Writing

Student writing an assignment in Robertson LibraryIf you can master the quirks of the English language and structure your writing well, chances are that your written assignments will be clear and engaging. We can’t write or proofread your assignments for you, but we can offer you resources and workshops designed to help you become a skilled and confident writer.

Also see our managing assignments page for more detail about some of the specific types of assignments you might be required to do during your course.

Study guides

Guidelines for writing and editing (PDF, 336KB)

We all need to be effective editors of our own writing, and understanding writing basics is a key element in this process. This guide provides easy-to-follow explanations on paragraph and sentence structures, includes tips to improve writing style, and gives the rules for the apostrophe, comma, colon and semicolon. Exercises are included to help you to understand the various strategies and rules, and to test your expertise!

Perfect your punctuation  – a brief guide to the comma, apostrophe, colon and semi-colon (PDF, 457KB)

This is a quick and ready reference on common usage of these key punctuation marks. Try the quizzes—if you pass with flying colours, you are indeed a rare being!

Introduction to scientific writing for undergrads (PDF, 631KB)

Why do scientists write? How does scientific writing differ from other writing? What are some of the rules and conventions in scientific writing? This booklet is designed for those beginning to write for science, and aims to make writing your science report a more straight-forward process.

Quick tip sheets

The quirky comma (PDF, 551KB)

Tips on the when and how of using commas.

The dreaded apostrophe (PDF, 547KB)

Tips to help you use apostrophes correctly in your writing.

Colons and semi-colons (PDF, 560KB)

This tip sheet is designed to clarify the use of colon and semi colons.

Workshops

For more information, and to register, see the SLC workshops page.

Writing better sentences and paragraphs

A 50 minute workshop designed to help you write clear and cohesive sentences and paragraphs, know how to use commas, semi-colons, and apostrophes, and provide you with tips and techniques to develop the craft of writing.

Introduction to scientific writing for undergrads

Why do scientists write? How does scientific writing differ from other writing? What is the difference between a scientific report and an essay? What are some of the rules and conventions in scientific writing? These (and other) questions will be addressed in this 50 minute workshop, which is targeted at beginning science students, and aims to make writing more productive and less agonising.