ClassesPrinceton 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, having clicked first on Training by Department and then on Human Resources, select Princeton Writes 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, having clicked first on Training by Department and then on Human Resources, select Princeton Writes. 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.

Fall Workshops (Enrollment opens Tuesday, September 25, at 10:00 a.m.)


Grammar Crammer: Revisiting the Nuts and Bolts of English

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, Princeton Writes

October 11, 2018, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Power Couple: Pairing Words and Images

Memes, Instagram, Snapchat: The way we communicate seems to be in a constant state of change, influenced by media channels that privilege images over words and “shares” and “likes” over facts. But the most lasting and influential communications—whether they are shared as a poster on a real wall or as posts on a Facebook page—pair carefully chosen words with strong images. In this interactive workshop, you will have an opportunity to examine powerful pairings of words and images and to acquire techniques and tips for telling stories succinctly and visually. Instructors: Erika Knudson, University Advancement, and Steve Runk, Lewis Center for the Arts

October 18, 2018, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Connection, Not Perfection: An Introduction to Public Speaking

The ability to speak effectively in public is a critical but seldom taught skill. Neglect is often compounded by fear, but with practice and guidance, public speaking can be an exhilarating experience for both speaker and listener. Emphasizing the importance of forging a connection with one’s audience rather than achieving oratorical perfection, this workshop explores 10 ways of enhancing your oral presentations, from the organization of your content to your method of delivery. Through a number of improvisational exercises, you will have an opportunity to apply what you have learned, with the ultimate goal of expressing yourself more confidently and persuasively at Princeton and beyond. Instructor: John Weeren, Princeton Writes

November 8, 2018, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Handle with Care: Bringing Out the Best in Email

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, Princeton Writes

November 29, 2018, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

When Life Becomes Art: How to Create a Compelling Personal Essay

Have you ever tried to write about a life-changing experience or special moment but couldn’t get it onto the page? Whether you want to speak out about an issue, capture your favorite family stories, or enter the Princeton Writes Staff Essay Contest, this workshop can help you get started. We will pick up tips from some of the great essays of our time, dust off our own creative writing skills, and learn how to build a memorable personal essay. In this workshop, we will stare down the dreaded blank page and get some ideas on paper! Instructor: Stephanie Whetstone, Princeton Writes

December 6, 2018, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Welcome to the Orange Bubble: Finding Princeton’s Voice

As campus communicators, every sentence we write represents this great University. Whether communicating with an audience on campus or off, the words we use and the phrasing we choose matter to how Princeton is perceived. So how do we get the “voice” right? Is it lofty and erudite, or is it down-to-earth and to-the-point? In this workshop, we’ll explore how the Princeton voice is remarkably malleable to fit the needs of our community. We will discuss the range of that voice, from classy to sassy, and how you can channel it in your communications from the mundane to the major. Instructors: Dan Day, Office of Communications, and John Weeren, Princeton Writes

December 12, 2018, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.