Princeton Writes offers University-wide and customized classes that approach the written and spoken word from a wide variety of angles. These interactive sessions are guided by the premise that even the most accomplished communicator has room to grow and that many shortcomings are common to us all. Learning together – and from each other – can be productive and enjoyable; indeed, even grammar can be fun.
So, using your Princeton netID, visit the University’s Learning Center and sign up for the class or classes most likely to pique your appetite.
Writer’s Toolbox, 2018-2019
The Writer’s Toolbox examines different facets of the written and spoken word, introducing techniques and considerations that are both central to each topic and transferable to others. Taught by the staff of Princeton Writes and guest instructors from across our University community, these two-hour workshops are designed to help you become a more versatile and persuasive communicator. All sessions are held in the Tilghman Classroom, Room E08, Dillon Court East, unless otherwise specified.
Once enrollment opens, anyone with a Princeton netID may register by visiting the University’s Learning Center and selecting the Princeton Writes workshop you are interested in. If you find these workshops to be full, please join the waiting list, not only to take advantage of cancellations but also to help us gauge the level of interest in re-offering them.
Spring Workshops (Enrollment opens Monday, March 25, at noon)
Because of food’s omnipresent role in our lives, using food in writing can help narrow in on, or expound upon, the weightiest of topics: history, geography, and time. This hands-on workshop—there will be treats!—will focus on the craft and art of narrative food writing, guiding participants to explore how sensory details of food can help us unlock fertile memories. Instructor: Pooja Makhijani, Communications Manager, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies
April 11, 2019, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
To be successful, every writer must also be an editor. Our brains are more nimble than our fingers, compensating for mistakes that only the closest reading will uncover. Automated grammar and spelling checks are far from foolproof and provide no help when it comes to questions of tone, concision, and persuasiveness. This workshop will discuss best practices when editing your own and others’ work, highlighting what to look for and how to increase the odds of finding it. You will then have an opportunity to hone your skills by editing a document that cries out for help. Instructor: Stephanie Whetstone, Assistant Director, Princeton Writes
April 25, 2019, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
You learned to “like,” but what about “share to your story”? What lies beyond the now familiar borders of Facebook and Twitter? Join us for demonstrations of today’s most popular social networks to help you decide which platforms could help you most effectively reach your audience. Having taken part in discussions and interactive exercises, you will leave with a better understanding of social platforms such as Instagram Stories and their place in the ever-evolving world of digital communication. Social media beginners are welcome. Instructors: Bryant Blount, Assistant Dean and Manager of Strategic Communications, and Ian Deas, Program Coordinator, Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, and Jessica Leontarakis, Social Media Strategist, Office of Communications
May 16, 2019, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Taking minutes can be a difficult task at the best of times, but without clear guidelines, it can be downright thankless as we endeavor to keep abreast of rambling discussions and then determine what to include and what to omit in the record we have been assigned to create. The result is sometimes as challenging to read as it was to write. This hands-on workshop lays out the dos and don’ts of successful minute taking, with an eye to both immediate utility and long-term record keeping. Instructor: John Weeren, Director, Princeton Writes
May 23, 2019, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Do you ever wonder if you’re using your commas correctly? Do you know when to use a semicolon? Do you remember what a preposition is and what it is supposed to do in a sentence? How do you determine which is the dependent clause? Should you use “me” or “I”? If these and similar questions intrigue you (or if they worry you), join us for a head-to-toe grammar brush up. This is the place to ask the grammar questions you have pondered for years. We’ll work hard to make the worst sentences we can; then we’ll find the best ways to correct them. This workshop will help you go confidently back to your page or screen. Instructor: Stephanie Whetstone, Assistant Director, Princeton Writes
June 13, 2019, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Although email has revolutionized the way we communicate, it is not without pitfalls. Even with the best intentions, we can confuse, offend, or disappoint our readers by failing to exercise sufficient care and sensitivity. This workshop discusses how to craft emails that will further, not hinder, workplace objectives. Having explored the “X Commandments” of effective email – guiding principles designed to both build relationships and convey information – you will be invited to rewrite an email in dire need of a makeover. After all, in the absence of face-to-face communication, we are our email. Instructor: John Weeren, Director, Princeton Writes
June 27, 2019, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.