Even students who have been using English all their lives may face difficulties when required to communicate abstract and complex information. Communicating difficult concepts and presenting well-reasoned arguments demand far more than just being able to express oneself in “perfect”, grammatically correct sentences. Critical thinking, organization, clarity and precision in word use must be evident in their work.

Many students realize that developing their writing skills enables them to express the greater complexity of their thoughts. As developing a higher level of competency in academic written communication takes time and effort, it is very important to begin that journey of self-improvement today.

ESL students need to improve their ability to express their ideas clearly and logically, especially since many may come from cultures where the convention of good academic writing is very different from the North American one.

Useful Tips:

  • Familiarize yourself with the different types of assignments by attending seminars in the Types of Writing Assignments series.
  • Learn the conventions of academic writing by attending seminars in the Elements of Writing series.
  • Summarize important concepts from your lectures and textbooks so that you are familiar with key terminology and can use them in your writing.
  • Try to use the vocabulary highlighted in the Academic Vocabulary Series handouts (available at the Writing Support) in your writing.
  • Book early for a Writing Centre Appointment.

Check out the writing handouts on CTL's Writing Support website


What happens in a one-on-one appointment for CTL English Language Development Support or RWE?

Your CTL English Language Development Support personal consultation with an Academic English language specialist will help you identify your language development needs for effective academic communication. You may be assessed to establish the type of support most relevant to you. You will also be guided in developing a plan of action to address your needs. Your RWE appointment, on the other hand, focuses on your academic writing skill development based on the writing you do through the Reading and Writing Excellence (RWE) program. Both these appointments help you develop the skills you need based on your personal learning styles and preferences.

How do I get into one of these CTL English Language Development Support seminars or Cafés?

Your homepage on the Intranet will list the upcoming seminars and Cafés for the next 10 days. You can click on the link there and sign up. If you wish to know the whole CTL English Language Development Support seminar and Café schedule for the whole semester, please see the calendar.