Communication Workshops

Fall 2018

Important notes:

  • These workshops are only open to enrolled Purdue engineering graduate students, post-docs, and visiting scholars. 
  • You may register for as many workshops as you like.
  • Most of the workshops occur over multiple sessions; attendance is mandatory at ALL sessions. Students who miss the first session of a workshop cannot participate in the remaining sessions.
  • The workshops are held in the Purdue Graduate Student Center (PGSC), 105AB. Directions to PGSC.

Click on the registration links located below the description of each workshop to sign up and attend.

Communicating Via Email

"Excellent and pertinent examples for the different sections of an email." – a former workshop attendee

Although many students prefer texting, email is still the prevalent form of communication on campus and in industry. Writing email is more complicated than it appears and often causes miscommunication. To write effective emails, writers need to consider the target audience and purpose of the email, among other aspects.  This one-session workshop will cover email language issues such as tone, appropriate salutations and closings, and other issues such as the responsible use of the medium. This workshop is offered two to three times per year.

The workshop meets on the following date:

September 7, 2018, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on September 6.

Conference Abstracts

“Not only is this helpful in reviewing my abstract, but it helped me write the abstract!" – a former workshop attendee

Many engineering conferences require the submission of a written abstract as the first step in writing a paper. In the first of two sessions, students will learn to identify the elements of a well-written abstract. For the second session, they will bring in a conference abstract they have written and receive peer and instructor feedback on it. This workshop is offered two to three times per year.

The workshop meets on the following dates:

October 4 and 18, 2018 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at both sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on October 3.

Note: This workshop is limited to students who are planning to submit a conference abstract in the near future.

Designing and Delivering Oral Presentations

“It gives confidence, and the feedback is really useful!”  – a former workshop attendee

In the first of five sessions, graduate students will learn the basics of presentation design and delivery appropriate for contexts such as research group and conference presentations. The following session will be devoted to instructor and peer evaluation of the slides students create outside the workshop. For the final sessions, workshop participants will give individual ten-minute presentations. While one student presents, the others in the group will evaluate the delivery and slide design and then provide written and oral feedback. Each presentation will be filmed so the students will have a record of it. This workshop is offered two to three times per year.

The workshop meets on the following dates:

October 10, 12, 17, 19, and 24, 2018 from 12:30 - 1:30 , PGSC 105AB

Attendance at all five sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on October 9.

Designing and Giving a Poster Presentation

“It will motivate us to prepare one and actually give us the chance to present & receive feedback, which is really helpful.”  – a former workshop attendee

This is a three-session workshop for students who will be presenting their research in poster form. The first session will cover the unique design requirements for a poster and how to speak with the poster’s audience. The second session will be used to receive peer and instructor feedback on the poster design; the final session will be mock poster presentations with peer and instructor feedback. The poster presentations may be filmed so the students have a record of it. This workshop is offered during the fall and spring semesters.

The workshop meets on the following dates:

November 26, 28, and 30, 2018 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at all three sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on November 23. 

Note: This workshop is limited to students who are actually planning to do a poster presentation in the near future.

 

 

Discussing Research with Various Audiences

“Discussing research with various audiences is a most critical asset…This workshop is a solution to gain…experience with how to discuss your research.” – a former workshop attendee

Engineers often need to discuss their research with non-experts. This one-session workshop covers the contexts and purposes of these talks, as well as doing audience analysis and discussing adapting one's message to a particular audience. These adaptations include language use, appealing to different learning styles, and nonverbal communication. This workshop is offered two to three times per year.

This workshop meets on the following date:

September 14, 2018, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on September 13.

Effective Graphics

“It’s a very important topic that a student does not realize at the beginning of his Ph.D.” – a former workshop attendee

In the first session of this two-session workshop, students will view examples of various graphics and learn how to create them for use in conference and journal papers, in addition to PowerPoint slides.  Workshop participants will create their own graphics and bring these to the second workshop session to receive peer and instructor feedback. This workshop is offered two to three times per year.

The workshop meets on the following dates:

November 13 and 15, 2018 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at both sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on November 12.

English for Engineers

“Very useful and gave me lots of good suggestions on the resources available to help my academic writing.” – a former workshop attendee

This is a five-session workshop for students who want to refresh or enhance their knowledge of basic written English and learn strategies for identifying and correcting errors. The sessions will focus on common grammar problems and typical issues in punctuation and mechanics. Workshop participants will write brief professional biography, as well as one other document. Both documents will receive peer and instructor feedback. This workshop is offered two to three times per year.

The workshop meets on the following dates:

October 31, November 5, 7, 9, and 12, 2018 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at all five sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on October 30.

Overview of Academic Paper Writing

“It is useful for all new grad students [who] are being involved in research.” – a former workshop attendee

This is a one-session condensed version of the “Writing a Publishable Paper” workshop to provide students with an introduction to writing an academic paper.  It includes information on how to decide where to publish, the publication process, and the typical organization and components of a journal or conference paper. This workshop is intended for graduate students who do not yet have any research ready for publication. The workshop is held during the fall and spring semesters.

The workshop meets on the following date:

September 26, 2018, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on September 25.

Preparing a CV

"It’s a good way to organize thoughts about a CV.”– a former workshop attendee

Students seeking positions in academia need a CV, rather than a resume, for their application.  The first session of this two-session workshop will cover the essential information and organization of a CV, and the second session will be used for students to bring in a draft of their CV for peer and instructor feedback.  This workshop is offered two to three times per year.

