Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg


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Academic Writing in English

Workshop on successful and optimistic writing and self management

The GSAA and the MPI for Social Anthropolopgy jointly offer a two day workshop in 'Academic Writing in English' on November 28th to 29th 2007. The workshop will be lead by Dr. Vera Zegers who is an experienced trainer in this field. The workshop will address different dimensions of the process of academic writing and includes text based practical exercises. Please find below an abstract and an outline of the programme.

If you are interested to join the workshop, please register with Hagen Findeis, for GSAA and with Bettina Mann for the Max Planck Institute by September 15th latest. Please do let us know as well if you would be interested in a the same course in German.



The workshop aims at graduate students who would like to

* reflect on, and optimize, their personal approach to academic writing in English,
* get to know techniques to structure the writing process from the first formulation of the topic until the last revision of the final draft,
* learn how to handle problems on the way efficiently, and
* plan realistically so they still find the time to live a life next to their writing projects.


The workshop covers topics such as

* academic writing in different disciplines: processes and products,
* effective writing techniques for different stages of the writing process,
* academic writing in a foreign language: typical problem areas (partly based on participants´ texts),
* giving and receiving effective feedback,
* realistic planning and self management.

Taking the questions and learning needs of the participants into consideration, the workshop will focus on the most urgent and relevant problem areas.


Hands-on exercises enable participants to reflect on their approaches to academic writing and to individually develop the most appropriate and successful strategies. Individual tasks will be complemented by pair work and group discussions. In addition, the trainer will provide input from writing research.

Participants will be asked to send the trainer 1-2 sample pages of an academic paper which they are working on or have just finished. This should be sent to no later than 15 November.

With whom?

Vera Zegers-Leberecht, PhD, studied German Linguistics, Intercultural Communication and Theology in Germany and Finland and is a certified academic writing trainer. She is Head of the English Department at the Language Centre of Maastricht University. In this position, she is responsible for the content, coordination and provision of teaching and training in, among others, academic writing skills for students, graduates and university staff. She is a member of various professional networks, including the Germany-based "Arbeitskreis Schreibdidaktik", and EATAW (European Association of the Teaching of Academic Writing), where she currently serves as a board member.


Day 1, 28.11.2007

Trainer input & Discussion: Writing academically
Writing Task & Discussion: Problems with writing academically in English
Writing Task: The writing process in academic writing
Input & Writing Task: Writing effective paragraphs

Trainer input & tasks:

* improving your writing in English
* effective linguistic tools for writing academic texts in English
* frequently occurring mistakes (based on participants´ texts)

Day 2, 29.11.2007

Trainer input & writing tasks:

* writing for various audiences/scientific popularisation
* creative academic writing techniques
* problem analysis & problem solving

Input & Task: Giving & receiving peer feedback

Task: Realistic time management

Feedback & Closing