Communication Workshops

Spring 2019

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 register.

 

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:

January 23, 2019, 12:30 - 1:30 PM, PGSC 105AB

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on January 22.

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:

March 19 and 21, 2019 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at both sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on March 18.

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 two to three sessions, workshop participants will give individual ten-minute PowerPoint 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:

March 25, 27 and April 1, 3, 2019 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at all four sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on March 22.

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 discuss actual engineering conference posters and logistics of poster sessions. Finally, in the third session, students will bring in a draft of their own poster and receive peer and instructor feedback on it. This workshop is offered during the fall and spring semesters.

The workshop meets on the following dates:

February 26, 28, and March 5 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at all three sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on February 25. 

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 the need to do audience analysis and how to adapt 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:

January 31, 2019, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on January 30.

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:

April 16 and 18, 2019 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at both sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on April 15.

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:

April 8, 10, 12, 15, and 17, 2019 from 9:30 - 10:30 AM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at all five sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on April 5.

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:

January 30, 2019 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on January 29.

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:

January 29 and February 5, 2019 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at both sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on January 28.

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:

This workshop meets on the following dates:

January 14, 2019, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Registration for January 14 workshop.

Registration for the above workshop ends at 4:00 PM on January 11. 

January 22, 2019, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Registration for January 22 workshop.

Registration for the above workshop ends at 4:00 PM on January 21. 

 

Professional Communication Etiquette

"Many of [the] topics covered were new, and it was a crisp and good introduction to them." - a former workshop attendee

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:

January 24, 2019, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on January 23. 

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:

January 15 and 17, 2019 from 3:30 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Registration for January 15 and 17 workshop.

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on January 14.

                            OR

The workshop meets on the following dates:

January 16 and 18, 2019 from 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Registration for January 16 and 18 workshop.

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on January 15. 

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 one to two times per year.

Attendance at all four sessions is required.

This workshop meets on the following dates: 

February 14, 19, 21, and 25, 2019 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM, PGSC 105AB

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on February 11.

 

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.
 
This workshop will be offered again in the fall. 

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 already 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 engineering 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:

February 4, 6, 11, 18, 20, 25, 27, March 4, 6, 18, and 20, 2019 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM, PGSC 105AB

Attendance at all 11 sessions is required. 

Workshop Registration

Registration ends at 4:00 PM on February 1.

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 or fall semesters.

This workshop will be offered again in the fall. 

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.