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.
Three Minute Thesis
The Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) presents
Masters and Ph.D. students with the ultimate challenge: to explain
their complex and highly specialized research and ideas to a general
audience in just three minutes, using only one Power Point slide.
Three Minute Thesis Returns to Trent on March 28, 2018!
Applications to participate in 3MT 2018 are now open, and interested students can apply any time between December 1, 2017 and January 22, 2018. Find out whether you are eligible to participate and how to apply below! You can also check out our calendar of events, resources for preparing for the competition, and videos of previous years' prize winners.
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
Writing Fridays at Traill College
- Summer Term 2018
Start the summer writing-season off right! From mid-May through the summer months, join Academic Skills on Fridays from 9am-12pm for quiet writing time throughout Scott House (Traill College). Drop-in appointments with an academic skills instructor will also be available. And, the fun doesn’t stop at noon! Traill will be hosting its famous pizza lunch in the Traill Senior Common Room at noon (please RSVP directly to Michael Eamon if you wish to purchase lunch), so you can make a day of it.
Spring Write-In for Graduate Students - May 2018
Join us for the Spring Write-In!
Writing is a priority for graduate students, but finding productive writing time is often a challenge. The Spring Write-In is a chance to step away from everyday routines and focus exclusively on writing for three days.
Academic Skills, in partnership with Traill College and The School of Graduate Studies, challenges you to commit to writing at the Spring Write-In. Whether you are writing papers for course work, working on your proposal, or completing your thesis, the Spring Write-In will help you set and meet daily writing goals in a supportive space alongside peers who share similar goals.
The Spring Write-In is at Scott House, Traill College on:
9:00 am to 4:00 pm Wednesday, May 9
9:00 am to 4:00 pm Thursday, May 10
9:00 am to 4:00 pm Friday, May 11
Each day will begin with a brief workshop on writing, followed by individual goal setting. Students can settle into writing in various locations in Scott House, with opportunities to meet with Academic Skills instructors to discuss writing and goal setting. By the end of this three-day writing program, participants will learn productive writing habits, establish momentum with writing, and see a clearer path to the final draft.
9:00 Three Keys to Coherent Writing
9:30 Your writing goals
9:45 Writing; Academic Skills 1-on-1
12:00 Lunch Break: Brown bag
12:45 Wellness Break: Spring walk in Jackson’s Park
1:30 Become a Better Editor: Style Issues
2:00 Writing; Academic Skills 1-on-1
4:00 End of Day
This is a free event for Trent graduate students. Coffee, tea, and snacks will be available through the day. With thanks to Traill College, lunch will be provided on Friday, May 11th. Over the lunch breaks, we will offer activities to promote physical and mental wellness.
Questions? Email Sue Beckwith
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.