Avoid Common Mistakes!
MISTAKE of the WEEK
As soon as the paper is handed back, take a quick look at the mark and throw the paper away. Oh yes. Don’t even pick it up if the instructor is leaving it on a shelf or in the hall.
THE best way to learn how to write is to understand what the reader (here, the marker) thought about the paper. Read the comments. Go see the marker and ask how you could improve. The marker will be thrilled that you are so interested! The next time you are writing, keep the comments in mind. That is how you will improve your writing, and your grades. Even if you don't have any other writing assignments in a particular course, you can apply the comments to your writing for other courses. Try it. You’ll surprise yourself.
About this Guide
As a university student, you are required to write in many different forms for a variety of audiences. The most common types of writing are academic assignments, such as essays, research papers, and business or lab reports. These assignments are usually rather formal, demanding good reading and academic writing skills. They require you to research a topic and then develop a thesis (a perspective, a point of view), which is backed up with evidence from peer-reviewed resources or primary sources (e.g. a novel). In addition, there are less academic items to write, such as emails to your professors, and graduate school or job applications. Each of these types of writing follows specific conventions and demands a range of writing skills.
This guide will help you with all the types of writing you need to do at university by looking at the following five areas:
- the steps in the writing process;
- the types of writing that take place in a university;
- the writing expectations for different disciplines;
- adapting to university academic expectations;
- specific support for English Language Leamers, Graduate Students, and Faculty and TAs.
The Dalhousie Writing Centre
The Writing Centre is a free service to students who want to improve their writing skills. Whether you are writing academic, business or personal documents, we can help you articulate ideas and structure your writing plan.
- Make an appointment
We offer one-on-one sessions and seminars to improve your writing skills.
- ESL Course
Our 10-week ESL course will improve your English language skills.
- For Faculty
We offer workshops, tutors, professor consultations and more.
- Hours & Locations
- Contact Us
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Help us help you!
If you have any suggestions to improve this guide, please include them in the Additional Comments field.
It would also be very helpful if, in the Additional Comments field, you tell us if you are an undergraduate or graduate student, or Dalhousie faculty or staff.