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Study Help and Tutoring

Important Notice

The Writing Skills Centre is closed for the summer.

Writing Resources and Links

Knowing how to begin can be overwhelming. These links break it down:

Assignment Calculator
Enter today's date and the date your assignment is due, and this website designs an assignment schedule for you! Complete with writing links and advice. From Royal Roads University.​

Understanding Assignments
​A step-by-step guide from Royal Roads University to help you interpret and understand your assignments.

Prewriting Techniques
If creating a traditional essay outline doesn't work for you, the University of Kansas Writing Center details some different ways to help you plan your essay.

Thesis Statements
Concise handout from the U of A Centre for Writers with step-by-step advice on how to write and evaluate your thesis statements.

Thesis Statements: Myths and Facts
Still confused about thesis statements? The Writing Centre at Thompson Rivers University addresses some common issues.

Essay Structure: The Basics
Great advice from U of C Writing Support Services on a basic essay format, and formulas for your body paragraphs. One of our most-used handouts.

Using Topic Sentences
Topic sentences grab your reader's attention and help you transition from one idea to the next. The University of Toronto with advice on how to make them count.​

Transition Words
Transition words help your reader see how your thoughts and ideas are connected. Are you using them when and where you should? The University of Ottawa Academic Writing Help Centre breaks it down in one of our most recommended handouts.

Writing Anxiety
Is anxiety about writing keeping you from starting? From one of the best writing centres around, UNC at Chapel Hill offers advice on anxiety and writer's block to get you writing.

Dealing with Procrastination
Twelve tips to beat procrastination from Thompson Rivers University.

How to integrate research and sources into your writing:

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing: What's the Difference?
Purdue OWL defines these essential skills that students need to master.

Quoting
Simon Fraser University on when to quote and how to do it properly.

Paraphrasing
Purdue OWL with a step-by-step guide to paraphrasing, complete with examples.

Summarizing
Strategies for crafting good summaries, complete with a case study and examples. From Simon Fraser University.

Signal Phrases
Are you having trouble coming up with creative ways to integrate research and sources into your sentences? This concise link from the University of Ottawa Academic Writing Help Centre contains some great suggestions and variations.

Writing is only half the battle! Learn how to revise, edit, and proofread what you've written:

Revising Essays & Research Papers
Checklist with guided questions and suggestions for improving your draft. From U of C Writing Support Services.

Editing
Clear and concise list from the University of Ottawa Academic Writing Help Centre. Helpful checklist format with a great section on citations.

Reverse Outlines
What's a reverse outline? Only one of the best ways to check your paper's organization! This highly-recommended technique is explained by the Writing Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Writing Concisely
Clear, concise writing communicates your message the best. Great tips from the U of A Centre for Writers on finding and eliminating unnecessary words in your writing.

Proofreading
The final step. Learn how to proofread and find the errors you may be missing. From the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The nuts and bolts of your writing:

Grammar


Sentence-Level:

Basic Sentence Structure
All the elements of a sentence, explained. Contains links to additional videos, tutorials, and webinars on sentences and grammar for those who want to learn more. From Walden University.

Sentence Fragments
Explanation from Grammarly on how to identify and fix sentence fragments (AKA incomplete sentences).

Run-On Sentences
Bethune College at York University with tips on how to fix run-on sentences.

Word-Level:

Wordiness
Need to get that word count down? Bethune College at York University explains how to eliminate wordiness in our writing.

Filler Words
Great article from Grammarly on "31 Words and Phrases You No Longer Need."

Subject-Verb Agreement
Help on getting your subjects and verbs to agree, from Bethune College at York University.

Spelling Tips
Move beyond the spell checker! Great tips from the University of Toronto.

Unbiased Language:

Singular "They"
Statement and guidelines from APA on using "they" as a singular noun for more inclusive language.

Indigenous Peoples Terminology Guidelines
Guidelines on inclusive language when writing about Indigenous Peoples and issues in Canada. From Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.

 

Punctuation


Commas
Oh, the comma! SUNY Empire State College explains this most misused and misunderstood punctuation mark.

Semi-Colons, Colons, and Dashes
Do you know when to use which one? The Writing Center at UNC at Chapel Hill explains it.

Hyphens
According to SUNY Empire State College, "hyphens are like trailer hitches." Find out why and which words need them!

Quotation Marks and Apostrophes
Are you quoting sources in your essay? This link from Purdue OWL is essential reading to get the punctuation right.

 

Parts of Speech

 

Parts of Speech: The Rules
The University of Ottawa explains the eight parts of speech -- verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections -- and how to put them together. Take the quiz at the end to test your knowledge.

Writing sites we love!

Purdue Online Writing Lab General Writing Resources
Perhaps the most-recommended writing and citing website around, for good reason.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center
Excellent resource with lots of links, including many videos for visual learners.

University of Ottawa HyperGrammar
Do a deep dive on all things grammar, and test your knowledge and learning with quizzes after each topic.

University of Toronto Advice on Academic Writing
Canada's largest university offers advice on the writing process, from start to finish.

Grammarly Blog
You don't have to subscribe to Grammarly to benefit from their knowledge. This searchable blog contains lots of good information on the nuts and bolts of grammar and writing.

What is Plagiarism (And How to Avoid It)

Plagiarism occurs when you take another person’s words or ideas and claim them as your own.

The most common forms of plagiarism are:

  • copying or paraphrasing another author’s work without proper acknowledgement
  • using the ideas or lines of reasoning of another author’s work without proper acknowledgement
  • submitting work that someone else has written or substantially edited
  • submitting the same work for multiple courses without approval

List from RDC Student Misconduct: Academic and Non-Academic policy

Plagiarism has severe consequences, including failure, suspension, and expulsion. In college courses, you are expected to document your sources properly and consistently.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources. Commonly used citation styles include APA, MLA, and Chicago.

To learn more, see the RDC Library’s Academic Integrity guide.

Resources for Faculty

Refer a Student

If you feel a student would benefit from the help of the Writing Tutor, direct them to book an appointment 

Request an In-Class Presentation

The Academic Writing Tutor offers in-class presentations or workshops to promote academic writing skills. I'll work with you to develop a presentation on any writing topic.

Two weeks notice is generally required, and availability is dependent on my schedule.

Contact Me

Academic Writing Tutor: Jen Stange
jennifer.stange@rdc.ab.ca
Office: 1006Q (in the Library)