As a graduate student, you are likely facing new academic challenges. The ideas about which you are reading, thinking, and writing are becoming increasingly complex, yet you need to find clear, concise, and engaging ways to express them. You are shifting from a focus on consuming information to a focus on producing and disseminating new knowledge and insights. You are expected to be fluent in the conventions of your discipline and to produce work that is free of grammatical and spelling errors.
The Academic Skills Centre works closely with graduate students to help them develop as scholars and writers as well as teaching assistants. We hope that you will take advantage of the many services that we can offer you.
A joint project of Academic Skills, Bata Library, the Career Centre, and the Instructional Development Centre, this website hosts information about events for graduate students as well as a diverse range of resources to help graduate students develop as researchers, writers, teachers, and professionals.
Services for Graduate Students
Online Appointment Booking System
Sign in to the Student Experience Portal with your Trent username and password.
Click on “Book Appointments” in the left menu to get started.
Book a free, confidential one-on-one appointment with an ASC instructor
Appointments are available weekdays on Symons Campus
Appointments are available at Traill College during the academic year
You can book a free and confidential appointment to discuss any aspect of your writing. Academic Skills instructors can help you organize your ideas, outline, or upgrade your grammar skills. They can also look at partial drafts and comment on grammar, organization, and clarity.
Time Management for Graduate Students
Graduate work often involves long-term research and writing projects that have few check points along the way. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of what you need to accomplish and, as a result, to procrastinate your work. You can book an appointment with an Academic Skills Instructor to discuss time management problems and to create a project plan that will work for you.
Grant Applications and Personal Statements
The Academic Skills Centre provides several resources to help you as you write graduate school or grant applications. The Academic Skills Centre is not an editing or proofreading service, but our instructors can comment on the strength and clarity of your writing and organization.
We also work with the Career Centre to offer "Apply Yourself: Writing the Graduate School Personal Statement," a workshop that provides advice on what to include in personal statements as well as how to write them.
- Date and location of this workshop TBA
Graduate Thesis Writers' Group
Offered in the summer term, the Graduate Thesis Writers’ Group meets regularly to discuss thesis-writing goals and challenges. The purpose of this group is to support writing and productivity, to encourage effective goal setting, and to establish accountability for grad students writing a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. Discussion topics encourage participants to carefully consider writing as product and process; we’ll talk about procrastination, perfectionism, organization, writer’s block, revision, and more.
In addition, group members share their writing-in-progress, offering thoughtful feedback on writing, with particular focus on clarity, organization, integration of evidence, and style. This review process is reflective and grounded in the premise that careful and purposeful reading can lead to better writing.
This group is open to Trent graduate students from all programs. Participants will have access to blackboard for sharing files, downloading handouts on the writing process, and communicating with group members. This online support offers accessible solutions for students who are unable to attend meetings in Peterborough.
The thesis writers' group is facilitated by Academic Skills. For further information, please contact academic skills instructor, Erin Stewart Eves.
Services for Teaching Assistants
As a teaching assistant, you can refer students to the Academic Skills Centre for help with their math, reading, listening, writing, and grammar skills.