Faculty of Arts & Science
2014-2015 Calendar

Writing in the Faculty of Arts & Science

Writing in Arts and Science

The ability to think critically and to write well-organized, clear, grammatical prose is important to your work in Arts and Science courses. It will also improve your chances if you apply to graduate or professional schools and will give you an advantage in the workplace. To help you develop your writing skills, Arts and Science provides a range of instructional resources.

NOTE: For courses in creative writing, see entries under “English” (ENG), “Innis College” (INI), and “Victoria” (VIC) in this Calendar.


Departments and programs integrate writing instruction into many of their courses, and some offer courses that concentrate on communication in their disciplines. Check the course listings by department.

In any course, your instructors and teaching assistants will provide guidelines for written assignments. They will often offer instruction in class and give you the opportunity to ask questions before assignments are due. You may ask them to discuss work that has been graded and returned to you.

In addition, the university offers several courses in writing non-fiction prose:

Innis College offers a minor program called Writing and Rhetoric. Its offerings for 2014-15 include the following courses, all listed under “Innis College”: INI103H1 (Writing Essays), INI203Y1 (Foundations of Written Discourse), INI204Y1 (The Academic Writing Process), INI300H1 (Strategic Writing in Business and the Professions: Theory and Practice), INI302H1 (Writing in Business and the Professions for Rotman Commerce students), INI304H1 (Critical Thinking and Inquiry in Written Communication), INI 305H1 (Word and Image in Modern Writing), INI310H1 (Editing), INI311Y1 (Seminar in Creative Writing), and INI 410H1S (Creative Non-Fiction: Analyzing Essays).

The University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM) offers a major and minor program in Professional Writing and Communication. Consult with your college registrar about taking courses at UTM, and see the UTM calendar for more detail about courses offered. 

English Language Learning Opportunities

The English Language Learning (ELL) Program offers undergraduates in Arts and Science a variety of ways to develop both oral and written communication. For its intensive non-credit summer course, see the entry for ELL010H1, Intensive Academic English, listed under "English Language Learning" in the calendar. During the fall and winter terms, programming includes free drop-in workshops using a variety of interesting activities to improve speaking, and also an online component for improving academic reading and writing.

Writing Centres

The writing centres at undergraduate colleges will help you develop the writing and critical thinking skills you need throughout your university studies. They offer, free of charge, both group and individual instruction.

Group instruction is offered through both in-course instruction and a series of workshops called Writing Plus. These intensive group workshops help prepare you to meet the expectations of university writing. They cover all stages of writing university papers, from understanding the assignment to revising the final draft. They also provide targeted advice for handling your reading load and the challenges of studying for tests and exams. Special sessions focus on writing admissions statements for graduate and professional programs. Dates and locations are listed online in the Writing Plus section of www.writing.utoronto.ca.

In individual consultations, trained writing instructors help you improve your ability to plan, write, and revise, focussing on course writing assignments of your choice. Instructors are familiar with writing conventions in the whole range of Arts and Science courses; many have specialized training in teaching students whose first language is not English. You are entitled to use the writing centre of the college where you are registered. Most colleges also allow students from other colleges to book appointments for writing assignments in a college program course. All the college writing centres use an online booking system that requires your UTORid for login. More information is available in the Writing Centres section of www.writing.utoronto.ca. Here is a list of Arts and Science writing centres.

Writing Resources

Campus libraries stock many reference guides for academic writing, some of them online. You will find both general handbooks on style and referencing, and guides on writing in specific disciplines. You can also consult the Advice section of the website Writing at the University of Toronto at www.writing.utoronto.ca. It contains short files addressing common issues in academic writing along with links to other useful online and print resources.