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16. Jun 2020

English Academic Writing I: The Ground Rules of Writing Well (July 13-17, 2020 | online)

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This online workshop addresses junior and senior scholars from the social sciences and humanities who have good command of the English language, seek to improve their English writing skills, and strive to make their academic papers more idiomatic. The workshop seeks to create an awareness of the typical patterns of non-idiomatic writing to which non-native authors writing in English – and especially German-speaking academics – are prone and equip the participants with strategies to avoid these pitfalls.

The workshop comprises four half-day sessions (3.5–4 hours each) and will be conducted in English by two trainers who have a professional background in the social sciences and many years of experience in teaching English academic writing and in translating and editing academic texts by German-speaking scholars.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • You will be aware of some of the important characteristics of the English language that will help improve your writing.
  • You will be conscious of some of the pitfalls that especially German speakers are vulnerable to when writing in English and be familiar with strategies to avoid them.
  • You will be able to use this knowledge to develop a more fluent and lively style of writing.
  • You will be familiar with a wide range of resources, aids, and strategies to help you improve your writing.


  • Proficiency in English (at least B2-level). 
  • You will have the opportunity to hand in a one-page writing sample prior to the workshop; the trainers will review this sample and give you individual feedback.
  • We kindly ask you to have a text by a native speaker of English available that you find very well written; we will use this text for an exercise.

Target Audience

Doctoral students and postdocs in Humanities and Social Sciences


Monday, July 13, 2020, 13:00 | ONLINE

13:00–14:00  Introduction of workshop, trainers, and participants; introduction to the character of the English language; introduction to general aspects of the culture of English academic writing

14:00–14:15  Break

14:15–15:15 Typical features of English academic texts and guidelines of English academic writing 

15:15–15:30  Break

15:30–16:30 Typical features of English academic texts and guidelines of English academic writing; exercise

Tuesday, July 14, 2020, 13:00 | ONLINE

13:00–16:30 (including two breaks) Typical features of English academic texts and guidelines of English academic writing; exercise

Wednesday, July 15 | OFFLINE

No session; individual writing exercise based on newly acquired knowledge

Thursday, July 16, 2020, 13:00 | ONLINE

13:00–14:00  Selected issues of grammar and punctuation; discussion of individual questions of participants 

14:00–14:15  Break

14:15–15:15 Individual techniques for advancing one’s writing skills; introduction of aids for participants to help themselves; editing exercise

15:15–15:30  Break

15:30–16:30 Editing exercise continued; discussion of editing results

Friday, July 17, 2020, 12:0013:00 | ONLINE

12:00–15:00 Starting at 12:00, each participant will meet individually online with one of the trainers to discuss the individual writing samples that they handed in prior to the workshop

13:00–16:00 (including breaks) Group discussion of the participants’ newly written text samples (the products of Wednesday’s individual writing exercise)

16:00-16:30  Feedback, suggestions for improvement

Terms and Applications

  • Date: July 13-14 & July 16-17, 2020
  • Time: 1:00pm-4:30pm
  • Group size: maximal 10
  • Workshop language: English
  • Format: online workshop
  • Applications are considered in chronological order of receipt. You get information.


Stephan Elkins and Andrea Tönjes, SocioTrans,

Registration complete

The workshop is fully booked.

Please contact koordination(at) in case of questions.

Über Thomas Michael

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