Instruction - Workshops

Summer 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 to students each quarter. Faculty and staff are welcome, too.


​​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.


​​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, grab your laptop and headphones and head to one of our Dudley Knox Library Spaces.


​​​​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

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location:  Zoom
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!

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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. 

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location:  Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

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

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 through hands-on activities the methods that scholars use to engage in larger debates. Your readers will understand you better, and you will stand on equal footing with the writers in your field.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location:  Zoom
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.

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

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 schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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 class discussions, argument papers, thesis writing, 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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

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

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

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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!

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.

Dates: see Workshops schedule (linked above)
Location: Zoom
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.