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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.


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 26, 2019!

Applications to participate in 3MT 2018 will open on December 1, 2018 and close January 15, 2019. 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

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


Fall 2018 Workshops

Critical Reading at the Graduate Level
Friday Sept. 21, 2018
Traill College, Fry Lodge 104
2-3:30pm (tea and cookies to follow presentation)
Are you buried under a mountain of reading for your graduate courses or comprehensive exams? This workshop will explore how to read efficiently and effectively at the graduate level as well as present different methods of notetaking when reading for different purposes.

Writing at the Graduate Level
Friday October 19, 2018
Traill College, Fry Lodge 104
2-3:30pm (tea and cookies to follow presentation)
This workshop will discuss approaches to common writing assignments at the graduate level, from abstracts to literature reviews to papers. It will explore how to create, structure, and support arguments in graduate-level writing as well as review concepts of grammar and style.

Grammar for Grad Students
Friday November 16, 2018
Traill College, Scott House 105
2-3:30pm (tea and cookies to follow presentation)
This workshop provides a refresher on central principles of grammar and style, from sentence structure and verb forms, to controlling voice and tone. It will examine how to identify and fix common errors as well as strategies for editing and proofreading.



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.

Sample Schedule

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

Register online


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.