): draft of review

Date (choose one):

  • 8 September, 11am-1.30pm
  • 21 September, 2-4.30pm
  • 9 November, 11am-1.30pm

Writing up a systematic review

Have you conducted a systematic review and now need to write up your findings? This workshop focuses on the content of a review: the elements of, and staging within, the various sections; and on the language of a review including the use of evaluative language.

Duration: 2.5 hours, online via Zoom
Target audience: masters by research and doctoral students.
What to bring: published systematic review from own field.

Date:

  • 3 November – 11am-1:30pm
  • 17 November - 2-4:30pm

The Learning Hub offers online individual consultations to provide support on areas such as writing assignments, understanding assignment feedback, time management and study skills, and thesis writing, among others. We do not proofread finalised texts before submission. 

Check the current schedule.

You can only enrol in one session per week. If more sessions are needed, you can arrange them with the Learning Success Advisor. If you require a consultation outside office hours (5-7pm, Monday-Friday or 10-12pm, Saturday), please email the learning hub at learninghub.aclanguage@sydney.edu.au and we will do our best to accommodate you.

How to register for a workshop

To register for a Learning Hub (Academic Language and Learning) workshop:

  1. Log in to the online registration system.
  2. If it’s your first time registering for a workshop, enter your details.
  3. Select the program and workshop(s) you want to enrol in.
  4. Submit your enrolment.

Before you register for a workshop, check your University timetable to make sure you can attend.

If you’ve successfully registered, you’ll receive a reminder email five days before the workshop.

Last updated: 22 September 2021

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