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Study Help and Tutoring

Welcome to the Writing Skills Centre

All RDC students are welcome in the Writing Skills Centre. It doesn't matter what program you're in or what your marks are. We can help you with:

  • Essay organization and structure
  • Research and planning
  • Developing a strong thesis statement
  • Grammar and punctuation
  • Any other issues related to writing

In order to become independent learners, students must be prepared to acquire many types of skills throughout their post-secondary educations. At the Writing Skills Centre, we focus upon helping students develop the writing skills they need in both an academic and professional setting. While our tutors cannot proofread your paper for you, they can teach you the skills you will need to proofread your own work. Those skills will stay with you for the rest of your life.

During your tutoring session in the Writing Skills Centre, you can do any or all of the following things:

  • Bring your preliminary ideas and notes for the assignment, so you can talk them through with the tutor. Talking them through can help you clarify and focus your ideas.
  • Bring a draft of your paper—no matter how rough it is. The tutor can comment on which sections are clearly explained and which might need more explanation and support.
  • Bring in your paper in its final stages. Ask your tutor to comment on particular parts—e.g., paragraphs, sentences, word choices—that you’re unsure about.
  • Bring your nearly finished paper. The tutor can give you some techniques for editing and proofreading. Please remember that the tutor will not proofread the paper for you.

The tutor will not do the work for you but will offer you guidance so you can do the work more effectively.  Be aware that if the tutor does any more than what is described above, you may be accused of academic dishonesty. If the assignment you hand in contains the tutor’s work rather than your own, this is considered plagiarism. Plagiarism can result in severe consequences for your educational opportunities.

Make an Appointment with the Writing Skills Centre

Click on the Schedule Appointment button to make an appointment with a writing tutor. Please note: The Writing Skills Center's hours will be reduced as of  December 15th, 2017. The Center will be closed for the holidays as of December 20th, 2017. 

Helpful Resources and Links

The Writing Skills Centre is now accepting papers for online review!! Just read the instructions below and submit your paper to: writingskills@rdc.ab.ca 

We want you to become a better writer and we will provide feedback with that as our goal.

We will not edit or proofread your submissions. (That is your job).

We are looking forward to working with you to help you become a better writer!

We will be looking for issues that may be affecting your ability to communicate clearly and coherently in written form. This includes thesis, organization and paragraph development. If you have specific issues you would like addressed, please include them in the body of your email. We will address as many as possible.

  • You must submit with your RDC Student email.

Why? Because this is the easiest way for us to confirm that you are an RDC student. We want to serve you as quickly as possible and submissions from non-RDC students would slow down that process. If you do not submit using your RDC email, your paper will not be reviewed. Having difficulty accessing your email or not sure how? Contact the Library at 403-342-3344.

  • Submit in a Word document with the file name in the following format: CourseCodeAssignmentName
  •  E.g. EN1201ReflectionEssay 

We are happy to review most essays and writing assignments; however, there are some exceptions. We cannot accept for review:

  • Resumes and cover letters
  • Group assignments
  • Take Home Tests

You are welcome to submit individual assignments for review three times. If you resubmit, the assumption will be made that you have followed suggestions from the first review.

  • Please submit with a copy of the instructions that the instructor has provided you. This will assist us with determining if you are fulfilling requirements.
  • You can expect a response in 5 business days. Keep in mind that our tutors work 8-4, M-F.

So now that you know what we need from you, fire away! Send your papers for review to writingskills@rdc.ab.ca

Writing an Essay
the Academic Way
 
Ask yourself:
Understand Your Assignment
Why has it been assigned?
How does it fit in your course?
What are the assignment's guidelines?
Explore What You Know
Pick a topic
Mind map
Brainstorm
Ask questions about the topic
 
Pre-write ideas
Plan Your Writing!
Research
Use reference material to gain broad view of topic
Focus search
Use a variety of research materials
Organize research using notes, annotated bibliography, sticky pads...
Outline essay
Create a topic for each paragraph
Develop a logical order for paragraphs
 
Write!
Create an arguable thesis
Ensure paragraphs support thesis
Incorporate research smoothly
Cite your sources!!
 
Review Your Work....
Revise
Edit
Polish...
...then hand it in and celebrate!
 

These links and handouts are useful for the initial stages of writing.

These links give a global overview of the writing process.

These handouts will help you understand more about the parts of speech.

Having strong transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and ideas makes an essay flow clearly.

These tools can help you learn some essay-writing basics.

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