Communication Skills

Poster 2.0
   November 15, 2019
   2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
   Atkins Library-Graduate Reading Room
3MT Final Round
   November 15, 2019
   4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
   Halton Reading Room, J. Murrey Atkins Library
Writing Assistance
   November 18, 2019
   2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
   Center for Graduate Life, Cone 268

A wide range of support is available from the Center for Graduate Life to help you strengthen your communication skills and find greater success in building alliances and influencing others. Choose from the courses, workshops and resources below to meet your needs.  Check the Calendar for upcoming events.

The CGL works closely with The Writing Resources Center, which trains tutors who can work with you to help improve your writing.  Contact the Writing Resources Center for more information.

Dissertation students have a great writing resource available in CGL Faculty Associate Dr. Lisa Russell-Pinson.  Dr. Russell-Pinson is available to help improve academic writing skills, understand the dissertation process, manage time, and set and achieve reaistic writing goals. Contact Dr. Russell-Pinson to arrange an appointment.

Three-Minute Thesis


Can you describe your research to a lay audience in only three minutes with just one static slide? The 3 Minute Thesis Competition is the opportunity to try!  Register to compete to win up to $500 and a trip to the regional competition in Birmingham, Alabama!

A crowning achievement for any graduate student is to put their knowledge and professional communication skills to the test in the annual Three-Minute Thesis (3MT®). Originating at the University of Queensland, Australia, 3MT® challenges graduate students to condense their graduate body of work into a clear and engaging three-minute presentation supported by only one static overhead slide.

Held each Fall Semester, students deliver their condensed research presentation before a group of non-specialist judges. Winners may go on to present at national and international 3MT events. 

CGL GRAD Courses

(Register for graduate courses at

GRAD 6151/8151. Professional Communications (1 credit)  (Cross-listed as BINF 8151/6151)

Learn principles and techniques for effective oral presentations, poster presentations and scientific writing. This course also covers use of references and avoiding plagiarism. Students in the course collaborate on each other’s presentations and learn how to avoid common pitfalls. In addition, you learn how to prepare a CV, job application letter, job talk, as well as how to organize and run a meeting. (Fall)

GRAD 6212/8212.  Academic Writing for Graduate Students (3 credits)

This course refines academic writing skills, especially those related to writing about empirical research. This course is best suited for graduate students in education, social sciences and STEM disciplines, although students in the humanities may also benefit from it. The course focuses equally on product (i.e., the text) and process (i.e., the steps necessary to complete a text).   In terms of product, you will gain skills to help you effectively produce key parts of an empirical paper: introduction, literature review, methodology, analysis, results, discussion and conclusion. Also, explore different academic genres relevant to your discipline, which may include conference proposals, book reviews, and research articles; then produce a relevant academic genre of your choice.  With respect to process, you will learn best practices for composing scholarly pieces of writing, from drafting through editing text. You will also learn strategies for planning a large writing project, developing a regular writing schedule, managing procrastination and perfectionism and responding to critical feedback.

Notes:  Students must be enrolled in a graduate program terminating in a Master’s degree or a doctoral degree.  Students who do not speak English as a first language must have already taken GRAD 6210/8210 or gained prior approval from the instructor to enroll in GRAD Special Topics Course.

GRAD 8000. Making Dissertations Happen: Managing Writing & Life (2 credits)

This course will help you manage your dissertation work through such topics as prioritizing your dissertation, writing more effectively and efficiently, improving your productivity, strengthening your relationship with your dissertation advisor and handling stress in healthier ways.  Join a supportive community of dissertation writers and learn to create more balance in your life.

GRAD 6210/8210 - Graduate Level Writing for International Students (3 credits)

Students who speak English as a second language will learn concepts central to graduate-level writing in the United States such as academic integrity, audience awareness, discipline-specific variation in writing norms and culture and rhetorical purpose. Graded on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis. (Fall, Spring)

GRAD 6340/8340. Data Analysis and Presentation for Impact (2 credits)

Learn to gather, organize and present data for understanding and impact in a professional setting. Helps develop decision-making and predictive modeling.