Effective writing allows us to articulate, expand and clarify our thoughts. In university, writing is the main means by which students engage thoughtfully with course themes and communicate their ideas to their instructors. At York University, we recognize the importance of effective writing and also how challenging writing can be. Through its individual writing instruction and its group seminars, the Writing Centre helps students to become successful and confident writers.
Individual Writing Instruction
The Writing Centre offers individual instruction in all aspects of writing. A student must enrol to see a Writing Instructor. Normally a student is permitted one 50-minute session per week in which he or she works together with an instructor on course assignments. The goal of the instruction is to improve the student’s ability to write effectively in a range of academic situations. Some students meet with an instructor regularly through the year; other students find one or two sessions sufficient to meet their goals. It is not necessary to prepare a draft before making an appointment; rather, it is common that students come to their first appointment with only the instructions for the assignments they wish to complete. Students often seek assistance with interpreting assignments, organizing research notes, getting started at writing, learning proper documentation styles, and learning to edit their own work.
It is important to understand that we are not a proofreading or editing service. We help students develop effective strategies for addressing the problems that typically arise for them in the writing process.
Making Good Use of your Appointment
Whenever possible bring a copy of the course assignment that you are working on to the session. The Course Outline and any information you can provide about course themes and readings will also be helpful to your instructor. No session can cover all the possible issues related to your writing. Your instructor will have ideas of what ought to be addressed, but it would be helpful if you also consider in advance what matters you would like to discuss in the session.
Most of our instructional sessions are by appointment, but we do offer a number of drop-in sessions. These sessions are 15 minutes in length and are suitable for dealing with one or two specific questions. Most of our drop-in sessions take place in 311 South Ross Building, but are also offered for quick questions in the Learning Commons, Scott Library, weekdays Monday to Friday, and also on Saturday. Look for us on the third floor of Scott.
No appointment necessary, but check times at both sites.
How to Make an Appointment
All LA&PS students and students from the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Fine Arts, Faculty of Health, and the Schulich School of Business are welcome to book appointments. Students from other faculties may see our tutors for their LA&PS courses only. The first step towards making appointments is to enrol with the Writing Centre. This will allow the Centre to identify which Writing Instructor will best suit the students needs. We recommend making appointments two weeks in advance once an Instructor has been
Because our instructors are in high demand, you must cancel appointments at least 24 hours in advance so that your appointment can be made available to another student. Three "Late Cancellation" and or "No Show" in a single term will result in loss of privileges for the term.
Online Writing Instruction
The Writing Department provides online instruction in writing during the Fall and Winter sessions for York University students registered in courses in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. You can send us the draft of a paper you're working on in a course, and one of our instructors will return it to you with comments and suggestions on its structure, organization, and argumentation. To learn more please review the etutor webpage.
Group Sessions & Workshops
In addition to Individual Writing instruction, the Writing Department offers a number of small-group workshops on specific aspects of writing. Titles, dates, and times will be posted in the Department and on the Department’s Web site (see 'Workshops' on the left sidebar).