Improve your writing, find flow and resolve your writer’s block. The University of Toronto Undergraduate Writing Centres offer advice on academic writing, including planning and organizing essays, lab reports and literature reviews, as well as one-on-one appointments. Graduate students can receive writing support at the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication. Professional Faculty students can visit Writing Centres in the Professional Faculties web page for information regarding your dedicated writing centre.
Writing for online courses
Taking courses online often involves a lot of writing, including reflections and discussions. Here are some tips:
- When writing a reflection, explicitly relate your thoughts and reactions to the text or lecture material to make sure people understand your references.
- When posing discussion questions, aim for open-ended questions that are not self-evident and can prompt a variety of responses, starting a conversation or debate. Simple yes-or-no questions tend to shut down a discussion.
- When answering questions, think about the why and back up your stance or perspective with course material or related examples.
- When submitting anything, be sure to keep a back-up of any work you have uploaded. Technical glitches can happen and it’s important to keep an archive of your past work.
Apps and assistive technology
We have used some of the apps and websites listed below, and others have come to our attention from students who have found them helpful.
- Dragon Dictate
- Pages: Word processor for reports, resumes, documents and more, with many Apple-designed templates. You can share, track changes in formatting and connect to iCloud. iOS (iPad), free.
- Speak Q
- Xmind: A mind mapping and brainstorming tool for brainstorming and inspiration. Android, iOS, Mac & Windows, free (without upgrade).
Students with disabilities may receive academic accommodations including the support of assistive technologies. Please contact Accessibility Services for more information.
Disclaimer: the University of Toronto does not officially endorse the apps and sites listed here, and may not be held responsible for any technological problems that arise from their use. Please use at your own discretion.
- Philosophy Essay Clinic
- Engineering Communication Program Online Handbook
- English Language & Learning: Academic English Workshops and Courses (ELL)
- Office of Student Academic Integrity (OSAI)
- Assignment Planner
Graduate Writing Groups
Graduate Writing Groups provide space and community support for you to focus on your writing, with the help of a team of graduate mentors.Learn more about Graduate Writing Groups
Grad Student Workshops
Get evidence-based strategies and perspectives to meet grad-specific work and learning challenges.Learn more about Grad Student Workshops
Study Hubs are scheduled times for you to set and meet your studying goals.Learn more about Study Hubs
Academic Success resource libraryExplore our handouts and tip sheets on academic skills. Learn more about Academic Success resource library
Learning strategist appointmentsBook a one-on-one appointment with a learning strategist to discuss individualized concerns. Learn more about Learning strategist appointments