Coronavirus update

Workshops are back!

The instant migration to telecommuting hit us in March right as were planning our spring workshops. With our working lives throw into disarraytemporarilywe ended up cancelling all the workshops for the quarter.

Three months later, we're all Zoom pros and, even though we're still telecommuting, we are offering a full suite of workshops for summer term. Download the workshops flyer for additional details.

That includes a special presentation of "My Glory Never Dies": The Military in Literature, Film, and Onstage, a moving exploration of five war-torn historical eras. (See separate page for complete details.)

Zoom will be used for all workshops.

Instruction - Workshops

Workshops – An overview

Over two dozen 60-to-90-minute, workshops are offered to resident students each term. Each workshop can accommodate 15–25 participants. Faculty and staff are welcome, too. Download the flyer for additional details.

Registration for all workshops is handled through WCOnline. Use WCOnline's centrally located drop-down menu to select the Workshops Calendar, then use the forward/back arrows to move between weeks.

Presentation of the workshops will be via Zoom until further notice.

GWC Workshops – Develop critical thinking and strong writing mechanics

GWC workshops help you refresh fundamentals, sharpen critical-thinking skills, and learn academic writing norms. They quickly give you practical techniques and proven strategies needed for writing your coursework, comprehensive exams, and thesis, and in professional life.

Most workshops are offered to resident students every term in the Dudley Knox Library; other workshops are offered at least two quarters per year.

Over a dozen workshops have been recorded for self-paced, asynchronous learning for distance learners or those who simply can't get to a session but need the information. New titles are being added each quarter. Access recorded workshops and online modules here.

Dudley Knox Library Workshops – Develop research skills

The Dudley Knox Library offers three research-related workshops: Library Quick Start, Thesis Quick Start, and Citation Management with Zotero. Registration is in WCOnline. See below for more information.

Instruction HandsOn

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

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.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

If you daydreamed through the grammar lessons of your schooldays, take heart. Through clear and simple explanations, we demystify terms and concepts that seasoned writers take for granted, focusing on enhancing sentence structure including elements, patterns, and the active voice. Because Building Better Sentences focuses on making already correct sentences that much better, we recommend that you take (or request materials for) the Mastery Series (Grammar, Punctuation, and Clarity/Concision) beforehand if you want to refresh your comma use and more. That way, in just 90 minutes of this workshop, your ideas will shine through your sentences that much more brightly!

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location:  Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor:  see Workshops flyer (linked above)

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.

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

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 will also show you how to use Zotero’s Word plug-in to cite while you write your papers or thesis. Registration at least 24 hours in advance is required. After registering, you will receive an email with installation and setup instructions, which you will need to complete prior to the class. The workshop will be conducted online via Zoom. After you register in WCOnline, we will send you a link to the online session.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location:  Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor:  Dr. Sandra Leavitt

Constructing a research question is probably the most important task for any 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. A compelling research question will keep you motivated and your reader engaged.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

You employ persuasion every day, but are you comfortable crafting formal academic arguments? This workshop covers the strategies and conventions of written argumentation that are essential to your NPS studies and career. Hands-on exercises help you organize your lines of attack, remedy any gaps in your defense, anticipate your adversary’s counterargument, and deliver the decisive blow through a convincing refutation.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

Imagine a conversation among all the scholars who have contributed to your research topic. Assessing the strengths, weaknesses, agreements, and disagreements of their combined wisdom is the essence of a literature review. Using the Just War Theory, this workshop presents two examples of capturing the “conversation” and helps you identify the differences between review and critical analysis. Through guided discussion, you will be better equipped to understand and write literature reviews.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

Do your academic readings make you feel like an outsider? Don’t remain an unheard voice in the wilderness. Learn how to construct your paper as a "conversation with others." In this workshop, inspired by the popular writing book They Say/I Say, you will learn the basic methods that scholars use to engage with larger debates. Your readers will understand you better, and you will stand on equal footing with the writers in your field.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

