Writing Competency

What is Writing Competency?

  • Writing competency is an essential component for all graduate students and includes the ability to communicate written ideas clearly and effectively
  • Effective writing is mandatory for successful acquisition of grants, scholarships and funding
    • Grantsmanship includes an ability to communicate clearly to an interdisciplinary review committee, succinctly demonstrating the application and novelty of one’s research
  • Academic writing (for proposals, comprehensive exams and theses) as well as writing academic articles is a specific writing style many students do not have experience with prior to graduate school
  • Writing has expanded to include a range of multimedia and non-academic forums and therefore, written competency for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows also includes an ability to understand the type of writing and communication needed for different situations
  • Workshops and courses highlight key strategies and techniques for grant applications, successful completion of one’s thesis and dissemination of research through academic articles
  • One-on-one  writing appointments are also available to aid students in understanding strengths and areas of  improvement  in their own writing

Programs with Writing as Main Competency

Continuing Studies Language Courses: Grammar
This course will improve your understanding of grammar and how it can be employed to write and communicate clearly.
Electronic Theses and Dissertations Training Workshops
This workshop walks graduate students through the ETD process and features representatives from SGPS and Western Libraries on hand to address any questions students have regarding the process.
Graduate Writing Laboratory
The Graduate Writing Lab is in the Western Student Services Building, Room 4130a, just inside the Writing Support Centre.
GradWrite: Graduate Writing Workshops
Writing lectures on a variety of topics aimed at helping you gain confidence and success in writing graduate level papers are offered throughout the year.
GradWRITE Graduate Writing Conference
A day-long conference to address specific graduate writing concerns and an opportunity to learn about best practices from faculty.
One-on-One Writing Consultations
Students can make an hour-long appointment with a writing counsellor and receive feedback on drafts for coursework papers, grant and scholarship applications, thesis/dissertation components or any other writing issue.
Scholarship Information Sessions
Designed to provide scholars with clear direction on how to apply for major external scholarships and fellowships. This series of presentations is open to all. No registration is required.
Scholarship Library
The Scholarship Library website was developed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and resources to put forth an excellent funding proposal for external competitions.

Programs with Writing as Secondary Competency

3MT - Three Minute Thesis Competition
3MT is a research communication competition where graduate students have 3 minutes or less to present their research and its impact to a panel of non-specialist judges and peers.
Advanced Teaching Program (ATP)
The Advanced Teaching Program (ATP) is a hands-on, 20 hr (6 half day) seminar specifically designed for advanced graduate students who would like to develop the practical skills necessary to teach their own courses.
Graduate Career Day
This event provides graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with the opportunity to gain valuable information about landing both academic and non-academic positions and will be comprised of a series of workshops on networking to a non-academic position, preparing for academic and non-academic interviews, negotiating first faculty contracts, and alumni panel discussions.
Graduate Studies 9500: Theory And Practice Of University Teaching
A 10-week graduate course that introduces students to the theory and practice of university teaching and includes four micro-teaching sessions and preparation of a teaching portfolio.
Scholars to Leaders Series
The monthly luncheon events showcase guest speakers who share valuable insight and expertise on critical aspects of leadership from their own career experiences.
START STRONG Academic Series
A series for new and returning international students.
Teaching Portfolio Consultation
Individual coaching and consultation is available for graduate students preparing their teaching portfolios for the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning or for those who are putting together teaching portfolios for use in applications for faculty positions.
Western Certificate in Academic and Professional Communication
This Certificate is designed to enhance the academic and professional communication skills of international graduate students in order to help them make a successful transition to Canadian academia and to prepare them for success in international research and professional settings.
Western Certificate In University Teaching And Learning
The goal of the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning program is to enhance the teaching skills of graduate teaching assistants and to prepare graduate students for future faculty careers.
What to Expect in a Defense and Submitting your Thesis
This workshop outlines what occurs during the thesis examination and details all significant events involved in the process from initial submission to the final submission of the thesis.