The Elements of Academic Writing

This workshop series consists of eight 90-minute workshops that lead you through the writing process, from understanding the assignment to editing and revising your paper.


What Will You Learn?

These workshops are ideal for any UTM students who wish to:

  1. learn how to apply academic writing principles and approaches; and
  2. acquire skills for each stage of the writing process.

You are welcome to use material from your own courses in this series!


How to Participate

You can come to one workshop that interests you, attend a few of them, or attend the entire series! 

If you wish to earn a Co-curricular Record (CCR) notation on your transcript, you must meet all of the CCR eligibility requirements.

View the workshop schedule and registration information.


Co-Curricular Record (CCR) Eligibility Requirements

If you wish to receive a CCR notation on your university transcript, you must:

  1. attend at least six of the eight workshops; AND
  2. complete six homework assignments; AND
  3. submit a Reflective Writing Assignment at the end of the series.

Time Commitment:

If you wish to complete the entire series, it will take you between 21-40 hours, including:

  • 12 hours for workshop instruction; AND
  • 10.5 hours for the 6 required homework assignments and Reflective Writing Assignment. Global commentary on each of the homework assignments will be provided.

CCR Attendance Information:

Please allow up two weeks after the conclusion of the final workshop in the series for your attendance to be updated in the online system. Please contact the CCR office if you have questions about your CCR notation.


Workshop Schedule & Registration

The Elements of Academic Writing Workshop Series has concluded for the term; the next schedule and registration link will be posted on this page when available.

  • Workshops are 90 minutes long.
  • Workshops are offered in both Fall and Winter terms.
  • You can attend the modules in either term.

Workshop 1: How to understand your writing assignment

Writing assignments come in many different forms and are described in many different ways. This workshop teaches you the skills you need to a) analyze your assignment, b) understand your instructor’s expectations, and c) use that understanding to plan out your strategy for completing the assignment.

Workshop 2: How to create outlines and reverse outlines

This workshop focuses on the structure of written texts. It teaches you how to perceive, critique and model the structures that give writing its form and express its arguments.

Workshop 3: How to critique and present your argument or purpose (thesis/introductions)

Good academic writing is transparent: right from the start, the reader should have a clear understanding of the author’s purpose, argument, and structure. In this workshop, you first discuss and critique introductions of published articles, and then practice creating introductions.

Workshop 4: How to use and cite information from others

Academic writing depends on integrating the research of others with your own work, but this is not always an easy thing to do smoothly. In this workshop, you analyze the ways in which writers in your discipline use and cite the work of others, and then you practice doing it yourself and critiquing your work.

Workshop 5: How to write clear, convincing, and well-structured paragraphs

The paragraph is the basic unit of academic thought: as such, it is crucially important to be able to write paragraphs that hang together, that guide the reader, and that effectively develop your overall argument. This workshop will teach you how to create paragraphs that are coherent and cohesive, and that clearly express their point.

Workshop 6: How to write sentences that flow

In this workshop, we work outward from the subject-verb-object “kernel” that is at the heart of every English sentence, learning how to arrange and punctuate sentences so that they are easy and pleasurable to read.

Workshop 7: How to edit your work (overview)

This workshop deals with editing, or revising, on a large scale: it shows you how to see a piece of writing as a whole, how to assess it, and how to figure out what to do to fix it on the macro level.

Workshop 8: How to edit your work (line by line)

This workshop deals with editing on the sentence level: it shows you how to identify and fix awkward or incoherent sentences, and helps you develop your knowledge of grammar.