The Writing Resource Centre

When I started my undergraduate degree, many years ago and at a different university, I did not use the Writing Centre. I was overwhelmed with assignments, stressed about living away from home for the first time, and thinking that there was something embarrassing or punitive about getting help with my writing — that it was some admission of failure, or remedial exercise for having done poorly. As it turns out, I could scarcely have been more wrong.

No matter what your level of comfort is, the Writing Resource Centre at Mt. A is here for you. You do not need to be struggling in your courses to benefit from a second opinion on your assignments, and our tutors are here to help any student build their academic writing skills. While we do not comment on the course material you are writing about — which the Academic Help Centres, peer tutors, or workshops and courses can address — we can offer another set of eyes to give feedback on your writing style and format.

The Writing Resource Centre offers one hour, one-on-one tutoring appointments to help you build effective academic writing habits. Students generally bring in an assignment, sit down with one of our tutors, and have a focused discussion on the strengths and challenges presented in that sample of writing. However, if you do not have anything written yet, that’s okay too! Our tutors know many prewriting techniques, as well as tips on generating a thesis or choosing a topic. Sometimes just having a back-and-forth with someone is enough to get you off the ground, so do not hesitate to come see us, no matter what you have written (or not written) already.

We recognize that academic writing is not always intuitive, and it is often not taught or only cursorily taught in secondary school. The Writing Resource Centre is one of many academic supports here at Mt. A that looks to address that educational gap. Additionally, with the thousands of prewriting, editing, and revising techniques out there, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to academic writing. Anyone can be an effective academic writer if they find the right approach, and our tutors can help you figure out what works best for you.

Appointments can be booked through Moodle (see the Mount Allison “Academic Supports” for instructions how, or contact [email protected] if you are having any difficulty with booking) and can be cancelled at any point prior to your appointment. Walk-in appointments are allowed, but we do recommend an appointment to ensure a tutor will be available to help you. The Writing Centre’s hours are posted in the Academic Support Hub, room M16 of the R.P. Bell Library, and can also be viewed on the Writing Resource Centre Moodle page. Appointments can be booked the day before the desired time, starting at 9AM. Online consultations are also a possibility for students who are unable to come in person, but availability is much more limited, as our primary focus is in-person appointments.

The process of academic writing can be discouraging at times, particularly if it’s not a discipline you were exposed to before coming to Mt. A. It’s a craft that is often learned at the same time as the course content it is meant to articulate, but you need not try and tackle it alone. Visiting the Writing Centre as early as possible in your academic career can pay off exponentially; you can identify and avoid recurring issues, as well as learn how to build on your existing strengths as a writer.

Finally, if you are a strong writer already, we encourage you to consider applying to work with us! Students of second year or higher with strong grades can apply by emailing a writing sample to [email protected]. As almost all of our tutors are students as well, we offer extremely flexible hours and the opportunity to bolster your own writing by helping your fellow Allisonians. We welcome applicants from all areas of study, but are particularly in search of tutors in the social sciences and sciences.

James Harvey (he/him) is the Writing Resource Centre Coordinator. He can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

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