Learning Commons, Part 2: The York U Writing Centre

Posted by Sophie Morgan on September 27, 2018


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It’s always a good idea to freshen up your academic skills and learn new ones. It’s an even better idea to do so with the upcoming tests and assignments you will have this term! The #YUBlog is here with our brand-new series on the Learning Commons to point you in the right direction so you can find all the resources you need! Today we’re focusing on the York University Writing Centre.

Ready to get a head start on your next assignment or don’t know where to start? Maybe you’re almost done but want an extra set of eyes to look over your work. No matter what your writing needs are, York University’s Writing Centre is the place to go! In today’s #YUBlog post, we’re reviewing the York U Writing Centre and its resources, from one-on-one sessions and online writing support to drop-ins and workshops.

The Writing Centre is located in York U’s Writing Department at Ross South 311.

What is the Writing Centre?

The Writing Centre is a writing instruction service available to all York U students during any stage of their writing process. It’s primarily responsible for guidance and scholarship in writing and seeks to develop student writers by discussing opportunities for improving a piece of writing.

Once you work with an experienced writing instructor, you may learn how to enhance your writing abilities, better understand assignment expectations and improve your outline. You can even get help with general formatting and citation concerns!

When Can I Visit the Writing Centre?

You can visit the Writing Centre in person during the Fall/Winter terms Monday to Thursday from 9am to 7pm and Friday and Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. There are also numerous ways to get in touch with them online that we’ll get into below!

Success Tip: The Writing Centre is often busy toward the end of the semester. I suggest that you book your sessions early (even if you only have an assignment outline and notes) to make sure you understand your project and receive great advice.

One-on-One Sessions in the Writing Centre

Graphic of two hands holding pens and paper By: Aymanjed, Pixabay
Discussing your work with an instructor is a great way to better understand your own ideas!

One of the most valuable resources available to you through the Writing Centre is the ability to book a 50-minute one-on-one session with a qualified writing instructor. During these meetings, you can discuss a writing assignment in any of its stages and receive constructive feedback. Be sure to check out our previous #YUBlog post, “Why You Should Also Check Out the Writing Centre” to read about a student’s first-hand experience at the Writing Centre!

How Do I Book a One-on-One Appointment?

You can enrol with the Writing Centre to book a session. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have access to a schedule of writing instructors and their availability. To choose an individual that is suitable for your assignment, you can filter the search to only view the instructors who have expertise in a specific area of study or look at the biographies of the instructors.

What Should I Bring to My Appointment?

Your writing instructor can only offer advice based on what you bring to the meeting, so make sure you have your assignment description along with any progress you’ve made (including any notes, drafts or outlines)! This will ensure that you receive the feedback you need from your writing instructor, who will be able to look through the assignment expectations and your work thus far.

Success Tip: If you have a writing assignment for a Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math (STEM) course, you can visit the Bethune Writing Centre! It offers complementary writing instruction for Bethune College affiliated, Lassonde and Science undergraduate students.

Online Video Chat

Graphic of a person's hands using a laptop by: StartUpStockPhotos, Pixabay
Online one-on-one sessions work best in a quiet location and with a working camera and microphone.

Can’t make it to campus for a writing appointment? Schedule a 50-minute Online Video Chat instead to discuss your assignment. Using the online booking system, be sure to select “Yes – Meet Online” in the appointment form. Once it is time for your session, you’ll be able to chat with your instructor by clicking “Start or join online consultation.”


A photo of a person typing using the mousepad on their laptop.
The e-Tutoring process, from start to finish, happens in less than 24 hours!

The latest addition to the Writing Centre is its e-Tutoring service! This quick and easy tool allows you to upload your assignment instructions and related documents to your appointment booking in the online schedule. Within three hours of your meeting time, you’ll receive comments from your writing instructor. Once you receive your feedback, you can submit one set of questions within 18 hours of the appointment time; within 24 hours after you submit, you’ll receive a response!

One of the greatest benefits to using online writing support services is the ability to easily access academic support, even when you can’t make it to campus – you can be on the other side of the world and receive professional writing guidance!

Success Tip: The SPARK Toolkit and York U’s Grammar Man are great resources that can help you throughout your writing process. Check out additional learning tools at our previous #YUBlog post, “A Guide to Learning Resources for the New Term”!

The Learning Commons, Drop-Ins and Workshops

Graphic of Learning Commons instructor helping a student by York U
Instructors in the Writing Instruction Pods are always happy to answer your questions!

The Learning Commons works with the Writing Department to provide writing assistance in the Writing Instruction Pod on the second floor of Scott Library. These 15-minute drop-in sessions are based on a first-come, first-served basis. By attending a drop-in session, you can discuss writing-related questions with a knowledgeable staff member. Drop-ins at Ross South 311 are also available from 10:30am to 3:30pm during busier times of the year.

You can also stay up-to-date with on-campus writing instruction on the Learning Commons’ Workshops webpage and the Writing Centre’s Calendar. Whether you’re coming for a drop-in session or to learn about research, it’s always a good idea to note these events.

York University’s Writing Centre can offer you amazing opportunities to improve both your written assignments and your writing skills. Be sure to take advantage of this on-campus service the next time you have an assignment due!

Share your writing tips, experiences and resources with us by commenting below or tweeting us @YorkUStudents!

Sophie Morgan
Sophie Morgan

Sophie Morgan is a second-year Professional Writing and French Studies double major at York U. She is an avid writer, a baking enthusiast and a full-time cat-sitter. She hopes that her posts will inform and inspire both prospective and current York U students!

See other posts by Sophie Morgan

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