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ALI Writing Labs

ALI Writing Labs are informal online weekly workshops run by USC native English speaking students who will assist international students in drafting their academic and professional writing and communications. These workshops will help prepare students to engage in deeper discussions with their professors and connect students with additional writing resources at USC.

Each week in the program will focus on a specific topic and writing prompt. Students are encouraged to prepare responses to the assignments ahead of time and come to the sessions with these writing samples so that they can be discussed and receive instant feedback on the samples during the workshop. Similar to ALI Conversation Groups, the Writing Labs will create an informal atmosphere to help students gain confidence and inquiry skills.

Keep in touch with ALI leaders, ask questions, and stay updated on all programs via the ALI Slack Workspace and check out the ALI Writing Labs Slack channel (#ali-writinglabs-summer2021) for a dedicated space to chat about Book Club with leaders and other students.

How to Join

To join a Zoom group session, sign in here.

Be sure to sign into Zoom with your USC email via SSO. For instructions on how to sign in through SSO, please see here. If you have trouble accessing a Zoom room, please email jungheim@usc.edu

You will have to register each time you enter. You may register anytime but you will only be able to access the room at the time of the session.

Please note that only current students may join. You will need to use your USC email to enter the Zoom rooms.

Summer 2021 Schedule

Running May 24 to July 23, 2021

NOTE: Tuesday, July 6th, Writing Labs will be canceled. We look forward to seeing you at the next session!

Day

Time

Leader

Tuesdays 6:00pm – 7:30pm Connor
Wednesdays 6:00pm – 7:30pm Natalie
Thursdays N/A N/A
Fridays N/A N/A

Summer 2021 Weekly Topics Schedule

Check the weekly Assignment for instructions on what writing sample to bring into the sessions. Students that bring in their writing samples can get instant feedback!

  • Week 1:  May 24th-May 28th
    • Topic: 
      • Creative Writing 
    • Assignment:
      • Bring your favorite blog post or poem you’ve written recently. Or bring in any piece of creative writing that you are proud of!
    • Tips:  
      • Use your voice! Write about something you’re interested in.
      • If you’ve written a poem before, bring it to the Writing Lab session if you would like to share it or receive feedback.
  • Week 2: May 31st-June 4th
    • Topic:
      • Cover Letters: Introductions 
    • Assignment:
      • Bring in or prepare the first paragraph of a cover letter for a job post in which you are interested.
    • Tips: 
      • The first paragraph should be 5 sentences or less, where you introduce yourself, the position you are interested in, and how you learned of the opportunity.
      • We recommend bringing the job description for the position you’re interested in to the Writing Lab session, so you can receive more individualized peer feedback.
  • Week 3:  June 7th-June 11th
    • Topic:
      • Cover Letters: Middle Paragraphs
    • Assignment:
      • Bring in a previous cover letter you’ve used to apply for a job or prepare a paragraph within a cover letter that expands on responsibilities you’ve had and what experience you gained from them.
    • Tips:
      • This paragraph can build on the first paragraph of a cover letter (covered from Week 2).
      • We recommend bringing the job description for the position you’re interested in to the Writing Lab session, so you can receive more individualized peer feedback.
  • Week 4:  June 14th-June 18th
  • Topic:
    • Cover Letters: Conclusions
  • Assignment:
    • Bring in a previous cover letter you’ve used to apply for a job or prepare a final paragraph of a cover letter that sums up your interest in the job and how the employer can contact you.
  • Tips:  
    • This paragraph can build on the second paragraph of a cover letter (covered from Week 3).
    • We recommend bringing the job description for the position you’re interested in to the Writing Lab session, so you can receive more individualized peer feedback.
  • Week 5: June 21st-June 25th
    • Topic:
      • Networking and Emailing Potential Employers
    • Assignment:
      • Write a short email introducing yourself to a company, organization, or person for whom you are interested in working.
    • Tips: 
      • Your email should be around 2-3 sentences and include a greeting and farewell. 
      • Write about how you heard about the company, and mention any documents that you have attached to the email (resume, cover letter, etc.).
      • We recommend bringing in a description for a job or organization in which you are interested.
  • Week 6:  June 28th-July 2nd
    • Topic:
      • Messaging Your Native English Speaking Peers
    • Assignment:
      • Bring an email you’ve written to a classmate or imagine you need to discuss a problem with a teammate for a project and write a short email to them. 
    • Tips: 
      • Your email should be around 2-3 sentences and should include a greeting and closing.
      • Consider how you message peers in group projects.
  • Week 7:  July 5th-July 9th
    • Topic:
      • Writing American Resumes
    • Assignment:
      • Write or bring in a current one page resume.
    • Tips:  
      • Use action verbs to explain your previous and current experiences with specific positive outcomes. 
      • We also suggest you bring a job posting to help the Writing Labs Leaders give specific feedback for your tailored resume.
  • Week 8:  July 12th-July 16th
    • Topic:
      • Editing for Publications 
    • Assignment:
      • Bring in the first paragraph of a research paper you’ve written or are considering submitting to a research journal.
    • Tips: 
      • Find a research journal you might be interested in submitting a paper to.
      • Make sure your paper is in the correct format and follows all the instructions and guidelines of the journal.
  • Week 9: July 19th-July 23rd 
    • Topic:
      • Writing Professional and Academic Emails
    • Assignment:
      • Write an email in 2 to 3 sentences to a new professor you will have in the fall semester introducing yourself and asking any relevant or informational questions you have about the class
    • Tips:
      • Include a subject line, greeting, and farewell.  
      • Use professional language to establish a good connection with your professor