Research Workshop Writing An Argumentative Essay In Mla

Orientation Workshop

This presentation summarizes our available services. Please note: Students who would like feedback on their written work need to plan in advance (2-3 academic days).  Students who would like to use self-guided software are welcome anytime the room is not reserved for instructional use.

Orientation, SP 12 (PowerPoint)

Honing Thesis Statements

This workshop will help students understand what a thesis statement is, where it should be located and how it functions within the broader context of an academic essay. 

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What's Your Thesis?

This workshop strengthens one’s ability to write clear, detailed thesis statements and also improves organization and focus in writing.

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PEE in your Paragraphs

Students learn the “secret” to writing well-developed, well-organized paragraphs and essays: “Point-Evidence-Explanation Paragraph Structure.”

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Writing Interesting, Grammatically Correct Sentences

This workshop reviews the four different sentence structures, provides examples for each, and describes the punctuation associated with each.  This workshop is recommended for students who have trouble with comma splices, run-on sentences or fragments.

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Sentence Structure and Grammar

Learn to write concise, precise, clear, grammatically correct sentences.

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Writing In-Class Essays

Do you get nervous when you have to write in-class essays?  This workshop will provide you with specific strategies that you can use to “imitate” the conditions of an in-class essay experience or examination before the actual examination period. 

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Writing for Essay Tests

This workshop provides step-by-step processes for preparing for an essay test and then writing a great essay under a time limit.

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Voice and Authority in College Writing

This workshop is designed to support students taking English 111 or 111.009 at NOVA. In addition to providing a review of the terms logos, pathos, andethos, the resource highlights common pitfalls of student writing. The final slides offer advice for students who want to improve the authenticity of their voices.

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Writing College Essays & Personal Statements

Students will learn about the difference between successful and unsuccessful college essays. This resource includes tips for brainstorming a topic if one is not provided for you, writing and editing strategies, and advice for students who want to consider using the same essay for multiple schools.

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Writing a Transfer Essay

This workshop provides step-by-step processes for preparing for an essay test and then writing a great essay under a time limit.

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Writing Annotated Bibliographies

This workshop walks students through the process of writing annotated bibliographies, which is a common step in the research paper process. Sample annotations in MLA and APA format are included.

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Writing for the Sciences: Lab Reports, Field Reports & More

This workshop covers the unique format and requirements of Scientific Writing and then breaks down the qualities of effective Scientific Writing, including Lab Reports and Field Reports.

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Writing Across Borders Faculty Workshop

This workshop for faculty deals with the unique challenges and opportunities of teaching International and English-as-a-Second-Language students. The video on which it was based, Writing Across Borders, highlights the cultural basis of American Academic expectations and preferences for writing and the unfamiliarity of those expectations and preferences for many multicultural, multilingual students. The handout below summarizes many of the main points of the workshop, including strategies for teaching.

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Writing Across the Curriculum

The Annandale Writing Center's "Writing Across the Curriculum" series covers thesis statements, academic research, writing professional emails to professors and many other writing skills that are essential for success in college and beyond.

Writing a Research Paper


This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.

Contributors: Jack Raymond Baker, Allen Brizee, Ashley Velázquez
Last Edited: 2018-02-14 03:36:12

The Research Paper

There will come a time in most students' careers when they are assigned a research paper. Such an assignment often creates a great deal of unneeded anxiety in the student, which may result in procrastination and a feeling of confusion and inadequacy. This anxiety frequently stems from the fact that many students are unfamiliar and inexperienced with this genre of writing. Never fear—inexperience and unfamiliarity are situations you can change through practice! Writing a research paper is an essential aspect of academics and should not be avoided on account of one's anxiety. In fact, the process of writing a research paper can be one of the more rewarding experiences one may encounter in academics. What is more, many students will continue to do research throughout their careers, which is one of the reasons this topic is so important.

Becoming an experienced researcher and writer in any field or discipline takes a great deal of practice. There are few individuals for whom this process comes naturally. Remember, even the most seasoned academic veterans have had to learn how to write a research paper at some point in their career. Therefore, with diligence, organization, practice, a willingness to learn (and to make mistakes!), and, perhaps most important of all, patience, students will find that they can achieve great things through their research and writing.

This handout will include the following sections related to the process of writing a research paper:

  • Genre- This section will provide an overview for understanding the difference between an analytical and argumentative research paper.
  • Choosing a Topic- This section will guide the student through the process of choosing topics, whether the topic be one that is assigned or one that the student chooses himself.
  • Identifying an Audience- This section will help the student understand the often times confusing topic of audience by offering some basic guidelines for the process.
  • Where Do I Begin- This section concludes the handout by offering several links to resources at Purdue, and also provides an overview of the final stages of writing a research paper.

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