The workshop meets on the following dates:

September 11 and 18, 2018 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at both sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on September 10.

Preparing for a Job Fair

“This workshop highlights some important ‘should-be-aware-of’ stuff that I ignored before.  Really great help.”  -- a former workshop attendee

This one-session workshop is held every fall and spring semester before the Purdue Engineering Student Council (PESC) Industrial Roundtable and EXPO, respectively. Topics covered include using the PESC website to identify and research potential employers; a job fair day plan; meeting with recruiters; and special job search tips for international students. This workshop is offered early in the fall and spring semesters.

Please choose one of the following workshop dates:

Registration for August 27 workshop

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on August 24. 

Registration for August 30 workshop

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on August 29. 

 

Professional Communication Etiquette

This is a one-session workshop covering the use of etiquette in written, spoken, and nonverbal communication in professional contexts such as the job search process.  Students will learn how to make a good impression on potential employers in writing, to interact verbally, and to be aware of the impact of their body language and table manners. This workshop is offered early in the fall and spring semesters.

The workshop meets on the following date:

September 5, 2018, 9:30 - 10:30 AM, PGSC 105AB

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on September 4. 

Resumes and Cover Letters

“It is the best resume workshop I’ve attended while at Purdue (and I’ve attended several).” -- a former workshop attendee

This is a two-session workshop to help students write resumes and cover letters for job applications. The first session covers the information that both documents should contain, and the second session provides an opportunity for students to bring in a draft of their resume and cover letter for peer and instructor feedback. This workshop is offered early in the fall and spring semesters. 

Attendance at both sessions for this workshop is required. 

The workshop meets on the following dates:

August 29 and 31, 2018 from 3:30 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Registration for August 29 workshop

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on August 28.

The workshop meets on the following dates:

September 4 and 6, 2018 from 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Registration for September 4 workshop

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on September 3. 

Self-Editing Strategies for Writers

After documents are revised for content and organization, writers need to edit their work for readability. This four-session workshop will give participants the tools they need to polish the final version of a paper. Using a piece of their own unpublished written work, students will learn how to edit it for tone, conciseness, coherence, and grammatical and mechanical accuracy.  This interactive workshop will also include peer revision as students provide feedback on each other's writing. This workshop is offered two to three times per year.

Attendance at all four sessions is required.

This workshop will be offered again in the Spring. 

Writing Effective Fellowship Essays

“It is really important for [students] to know about the resources and how they can get [fellowship].”– a former workshop attendee
 
Fellowship programs sponsored by government agencies and foundations such as the EPA, NASA, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, the Ford Foundation, and Hertz Foundation offer opportunities for graduate students to help fund their education, In the first session of this two-session workshop, students will learn how to interpret fellowship application essay requirements and do prewriting activities. The following session will consist of instructor and peer evaluation of an essay the students write according to the requirements of a fellowship application of their choice. The workshop is only offered in the fall semester.
 
The workshop meets on the following dates: 
 
September 17 and 24, 2018 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM, PGSC 105AB 
 
Attendance at both sessions is required. 
 
 
Registration ends at 4:00 PM on September 14.

Writing a Publishable Paper

“Just the exercise of systematically working through a paper, doing peer review, and having deadlines is a great way to help yourself break up a daunting task & work through it.”  – a former workshop attendee

This 11-session workshop is designed to guide advanced Ph.D. students through the process of writing a journal or conference paper based on their individual research.  At the conclusion of this workshop, students should have a paper that is ready to submit to a conference or journal.  Because the workshop will focus on the content, structure, and process of writing the paper, students will need to possess strong skills in written English.  Topics covered in the workshop include audience awareness, library research strategies, copyright concerns, and the individual sections of a conference or journal paper.  Students will be expected to write both during and outside of the workshop and participate in guided peer review sessions of their written work. The focus of the feedback will be on the content and organization of the writing rather than the grammar. This workshop is offered two to three times per year.

Note: This workshop is limited to graduate students enrolled at Purdue who already have research in progress and need to write a paper based on it in the near future.

The workshop meets on the following dates:

October 1, 3, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31, November 5, and 7, 2018 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at all 11 sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on September 28.

Writing and Responding to Manuscript Reviews

"...knowing the review process helps you improve your own paper."  – a former workshop attendee

The selection of academic papers for publication in journals or presentation at conferences depends upon the ability of peer reviewers who can objectively judge the suitability of the paper for a particular venue.  This three-session workshop is designed to help graduate students understand the review process, write an effective review, and learn how to respond to reviewers' comments.  Students participating in this workshop will need to have access to an unpublished manuscript in their field; they will write a review of it based on the criteria supplied by the actual venue to which the manuscript will be/has been submitted.  The final session will be devoted to instructor and peer evaluation of the review.  This workshop is offered during spring and fall semesters.

This workshop meets on the following dates:

October 25, 30, and November 1, 2018 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at all three sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on October 24. 

The Instructor

Joanne Lax

College of Engineering Professional Communications Workshops are taught by Joanne Lax, Graduate Technical Communications and Professional Development Specialist. Ms. Lax has been teaching oral, written, and nonverbal engineering communication skills at Purdue since 1999. She has presented numerous papers on these topics at professional communications and engineering education conferences in the U.S. and abroad. Ms. Lax is on the board of the ASEE IL/IN Section. A graduate of Northwestern University, with a B.S. and M.S. in journalism, Ms. Lax also earned an M.A. in English as a Second Language from Purdue University.

Contact her at jlax@purdue.edu.