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Foundations of Academic Writing

The Spring 2021 presentation was 30 March. Videos and slides are posted below.


In this series of presentations—which is mandatory for all new students—you will learn the basics of what is expected of your written work, gain survival skills, and receive an overview of the writing process, whether your task is a two-page executive summary or a multichapter thesis.

The presentations consist of the below topics delivered by seasoned scholars and writers. Slides and videos from the present and/or past quarters are available under each presentation description.

Foundations covers the philosophies, standards, and techniques of academic writing. (If you're looking for an introduction to the GWC and its services, see our New Student Orientation video [4:40].)

Workshops Quarterly Presentations - spring 2014

Download the works in one pdf (30 March 2021).

This overview includes an introduction from NPS Provost Dr. Scott Gartner. It then explains the goals of Foundations and introduces each presenter.

Students often subscribe to a false narrative that they can’t write, or that crafting a paper at the graduate level is something they’re not equipped for. This talk demystifies academic writing to dispel those myths, offering a simple formula for crafting your existing expertise and growing knowledge into the language of the academy. Graduate school writing is simply about having something to say and knowing how to say it; this presentation reviews the tenets of scholarship that will help you do both.

Optional: See Dr. Zachary Shore's introduction to the basic elements of research and writing at the graduate level.

  • Video, no slides (Summer 2020, Dr. Zachary Shore, 18:46)

Scholars and students contribute to our understanding of important issues through their original analysis and research. To do so, they must discuss and build upon the work of others. Thus, as a student, it is inevitable that you will need to cite, quote, paraphrase, and summarize a potentially wide range of sources in your own writing. Dr. Sandra Leavitt discusses how sources are used to develop better arguments, the norms and rules for using those sources, why those norms exist, and how to maintain academic integrity and avoid plagiarizing.

This presentation offers a step-by-step guide to getting started on writing a paper, overcoming writer's block, and drafting and revising your writing. Good writing at every level involves discovery, planning, developing ideas, creativity, and revision. Students will learn a variety of techniques as well as receive sound advice on what to expect, how to cope, and how to excel while writing papers and building toward a successful thesis.

Students conducting research using the following types of methods may be conducting human subjects research: Surveys, interviews, equipment testing on people, audio/video recording, archived data mining containing PII, and task or work analysis. These types of research are more common in the social science and business fields, but also take place in some STEM disciplines. Please consult your advisor or professor for more information. Or email Dr. Larry Shattuck.

The website for the Human Research Protection Program is here.