Writing and Oral Communication

Developing Effective Communication Skills

The Graduate School recognizes the need for each graduate student to develop excellent communications skills in both the written and spoken word. A hallmark of an outstanding graduate education is the rigor and emphasis placed on the discipline-specific technical writing and presentation skills at the departmental level. It is equally important that graduate students are able to clearly and persuasively communicate their research and scholarly ideas to a broad audience. The university provides support and opportunities for graduate students to make progress on their dissertation and departmental writing and presentation skills, as well as their general public speaking and interview skills.

Princeton Research Day

Princeton Research Day (PRD) is a one-day celebration of the research enterprise across generations of scholars and researchers at Princeton.  It is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College, Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, Office of the Dean of the Faculty and Office of the Dean of Research. Undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs may apply to present their research in various formats to the campus community.  The event promotes Princeton’s commitment to scholarship, innovation, and research and provides a venue for professional development. There are additional opportunities to volunteer to chair or judge a session.  This year’s event will take place on May 2019.


GradSpeak is a workshop offered monthly to enhance graduate student's public speaking skills where practice is encouraged and feedback is given in a constructive supportive environment. Each session will have an inpromptu topic (e.g. your research in a nutshell, someone who inspires you) and a focus on a technical skill such as diction or eye contact with the audience. Co-sponsored by The Graduate School, and PrincetonWrites.

Fall 2019 dates coming soon. Space is limited to 10 graduate students. Please RSVP to pwrites@princeton.edu 

Speak with Style

Speak with Style (SwS) is a group dedicated to exploring the art and science of effective communication. SwS aims to provide a medium for people to share their strategies in speaking with more confidence, and avails itself as a resource and platform for students to polish and perfect their presentation, pitching, and social communication skills. To learn more about joining this group please email sws.princeton@gmail.com.


Graduate Writing Days 

Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Government, Graduate Writing Days offer graduate students of all years of study a quiet, comfortable place to write with good food and lots of caffeine. Pre or post-generals graduate students are welcome to work on a dissertation chapter, conference paper, journal article, seminar presentation, chapter, or grant application during Graduate Writing Days.

Princeton Writing Program

The Writing Program offers a continuum of options for graduate students to develop as writers and teachers.  Writing courses and one-on-one consultations with experienced fellow writers help students improve their writing skills needed for dissertation work and publication.  Advanced students interested in professional development opportunities can serve as writing fellows or develop their own writing courses.

Dissertation Boot camps - The Writing Program, in partnership with the Graduate School, has developed dissertation boot camps. The boot camps are designed to provide support for students working on their dissertation, including a quiet space and a community of writers.

Writing in Sciences and Engineering (WSE)  - Provides half-term writing courses and proposal writing workshops geared toward excellence in science and technical writing.

Proposal Writing Workshops - Proposal writing is always challenging. Writers must argue for why their project is important and highly likely to succeed that it deserves a substantial investment of time and money. Graduate students working on proposals or fellowship applications may take advantage of the wide variety of writing support offered through Writing Center programs.

Writing Center Fellows  - Writing Center Fellows are Princeton undergraduate and graduate students who work one-on-one with student writers. Excellent writers have the opportunity to gain professional development experience by giving feedback to other writers, especially on macro issues such as developing an argument and organizing ideas. Writing center fellows have the chance to affect students’ academic lives in positive and meaningful ways. Perhaps as important, fellows get the chance to hone their teaching and writing skills through their work as a fellow.


Princeton Writes was established in the summer of 2013 under the leadership of John S. Weeren, former assistant to and speechwriter for now President Emerita Shirley M. Tilghman, with the goal of enhancing the practical communication skills of Princeton University employees and students. This innovative program provides a wide range of general and customized resources for those who wish to strengthen their command of the written and spoken word.