Please drop by AC 210
(across from the Library)
Dr. Sarah King
Writing Centre Coordinator
Writing advice introduction
The Writing Centre provides handouts on every aspect of the writing process.
Use the links below or the tabs above, and stop by AC 210 for free copies.
Try our Assignment Calculator
Understand the Assignment
Different types of assignments have different characteristics. The University Essay handout offers a brief overview of the different types. Or, choose one of the following to learn more about the type of assignment you are working on:
- Annotated Bibliography
- A Guide to Writing in Mathematics
- Analytic Essay
- Checklist for Scientific Reports
- Critical Review
- Literature Review
- Personal Statements
- Research Essay
Different assignments may also require you to consider different rhetorical modes or approaches to the information. The following resources can help:
- Brainstorm to generate ideas and focus your topic.
- Reading critically to thoroughly understand the issues.
- Take good notes from your research and readings. Try our Note Taking Worksheet.
- Think critically to develop your own position and situate your research in context.
Keep the Momentum
- Understanding Essay Topics: A Checklist (U of T)
- Some General Advice on Academic Essay Writing (U of T)
- Annotated Bibliographies(University of Wisconsin-Madison)
- Application Letters and Resumes(U of T)
- Book Review or Article Critique (U of T)
- Lab Report (Engineering Communication Center at U of T)
- Lab Report (North Carolina State University)
- Literature Review (U of T)
- Essay Exams (OWL at Purdue)
- Prewriting (Invention)(OWL at Purdue)
Research & Reading
The Library is the most important stop for all of your research needs. For assistance, staff are available by chat, email, telephone, and in person. Tips on effective search strategies are also available.
Remember that it takes time to locate sources. Help keep on track with our Assignment Calculator.
Careful reading ensures that you understand the material thoroughly. The following handouts will help you read and think critically about the literature:
It is also important to take good notes, to help you keep track of what you have read, where you have read it, and, most importantly, what you think about all that you've learned. The following resources can help:
Drafting Your Essay
Need help getting started?
Brainstorming techniques can help you generate ideas. Mind-mapping, in particular, can help you see how ideas link together, so you can start to see the overall shape your paper will take.
Having trouble organizing your ideas?
- Develop a strong thesis to help maintain your focus
- Create an outline to help structure your paper.
- Gather tips on constructing a logical argument
Need help developing your paragraphs?
Editing Your Work
Editing your own work can be challenging. To make the process more efficient and effective, try concentrating on specific tasks, rather than trying to edit everything all at once. The following resources will help you with each stage of the editing process.
Editing Structure and Content
Editing for Style
Develop your ability to express yourself academically:
- Expressions Showing Evaluation
- Link Ideas in Your Sentences Effectively
- Verbs in Academic Writing
- Verbs for Citing Sources
- Adjectives and Adverbs in Academic Writing
- Proofread carefully to catch grammatical errors.
If you are struggling with particular grammatical rules, the following handouts may help:
- Consistency in Verb Usage
- Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
- Pronoun Reference
- Run-on Sentences
- Sentence Fragments
Expand Your Academic Vocabulary
Improve your vocabulary with the tools and exercises posted on the English Language Development website.
Wordiness: Danger Signals and Ways to React (U of T)
Hypergrammar (Learn more about grammar from the University of Ottawa).
Grammar Resources, Handouts, and Exercises (OWL at Purdue)
- Different disciplines use different citation styles.
- The following are five of the most common.
- If you are not sure which one to choose, follow the links for more information.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic
|Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov. 1880.
Trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
New York: Farrar, 2002. Print.
|Holland HD. 1984. The chemical evolution of the
atmosphere and oceans. Princeton (NJ):
Princeton University Press.
|Chua, Amy. 2004. World on Fire: How Exporting Free
Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and
Global Instability. New York: Anchor Books.
|Sandford, Christopher. McQueen: The Biography.
New York: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2001.