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Workshop Descriptions

Writing Practices Series

Purposeful Paragraphs

In this workshop students will learn the art of the purposeful paragraphs. It begins with a discussion of author intention and what it means to be an author with a purpose. It will engage students in a discussion of the different types of paragraphs and how and why authors make choices to use one type of paragraph over another. This workshop allots time for students to analyze different types of paragraphs as well as discussing their own paragraph choices using their current writing assignments.

Writing Effective Introductions and Conclusions

In this workshop, students will learn how to write catchy and purposeful introductions and conclusions. The workshop includes tutorial videos and sample essays and paragraphs designed to help students understand various strategies they can utilize when writing their own introductions and conclusions. Time will be allotted for students to write or revise the introduction and conclusion for a piece of their own work, and WRL tutors will be available to give students one-on-one feedback.

Understanding and Writing Thesis Statements

This workshop is designed to add another tool to the undergraduate composition toolbox. It exposes students to eight (8) different types of two-part argumentative thesis statements that can be used to effectively answer most lower-division writing assignments. There will be discussion and activities geared toward explaining the specific purpose of each statement and the types of paragraphs needed to create examples to support a well written undergraduate composition. This workshop allots time for students to work on creating or revising thesis statements for their current writing assignments with one-on-one assistance from WRL tutors.

Quoting and Paraphrasing

This workshop will educate students about academic plagiarism as well as offer detailed explanations and guided exercises on preventing plagiarism through the use of proper direct quotation and paraphrasing. Tutors will be available to assist students individually with questions, and students are encouraged to bring in their own work so they can practice their newly acquired skills with the working tutors.

Using APA Citations

This workshop will detail the fundamentals associated with proper APA usage including general formatting, headings, in-text citations, and reference lists. Guided and individual exercises will also be utilized so students can put their new APA knowledge to work with the assistance of roving tutors. As always, students are encouraged to bring in their own work.

Using MLA Citations

This workshop will discuss the essential aspects of proper MLA citation and formatting, including lectures on direct quotation, paraphrase, in-text citations, and work cited page entries. Guided and individual exercises will also be utilized so students can put their new MLA knowledge to work with the assistance of roving tutors. As always, students are encouraged to bring in their own work.

Purposeful Revision Techniques

In this workshop, students will learn reverse outlining as a strategy for essay revision. By learning to reverse outline their essays, students will learn to understand their own writing better, and through this process, they will learn to generate more effective topic sentences and paragraphs that directly support their essays’ thesis statements. For this workshop, students will be required to bring in a piece of their own writing so that they can practice the skills being taught at the workshop. WRL tutors will be on hand to assists students individually as necessary.

Developing Proofreading Skills and Techniques

This workshop will teach students to find the errors in their own writing by helping them create personal proofreading checklists. Once they have made their checklists, students will learn numerous proofreading strategies that can help them to utilize their checklists while learning to find their mistakes more easily and accurately. Students will also be practicing newly learned strategies by editing a piece of their own writing with assistance from WRL tutors.


GWAR Placement Exam (GPE) Series

Understanding and Responding to GPE Prompts

In this workshop, students will learn about the format of GPE prompts and will practice deciphering and responding to prompts quickly and effectively. Students will work with sample prompts to create quick outlines with the help of WRL tutors.

Writing Effective Thesis Statements for the GPE

This workshop will expose students to several types of thesis statements that they can use to effectively answer most GPE prompts. With the help of WRL tutors, students will work with sample GPE prompts to practice writing effective thesis statements.

Study Resources and Time Management Techniques for the GPE

In this workshop, students will learn strategies to help them prepare to take the GPE, including time management and pre-writing techniques that will help them approach any timed writing situation.

Revising and Editing Your GPE Essay

This workshop provides students with revising and editing strategies to use when writing a timed essay, such as the GPE.


All of our workshops can be redeveloped to meet the specific needs of any college or department program. Please contact Dr. Lori Smurthwaite for more information and associated fees.


    (562) 985-4329

    The WRL is open for tutoring Monday-Thursday from 9 AM to 7 PM and Fridays 10AM-1PM Call or come in to make your appointment.