Teaching a People-First Language Approach



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Prepare students for writing that is more appropriate, accurate, and accessible to all readers.


Quantitative researchers and analysts commonly focus their writing exclusively on data accuracy without taking the importance of language into account. This focus on data – rather than on the people who are represented by the data – can result in material that is accurate from a methodological standpoint, but not appropriate or accessible to non-technical audiences who may consume them.

Join us for a two-hour workshop with David Chrisinger, Director of the Harris Writing Program at the University of Chicago. You will learn how implementing a mandatory People-First Language Workshop for all incoming students and integrating the people-first concept into writing assignments across the school has helped students strengthen their ability to communicate their work to readers both inside and outside of the field. You will leave this “train-the-trainer” style workshop with an understanding of the people-first writing approach, along with strategies that you can use to integrate its core principles into your own curriculum.


Who Should Attend

This workshop is designed for professionals who work within Centers for Teaching and Learning, Academic Writing Centers, and faculty members who work to improve the external writing and communication skills of students in quantitative research-focused disciplines.

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Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


December 15, 2020

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern


During this workshop our expert, David Chrisinger, will help prepare you to teach a people-first approach to writing. Along the way, you will:


Explore the Reasoning Behind the Method

We will walk through an overview of the concept of people-first language and its importance within the realm of public policy and other quantitative-focused disciplines.



Learn the Three A’s of Using People-First Language in Academic Writing

When teaching students about the importance of positioning humans at the root of their analyses, you should emphasize three criteria:

  • Appropriateness
  • Accuracy
  • Accessibility



Practice with Writing Samples

You will have the opportunity to practice reviewing writing samples and providing feedback to make them better align with the people-first approach.



Gain Strategies to Teach this Concept to Students

Whether you're interested in developing a people-first workshop at your institution or want to learn creative ways to integrate the idea into student writing assignments, this workshop will teach you and your students about the power of language in writing.


Portrait of David Chrisinger

David Chrisinger

Director, Harris Public Policy Writing Program, University of Chicago

David is the Associate Director in the Academic and Student Affairs office, where he leads the Harris Writing Program. In his role, he works with faculty to develop and evaluate writing-focused assignments, assists students in improving their writing skills, and trains and manages the Writing Program Teaching Assistants, among other duties.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


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