Instruction - Workshops

Winter 2022 GWC & DKL Workshops


Are you looking to polish your paraphrasing? Strengthen your structure? Augment your arguments? The GWC and DKL offer more than two dozen writing-, reading-, and research-themed workshops each quarter.


 

Register for workshops through WCOnline

Use WCOnline's central drop-down menu at the top of the page to select Workshops Sign-Up, then use the "next week" and "previous week" arrows to move between weeks. Each workshop can accommodate, on average, 15 to 25 participants. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome.


​​Attend on Zoom

Once you have registered, look up the Zoom login info (CAS login required) for your workshop. Zoom info is also displayed on WCOnline and sent via email from the instructor before each workshop.



​​Practice critical thinking

Taught by GWC coaches and instructors, GWC workshops help you refresh fundamentals, sharpen critical-thinking skills, and learn academic writing norms. They give you practical techniques and proven strategies for coursework, exams, theses, and professional life.

Develop research skills

Taught by the DKL research librarians, DKL offers three research-related workshops: "Library Quick Start," "Thesis Quick Start," and "Citation Management with Zotero." See the descriptions below for more information.


Can't make a live workshop?

Slides and recorded workshops can be found on our Workshop Videos page, and GWC coaches are also happy to meet with you to discuss the content of their workshops.


Instruction HandsOn

Workshop Descriptions

Presented by: Dudley Knox Library

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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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.

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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

You just received a prompt for a class paper. You read it once, then twice, and still can't figure out how to structure the paper you’re supposed to write. Sound familiar? This workshop offers strategies for decoding and understanding instructors' prompts, unpacking what key words mean, and identifying core tasks.

Presented by: Dudley Knox Library

Does your professor want you to use LaTeX to write your thesis or dissertation? Are you passionate about beautifully formatted equations? Do you want to leave the formatting woes of Microsoft Word behind for a brighter tomorrow with LaTeX? If you answered yes to these questions or are just curious about LaTeX, please join us for a LaTeX crash course that will introduce you to using LaTeX to write your thesis or dissertation. In one hour we will introduce you to the fundamentals of LaTeX so that you are equipped with the skills needed to start using LaTeX immediately.

Presented by: Dudley Knox Library

Learn how to use the library search feature, article and report databases, research guides, Google Scholar, and more to find high-quality, authoritative research materials in support of your scholarly work.

If you are currently enrolled in CS4903, DA2010, EC3000, IS3001, IS3330, MN4090, MR3571, NS3011, OA3900, PD-21 Orientation, PH3011, SE3077, or SS1810, confirm with your instructor that a librarian will be coming to your class to give a library brief. If so, you can skip this workshop because you will get the same information in your in-class brief, and it will be more tailored to your subject area.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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 is 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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

To master sentences that “sing” means to write with clarity, vigor, and grace. In this workshop, inspired by advice in Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, a classic grammar how-to, you will be introduced to concepts seasoned writers take for granted, as well as tips and tricks for making your essays…well, melodious. Be bold! Be brief! Be clear! Covered in this class are thesis statements, topic sentences, paragraph structure, active voice, punctuation, ways to “make every word tell,” and other elements essential to academic papers that sing with strength and flow.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

Academic, or research-based writing is distinct from other forms of writing: our primary purpose is to describe knowledge, which, at the graduate level, is most likely to address the logical connections between ideas—a task that calls for structured writing. This workshop introduces 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 process for learning and writing that will focus your effort where it counts the most.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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 quotations from source material.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

So much reading, so little time! Learn and practice Dr. Zach Shore’s method of reading for argument at the graduate level in this workshop, tailored to either social science and business or STEM fields. Dr. Shore's "search and destroy" technique allows you to comprehend and synthesize an author’s arguments efficiently. 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 time to perfect, once you do, the payoff is high in terms of comprehension, time saved, and enhanced critical thinking skills.

Also be sure to check out Strategic Reading II, which offers techniques for analyzing sources' arguments.

So much reading, so little time! Adapted from Dr. Zach Shore’s method of reading for argument at the graduate level, this workshop is tailored to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Learn and practice reading techniques that allow you to comprehend and synthesize scientific articles efficiently. This workshop teaches how to quickly extract an author's thesis and structure. Though this method may take time to perfect, once you do, the payoff is high in terms of comprehension, time saved, and enhanced critical thinking skills.

Also, be sure to check out Strategic Reading II, which offers techniques for analyzing sources’ arguments.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

Level II teaches the "destroy" half of Dr. Zach Shore’s "search and destroy" technique. This workshop prepares you for academic debate, literature reviews, argument papers, and more. Learn how to examine a text for its strengths and weaknesses. Identify how authors build and support their arguments, then develop your own critical response by evaluating an author’s empirical and logical evidence.

Strategic Reading-1 recommended, but not required.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

Overusing passive voice is one of the most common stylistic blunders in academic writing; it can be hard to identify and tricky to fix. At the same time, passive voice does have its uses. This workshop will explain what passive voice looks like and why in most cases active constructions are a better choice. Lessons and activities will show you how to transform passive-voice sentences and also identify situations when you might want to use them. You will leave with strategies to select the best possible verbs, to craft more interesting prose, and to express your ideas more clearly.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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.

Presented by: Dudley Knox Library

Is it time to begin your thesis? Not sure how to start? This workshop will cover academic research and writing in general, as well as the specifics of the NPS thesis process. Learn how to navigate the process and launch your thesis with confidence.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

When the prospect of writing a paper feels like sinking into an abyss of uncertainty, keep in mind that writing doesn’t have to be a linear process. This workshop explores critical work you can do before you start stringing sentences together. Lean into your individual strengths and develop a personalized approach to generate, clarify, and organize your ideas.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

How is a response paper different from a reflective essay? How should you structure a policy analysis versus a proposal? When you’re tasked to write an argumentative or persuasive essay, what’s the difference? Learn how to adapt the arc of introduction, context, content, and conclusion to common paper types you’ll encounter at NPS.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

What are the common elements of academic papers at NPS? What do professors expect? Come and learn how the building blocks of academic papers fit together, making your papers more readable, complete, and academic. In this comprehensive overview, you'll learn about paper intros, conclusions, thesis statements, roadmaps, research questions, hypotheses, literature reviews, abstracts, citation styles, NPS resources, and more!

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

Learn to target appropriate academic journals for your discipline, decode submission requirements, query editors, prepare manuscripts, and address wider audiences for your academic research. This workshop covers the basics of academic publication, common obstacles, and models for adapting your research for publication as a journal article.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

Do you want to impact broader military and security discussions? Learn to pitch, scope, draft, and revise short pieces for online outlets such as The Strategy Bridge and War on the Rocks. In this workshop, we will review submission requirements, learn from published writing, and show how writing coaches can help you shape your pieces for these audiences and specs.