The Elements of Academic Reading and Writing Series

This workshop series consists of six 120-minute workshops that lead you through the writing process, from understanding the assignment to editing and revising your paper.

Fall 2020 Schedule:

Sciences - Tuesdays, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Social Sciences - Wednesdays, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Humanities -  Thursdays, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Starting from September 29th and running to the week of November 12th. All times are in Toronto Eastern Time.

What Will You Learn?

In your work at UTM, you will need to read a lot of scholarly writing, and you’ll also need to do a lot of academic writing, where you will need to learn to write like a scholar or researcher. So it makes sense to develop your understanding of academic writing—both so that you can read it better, and so that you know how it works when you have to do your own academic writing.

In this workshop series, you will develop your critical reading skills—skills you’ll need both when reading other people’s writing, and when creating and editing your own writing. You’ll learn to read faster and more efficiently, and also (even more important) you’ll learn to get the most out of the material you read by understanding its broader research context, being able to critique its arguments and counter-arguments, and being able to perceive (and critique) how authors build up and present these arguments.

This workshop series will help you to become a quicker, more efficient, and more discerning reader—and since reading and writing are intimately linked, it will also help you become a better academic writer yourself. Plus, if you successfully complete the series, you will be eligible for CCR credit!

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 five of the six workshops; AND
  2. complete four 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 Reading and Writing Workshop Series has launched for the Fall 2020 term! 


1: Why Do Academics Write Articles

Description: Understand why articles get written and what they are (and what they aren’t) intended to do; learn to see articles as elements of the ongoing academic discussion and to approach articles critically and with regard to your research needs; learn about peer review.

2: Quick and Efficient Reading Strategies

Description: Learn how to quickly and effectively get the information you need from an article through efficient reading strategies.

3: The Article in the Context of its Field of Research

Description: Learn to pick up the clues in the article that let you know how it fits into the broader context of research in its field. Develop reading skills that will help you to integrate the article into your understanding of the field as a whole. Use your knowledge of the article’s larger context to help you read more critically.

4: Identifying and Critiquing Arguments and Counter-Arguments

Description: Learn how to map and critique the overall structure of an article; learn to recognize and interpret the “signposts” that authors use to let the reader know about how they are developing their argument; learn how to reverse outline articles.

5: The Basic Element of Academic Thought: The Paragraph

Description: Learn about paragraph structure and how to analyze paragraphs.

6: Words, Expressions, and Nuance: Getting the Most Information out of every sentence

Description: Learn how to take sentences apart and analyze them; examine how authors build and nuance their meanings through their word choice and how they make their claims; identify “academic” conventions in your field and the reasons behind them.