Most graduate students will, at some point, have to deliver an oral report. Knowing what to say and how to say it is a challenge. Here, you'll learn to forge a powerful presentation, penetrate to the core of your subject, and pull it off in style. We will identify the elements of strong and weak presentations, suggesting ways you can improve your own oral communication.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

Master the art of knowing when and how various kinds of graphics – diagrams, graphs, photographs, tables – can clarify a process for the reader or illustrate an argument. Learn guidelines for making effective visuals, explaining them in your text, and placing them in the thesis template. By examining some student figures, you’ll see how design and annotations help the reader appreciate a figure’s meaning.

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

Develop your research skills and learn how to use the library search, library databases, research guides, Google Scholar, and more! The workshop will be conducted online via Zoom. After you register in WCOnline, we will send you a link to the online session.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

You take notes and learn the subject matter, so why is it so difficult to communicate your knowledge during tests? And where does all the time go? 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; you’ll also receive practical, step-by-step methods for a "time investment" daily schedule.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: John Locke

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 evaluation 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.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

Learn which conventions are rules, NPS norms, and style tips, all of which will help you masterfully put your words to work for you! Excellent clarity and concision stands as the core goal at the graduate and professional level of writing, so we have put together some writing master tips to make your life easier and your writing sassier in just 90 minutes.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

Review examples of common grammar errors students make in their writing. The common errors covered include subject-verb agreement, use of relative clauses, connecting and punctuation of clauses, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and spotting and changing passive voice to active. You'll first learn the rule to avoid or fix these errors, then practice it in a hands-on activity.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

Small symbols with great power, punctuation marks can do it all—connect ideas, convey tone, clarify meaning. Used incorrectly, however, they can undermine your writing, distract and confuse readers, and diminish confidence in your academic work. In this workshop, we cover the most common punctuation marks in graduate writing. Examples, quizzes, and detailed explanations ensure that you leave with a solid grasp of everything from em dashes to Oxford commas—including that most mysterious mark of all, the semicolon.

See separate page for details.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: John Locke

Academic or research-based writing is distinctly different from other forms of writing. Our primary purpose is to describe knowledge which, at the graduate school level, is most likely to address the logical connections between ideas. This calls for structured writing. This workshop will introduce the basic techniques that produce readable papers—comprehensive introductions, topic sentences, and embedding structure in language—and effective tools for composition. You will learn a systematic approach to learning, organizing, and writing that will focus your effort where it counts the most.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructors: Dr. Sandra Leavitt & Greta Marlatt

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.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

The quality of your executive summaries influences how others perceive you and your research. Executive summaries publicize your work, provide busy decision makers with actionable information, and generate readers for your research. Learn how to prioritize and organize essential information, avoid jargon, write more powerfully and persuasively, and navigate this specific form’s rules. By examining excerpts, we will identify best practices and apply those lessons to summarizing research in different fields.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

So much reading, so little time! Learn and practice NPS professor Zachary Shore’s method of reading at the graduate level for thesis content. This "search and destroy" technique allows you to comprehend and synthesize an author’s arguments in 15 minutes. Level I teaches the "search" half, how to quickly extract an author's thesis and structure from an academic article. Though this method may take months to perfect, once you do, the payoff is high in terms of comprehension, time saved, and enhanced critical thinking skills.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

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.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

Overusing passive voice is one of the most common stylistic blunders in academic writing. However, it can be hard to identify and even harder to fix. This workshop will explain what passive writing looks like and why in most cases active constructions are a better choice. Collaborative mini-lessons and hands-on activities will show you how to transform idle verbs and inactive sentences. You will leave with strategies to select the best possible verbs, to craft more interesting prose, and to express your ideas more concisely.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

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.

Dates: see Workshops flyer (linked above)
Location: Zoom
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center
Instructor: see Workshops flyer (linked above)

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.