Having Challenges With Academic Writing? Get Noticed With (a) SPARK!

Posted by Sunera on January 6, 2014

On-board to York

Do you struggle with writing papers? Don’t know where to begin? How to organize your thoughts? Struggling with grammar? Not sure how to incorporate quotes? Is time management a challenge? Not sure how to follow the proper style guide–MLA, APA, and Chicago Style?

As students many of us have opted for academic excellence as our New Year resolution, but each resolution comes with a challenge. What happens when you hit that block, and you can’t organize your thoughts or let alone even start the paper–period. Lucky for us York University launched SPARK –– Student Papers and Academic Research Kit, the virtual learning commons in September 2013, which is an online resource for academic literacy.

As crunch time approached near exams period and papers were due, so naturally stress levels were high, but I didn’t want that to affect my grades. After hitting the road block I decided to turn to SPARK. SPARK is an online resource to support students as they complete written research assignments, which is developed in conjunction with– the Libraries, Learning Skills Services, and the Writing Department at York U. Things cannot get any more convenient for us. In depth assignment help is now available to us in the comfort of our very own homes at our finger tips.

spark pic

The subheadings make it super easy to use and give thorough understanding of the assignment. I used SPARK for a few assignments before exams. I went through each module and it took me about 45 minutes the first time. Once you have explored it should take 20 to 30 minutes depending on how heavy the assignment is. SPARK also helps you realize things that may not be clear to you in the assignment and you can get those questions answered in advance prior to starting the assignments from your professors. There is a video that you can view to understand how to navigate the site.

The SPARK modules are organized by three tabs into categories – Getting Started, Exploring, and Pulling it Together along with time management, essay structure, creating bibliographies, essay editing, and research strategies. SPARK has other great features such as test your knowledge quizzes, videos and printable worksheet for students to excel academically while helping us become more critical readers and writers.

By the time I was on my last module– Pulling it Together; I couldn’t be happier with how organized the whole process is and how well my paper came together. The modules are helpful, user friendly and hence very easy to navigate. Best part is SPARK can be accessed from your computer or mobile devices and can help you complete any aspect of the assignment anytime and anywhere. SPARK is the online recreation of the Learning Commons at Scott Library so we can study in the comfort of our homes or for all of us commuter students while commuting to and from campus. You can check out SPARK at www.yorku.ca/spark/

SPARK is one of the best features at York U to support students…Thank you York U for developing this amazing tool! Let the New Year begin with (a) SPARK!

Have you tried SPARK yet? What are your thoughts? Is there something you can add to this? Share with me by commenting below.

Safe travels till next time!



Sunera graduated from York University in May, 2016 with an Honours BA in Work and Labour Studies.

See other posts by Sunera

  • Megan

    Great article Sunera!

    I’ll have to check this out next time I have a paper 🙂