Instruction - Workshops

Workshop Videos


The GWC is gradually building a library of filmed workshops, hosted on the NPS Video Portal. The available films, with workshop descriptions, are linked in the menu below.

DL Workshops

Part I: Is your writing a little rusty? Want to raise the credibility of your work? In this workshop, we review the underlying rules behind common problem areas in mechanics and punctuation, as well as basic conventions of academic papers, equipping you with the fundamental toolkit for graduate-level writing.


Part II: If NPS is your first foray into graduate-level writing, this workshop is for you. We build on the concepts of part I to review the common problem areas of grammar and style in academic papers. Expand your toolkit from part I with academic writing essentials.


Booklet for parts I and II:


Related GWC resources:

Stumped when you face a blank page? Acquire tried-and-true techniques for starting a paper: brainstorming, clustering, concept mapping, pre-writing, and outlining. Master practical methods to clear the cobwebs and stare down that blank page. By trying out the various techniques during the workshop, you will discover which ones work best for you.

  • Video (39:27, summer 2020)

Related GWC resources:

Not sure how an analysis differs from an argument? How an introduction should be different from a conclusion? How a thesis statement differs from an abstract? Are you unclear about the role of alternative explanations, what goes in a bibliography, what to footnote other than sources, or the point and structure of a literature review? Come learn how the building blocks of academic papers fit together, making your papers more readable and complete.

  • Video (48:29, Fall 2014)

Related GWC resources:

Learn how to use Zotero, a free tool that you can use to centrally collect, manage, and format your references in APA, Chicago, IEEE, and other citation styles. We also show you how to use Zotero's Word plug-in to cite while you write your papers or thesis.


Related GWC resources:

Constructing a research question is probably the most important task for any research paper you write. An overly broad question becomes mission impossible, while an excessively narrow question won't help fill the pages. Learn strategies for identifying answerable, interesting questions that will keep you motivated and your reader engaged.

  • Video (1:32:59, fall 2014)

Related GWC resources:

What is graduate-level research? Without guidance, most students simply read a pile of books, then string together as many quotations as possible, creating slapdash, wandering papers that are painful to write and torturous to read. In this workshop, you will learn how to explain your research goals, explore potential research questions, and use other tactics that will make your research focused, efficient, meaningful, and, yes, even fun to write and read!

  • Video (35:52, fall 2016)

Related GWC resources:

You take notes and learn the subject matter, so why is it so difficult to communicate your knowledge during tests? Knowing a few key strategies can make all the difference. This workshop will provide you with winning techniques for studying more effectively, taking useful notes, preparing for exams, and performing better during tests.

  • Video (51:01, summer 2017)

Related GWC resources:

Develop your research skills and learn how to use the library search, library databases, research guides, Google Scholar, and more!


Related GWC resources:

A master’s degree requires mastering a field, and that mastery is demonstrated in a literature review, a required component of most theses and many papers. It is not, as often believed, a multi-title book review. It is, rather, a comprehensive analysis of the literature relevant to your research question. More than a summary, it identifies strengths and inadequacies in the existing literature, which dovetails with your goal of adding new knowledge to your field. In this workshop, you will learn how literature reviews are constructed and how to make yours justify your research.

Note: For maximum benefit, print or display the below-linked sample literature review before viewing this workshop.

Are you unsure whether your papers are well-organized? Want to write with more confidence and efficiency? This workshop will demonstrate how academic writing differs from other forms. Standard academic organization will be explained for three levels: paper, paragraph, and sentence. Color-coded examples will make the process clear. You will learn techniques of organizing and writing that consistently produce a coherent logical flow. Finish your papers knowing that your readers can follow your argument with ease.

Note: For maximum benefit, display the below-linked sample journal article before viewing this workshop.

You’ve all heard what you shouldn’t be doing: don’t violate the Honor Code, don’t plagiarize, don’t forget the rules of academic integrity. This workshop focuses on what to do to avoid these serious problems. We give you the skills to confidently incorporate others’ words, ideas, analyses, models, and images into your own writing. You will gain experience summarizing, paraphrasing, and incorporating quotes from source material.

So much reading, so little time! Learn and practice a sure-fire method for reading at the graduate level. This “search and destroy” technique allows you to comprehend and synthesize an author’s key arguments in 15 minutes—though this method takes practice to perfect. The pay-off is high in terms of comprehension, time saved, and enhanced critical thinking.

Note: For maximum benefit, print out the below-linked article before viewing this workshop.

Level II teaches the "destroy" half of Professor Shore's "search and destroy" technique. Learn how to critically examine a text for its strengths and weaknesses.

Note: For maximum benefit, print out the below-linked article before viewing this workshop.

Are you more comfortable solving equations than drafting sentences? Come focus on the precise skills you need to write clear technical reports and theses. In this workshop, we will dissect a well-written report, decide what makes it effective, identify steps you can use to emulate its features, and review editing and proofreading strategies appropriate for technical writing.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Dudley Knox Library
Instructors: Glen Koué

Are you getting ready to start your thesis? This workshop will help you learn how to navigate the thesis process. We will cover resources on the specifics of the NPS thesis process as well as academic research and writing in general. The workshop will be conducted online via Zoom. After you register in WCOnline, we will send you a link to the online session.

You’ve just received a prompt for a class paper.  You read it once, twice, and still can’t figure out what you’re being asked to do or what kind of paper you’re being asked to write. Sound familiar? This workshop will identify specific types of papers you may be asked to write at NPS and offer strategies for decoding and understanding instructors’ prompts. (58:48)

Academic writing is a gentle form of warfare. You go on “offense” by discovering the inadequacies in ideas that have come before you and reveal their weaknesses. Your offense also includes presenting convincing, well-reasoned arguments, which you, in turn, must defend. We will explore the nature of argumentation and persuasion, discuss common fallacies, and learn to structure and anticipate counterarguments.