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Graduate Students

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.

Learn more:



Pathways: Professional Development Resources for Graduate Students

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.

Quick links:



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

Writing Conferences

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.


Reading Week Write-In for Graduate Students

Join us for a Reading Week Write-In!

It’s coming soon. A break from the daily grind of course work and teaching responsibilities. Many graduate students see Reading Week as a perfect opportunity for writing, but because this time lacks the routine and structure they need, these plans can often be derailed. Academic Skills, in partnership with Traill College, challenge you to commit to writing at the Reading Week Write-In.

Whether you are writing papers for course work or working to complete your thesis, it is important to commit time to the act of writing. At the Write-In, you can set and meet daily writing goals in a supportive space alongside peers who share similar goals.

The Write-In is offered at Traill College for three days from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm: Tuesday, February 21 to Thursday, February 23, 2017. 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.

Sample Schedule

9:00 Workshop: Three Keys to Coherent Writing
9:30 Morning writing goals
9:45 Writing; Academic Skills 1-on-1
12:00 Lunch Break: Brown bag
12:45 Wellness Break: Winter Walk in Jackson Park
1:30 Grammar Refresher: Issues of Style, Mary Ann Armstrong
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 Thursday, Feb. 23rd. Over the lunch break, we will also offer activities to promote physical and mental wellness.

Questions? Email Erin Stewart Eves

Register now



Services for Teaching Assistants

Referring Students

As a teaching assistant, you can refer students to the Academic Skills Centre for help with their math, reading, listening, writing, and grammar skills.