Writing Centre and Academic Communications

Faculty Services & Resources


Saint Mary's has taken steps to emphasize the importance of writing and communication in academic life. The Writing Centre is here to ensure that faculty have support in this effort.

How we may help you

Review Writing Assignments, Course Requirements and Course Descriptions

For help with clarity, logic or wording, faculty may schedule a confidential appointment with the Centre's director (brian.hotson@smu.ca or 902-491-6201). During a session, the faculty member and director work together to clarify or restructure course resources, which can be especially useful when developing and writing new assignments, reimagining exam questions used in previous years, or developing course descriptions.

Faculty Resources

The Centre has written materials for teaching in science, arts or business that may be checked out from the Centre. These include theoretical materials and practical examples of how to improve and instruct in writing, reading and analyzing skills.

In-Class Workshops

These workshops are designed to be course specific. If you would like to have a workshop tailored to your course, please contact the Writing Centre Director (brian.hotson@smu.ca). Most workshops are an hour long.

The Centre can also train your TAs in writing and grammar skills, as well as essay marking skills.

Provide Information

We have the resources and experience to help you in many areas of writing, so please come and see us if you:

  • want to include more writing initiatives/activities in your class;
  • want to learn marking strategies for writing-intensive courses;
  • have any questions about our Centre, our services, or writing in general.

Assigning bonus marks for visiting the centre

As an incentive for students to use the Writing Centre's services, you might consider providing bonus marks for visiting the Centre. If you choose to do this, please contact the Centre to arrange tracking of your students' visits.

WHO (Writing Help Online) Information

WHO is an online, interactive writing resource that uses active learning and scaffolding theories to help students develop writing skills. For detailed information, please click here.

Please contact the WHO Coordinator to use this resource in your course (who@smu.ca).

Other Services

We present faculty development workshops in conjunction with the Centre for Academic and Instructional Development.

We provide resources on many areas of writing and writing instruction. We also develop new resources as required.

We administer the Saint Mary's Academic Writing Awards, so if you have an exceptional paper submitted by a student, please encourage him or her to submit it!

Click here for a list of what we will discuss with students during tutoring appointments.

Online Resources

Writing at CSU Teaching Guide: Contains useful tools such as using student peer review in classes, designing and assessing writing assignments, teaching specific writing skills, writing across the curriculum and more.

Ohio University: Provides a list of teaching resources that includes levels of revision, theories of teaching through writing, teaching writing in large classes, designing assignments and evaluating student writing. Also has a bibliography of resources on writing in the disciplines.

LD On-Line: A resource for teaching writing to students with learning disabilities.

Virginia Tech - Writing Guidelines for Science and Engineering Students: Contains resources for instructors such as slides on writing, discipline-specific guidelines, examples of exercises and more.

IESE at Brown - Teacher Resources: The Teaching of Writing: This site provides an extensive list of links to general resources for teaching, for teaching ESL, on computers and writing skills, and more.

Dartmouth Writing Program - Materials for Faculty: A very good site with links for teaching the writing process, argument, critical thinking, grammar and style, creative writing, responding to student texts, writing in the disciplines and more.

University of Toronto - Writing Resources for Faculty and TAs: Provides resources on responding to and evaluating student papers, helping ESL students, teaching writing for Arts and Science and more.

University of Wisconsin at Madison Writing Centre - Integrating Writing into your Courses: Extensive resources which include designing an effective syllabus, designing assignments, teaching grammar, teaching organization, evaluation and response to student papers, and much more.