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 prompts 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.

ALI Writing Labs aim to create an informal atmosphere to help students gain confidence in their English writing and inquiry skills.

Fall 2021 Schedule: 

Topic: American Resumes and Cover Letters

  • Week 1:  September 7-10
  • Week 2: September 13-17
  • Week 3: September 20-24
  • Week 4: September 27-October 1
  • Assignment:
  • Bring in a resume. You can also bring in a cover letter you are writing or a job posting you need to write a cover letter for to focus on instead.
  • 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.
    • The first paragraph of a cover letter should be 5 sentences or less, where you introduce yourself, the position you are interested in, and how you learned of the opportunity.

Topic: Networking: Emails & Messaging

  • Week 5: October 4-8
  • Week 6: October 11-13
  • Week 7: October 18-22
  • 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.

Topic: Academic Editing and Creative Writing

  • Week 8: October 25-29
  • Week 9: November 1-5
  • Week 10: November 8-12
  • Week 11: November 15-19
  • Assignment:
  • Bring a piece of writing you want to edit. It can be an academic or research paper you want to publish or a piece of creative writing.
  • Keep in mind that we may not be able to edit the entire piece in one session. 
  • Tips:
    • Be clear, be thoughtful with your word choice
    • 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.

For more information about ALI Writing Labs, please visit

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