Instruction - Workshops

GWC & DKL Fall 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 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.

If you're on campus, you can take your laptop and headphones to one of our Dudley Knox Library Spaces. Please note: "My Glory Never Dies" workshops are held in person in ME Auditorium.


​​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 needed 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? 

More than a dozen workshops have been recorded for self-paced, asynchronous learning, and new titles are being added each quarter. 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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

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.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

In your academic and professional career, the odds are high that you will present to a virtual audience. What are the most effective techniques for presenting online? How do you stay engaged with your audience? How can you get the most from PowerPoint and other tools in a virtual environment? This workshop, presented in virtual (Zoom) format, will take you through the process of creating a compelling virtual presentation—from researching your topic and audience, to creating effective slides, to enlightening and involving your audience.

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

Develop your research skills and learn how to use the library search, library databases, research guides, Google Scholar, and more! If you are enrolled in NS3011 or DA2010, you will get the same information in your class, so it is not necessary to sign up for this workshop.

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

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 by defining sentence elements, patterns, and the active voice. Because Building Better Sentences focuses on making already correct sentences better, we recommend you take (or request materials for) the Mastery Series—Grammar, Punctuation, and Clarity and Concision—beforehand if you want a refresher on writing fundamentals. Then, after this workshop, in just 90 minutes, your ideas and sentences will shine that much more brightly!

Location: ME Auditorium (in person)
Presented by: Graduate Writing Center and Dudley Knox Library
​​​​​​​For more information, visit https://nps.edu/web/gwc/my-glory-never-dies

The Trojan War/Battle of Agincourt:
Through the arts and stories of the military, develop your critical thinking skills. In the Trojan War/Battle of Agincourt workshop, listen to selections from Homer’s The Iliad, watch filmed scenes from Euripides’s tragedy, The Trojan Women, and Shakespeare’s famous “St. Crispin’s Day Speech” in Henry V and Renaissance Man, as we explore the concepts of courage, honor, and glory that have defined the lives and careers of military officers throughout centuries.

The U.S. Civil War:
Through the arts and stories of the military, develop your critical thinking skills. In the U.S. Civil War workshop, watch selections from the film Glory and filmed scenes from the play, The Andersonville Trial, and read Walt Whitman’s “Civil War poetry,” as we explore the concepts of courage, honor, and glory that have defined the lives and careers of military officers throughout centuries.

World War II:
​​​​Through the arts and stories of the military, develop your critical thinking skills. In the World War II workshop, watch selections from the films The Best Years of Our Lives, Catch-22, Saving Private Ryan,  and Dunkirk, as we explore the concepts of courage, honor, and glory that have defined the lives and careers of military officers throughout centuries.​​​​​​​

The Cold War and Vietnam:
Through the arts and stories of the military, develop your critical thinking skills. In the Cold War/Vietnam workshop, watch selections from the films Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Deer Hunter, and Apocalypse Now, as we explore the concepts of courage, honor, and glory that have defined the lives and careers of military officers throughout centuries.

Iraq and Afghanistan:
Through the arts and stories of the military, develop your critical thinking skills. In the Iraq/Afghanistan workshop, watch selections from films, including The Hurt Locker and Lone Survivor, as we explore the concepts of courage, honor, and glory that have defined the lives and careers of military officers throughout centuries.

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 Level II, which offers techniques for analyzing sources' arguments.

Presented by: Graduate Writing Center

Level II and Level II-STEM teach 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.

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

Will your thesis have four or 84 figures? Images in academic writing need to be skillfully discussed in both the body of your paper and in captions. We will practice writing about flow charts, graphs, set-off quotes, and tables. The techniques also apply to equations and computer code. A simple formula will help you consistently and professionally describe figures and their sources, and explain to your readers how each image supports your argument.

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.