Writing Support

The following is writing support that instructors can access for themselves, for their course TAs, and for the students in their courses. To read more about support that students can access on their own, please go here. All of the following support can be conducted in person or online.

Support for Faculty: Our support for instructors’ use of writing in their courses can include helping develop and/or giving feedback on assignments, rubrics, and instructional material and exercises, as well as helping develop teaching interventions for class or tutorial. Writing Specialists can also advise on or assist in writing-related SoTL research that instructors may wish to conduct. As well, the RGASC also hosts the Writing Development Initiative (WDI), which is a potential source of support and funding for instructors who would like to enhance the writing component of a given course. Further information on the WDI can be found here.

Support for TAs: We can organize and facilitate benchmarking (also known as norming) sessions to ensure TA grading consistency. We can develop or assist in developing course-specific TA training sessions to assist TAs in dealing with student writing: we can also facilitate these sessions as desired. Twice yearly we run 7-hour WDI Writing TA Training Sessions, which TAs in WDI-supported courses can attend. 

Support for Students: We can create, develop, give feedback on, and/or run workshops and presentations on a wide variety of writing-related topics, from academic integrity to paragraphing to structuring papers; these workshops and presentations can be tailored so as to be course- and assignment-specific. We can also set up assignment-specific Writing Office Hours (WOHs): in these, students have the opportunity to get feedback on their upcoming assignments from a Writing Specialist. (WOHs are similar to our regular writing-related appointments, but WOHs are focused only on a specific assignment, and are shorter than regular appointments with more targeted feedback.) We also run multiple iterations of a six-week series, the Elements of Academic Reading and Writing, which helps students understand academic writing and develop their skills as readers and authors. 

The RGASC’s Writing Specialists are Michael Kaler (Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream) and Jonathan Vroom (Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, LTA).

UTM instructors can book an appointment with a Writing Specialist to discuss these and any other kind of writing support by submitting a request to academicskills.utm@utoronto.ca.