The Writing Lab

The Writing Lab is staffed by a qualified writing instructor who helps students with individual writing consultations by appointment.

The goal of the Writing Lab is to help students improve the writing skills they need to be successful at the university level, while working closely with the Learning Centre to provide a range of academic support services. This is free service available to all Algoma University registered students in any discipline of study, including those studying at our satellite programming locations in Brampton and Timmins.

Book an appointment

Marissa Ross

Writing Lab Instructor

705-949-2301, ext.4226

Office: WW 201

How to Get Involved

The Writing Lab runs for 14 weeks during the fall and winter semesters, and for a limited time during the spring and summer semesters. The Writing Lab is available for appointments during office hours.

Students are permitted to make two appointments per week to a maximum of six appointments per semester. The Writing Lab Instructor will recommend additional follow-up appointments as needed.

Booking an Appointment

Step 1: For semester hours and booking information, visit and select “Writing Labs”

Step 2: Select the date and time on the booking form that works for you!

Step 3: Enter your student webmail ID and password.

Step 4: Fill in your first and last names, the course code (for example: ENGL 1606), and your Algoma University webmail email address on the booking information page.

Step 5: Make sure to click the “Save” button on the bottom of the booking information page so that your appointment properly saves.

Step 6: The Writing Lab Instructor will contact you through webmail.

Step 7: Students should read and become familiar with the Writing Lab Policy (PDF) before using the Writing Lab’s services.

If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please follow steps 2 and 3, and when the booking information page opens, scroll to the bottom and select “Edit” or “Cancel Entry”.

Students studying at our satellite programming in Brampton or Timmins, please email your assignment in a Word document file at least two days before your due date to Please also send your assignment criteria and due date so the Writing Lab Instructor can help you in a timely fashion. The Writing Lab Instructor will make comments and suggestions and email the document back.


The Writing Lab is located in WW 306, in the Wishart Library.

The Writing Lab Instructor works individually with students to help them develop their planning, organizing, writing, and revising skills needed for academic papers in any discipline at the university level. The Writing Lab Instructor helps with:

  • Reviewing work in progress, such as parts of essays, drafts of assignments, and components of a paper;
  • Grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and logic and coherency;
  • Discussing revisions and suggestions for writing development;
  • Showing students how to self-edit their writing by discussing editing and revising techniques; and
  • Preventing plagiarism through proper documentation, citation, and research skills, including APA, ASA, MLA, Chicago, and other discipline styles of citation.

For more details, please see the Writing Lab Services (PDF).

The Writing Lab Instructor helps with a large variety of writing samples.  These include:

  • Essays;
  • Paragraphs;
  • Short answers;
  • Written presentations;
  • Reports;
  • Articles;
  • Literature reviews;
  • References lists;
  • Book reports;
  • Annotated bibliographies; and
  • Other forms of academic writing.

Longer writing assignments (four pages or more) will be reviewed in sections, beginning with the first three pages. Further appointments will be assessed at the Writing Lab Instructor’s discretion. Please be prepared to identify which pages you would like to work on.

Take-home exams and midterms are not permitted.


Services Not Offered by the Writing Lab

The Writing Lab Instructor will not write your papers, proofread them, edit them, or guarantee a specific grade for you. Students are responsible for all changes, edits, and revisions to their submitted work. For details, please see the Writing Lab Policy (PDF).

The Writing Lab hosts a number of workshops throughout the Fall and Winter semesters, such as

  •    Preventing Plagiarism: What It Is and How to Stop It
  •    Integrating Research: Using Resources Effectively
  •    Specific Citation Styles: APA, ASA, MLA, and Chicago Basics (and others on request)
  •    Writing Style Tips: Solving Grammar and Sentence Structure Problems
  •    Academic Honesty: Getting the Most Out of Your Work
  •    Essay Components: Writing Logically and Coherently

Check Algoma UKnow for scheduling information. Electronic copies of workshops and free handouts are available by logging in to CMS and using the enrollment key: writing.

Free resources and handouts for writing and citation information are available on CMS (key: writing), in the Learning Centre (SH 200), or from the following links:

The Writing Lab Instructor provides in-class services to all faculty at Algoma University, including:

  • A short introduction to Writing Lab services, held at the beginning of each semester, by request of the instructor;
  • Classroom workshops on specific topics at the request of faculty. Past classroom workshops have included: How to Build a Paragraph; Essay Components; Documentation/Citation How-To; Preventing Plagiarism.

Faculty who wish to have a classroom presentation and/or workshop should contact the Writing Lab Instructor with the following:

  • Date and time
  • Purpose, course code, and specific topic; details to be covered
  • Number of students registered
  • Contact information

Record of Referral Form

Faculty may also refer students to the Writing Lab by using the Writing Lab Record of Referral (PDF) and emailing it to the Writing Lab Instructor or putting it in the Instructor’s mailbox. All Referral records are kept by the Writing Lab Instructor and a signed copy is given to students to bring back to the faculty member.

By signing up for Writing Lab services, students agree to the following terms:

  1. Students are responsible for their own work and for the work they submit in their classes. While the Writing Lab Instructor will provide suggestions and alternatives for a writing assignment, it is up to the students on how they apply them.
  2. All writing work brought to an appointment must be printed on paper for consultation. Students must bring their assignment criteria, notes, and draft(s).  Work brought in on a laptop or email will not be accepted (contact the Writing Lab Instructor if you have a special requirement).
  3. Students are limited to one appointment per day (1×30 minutes or 2x30minutes for the week), and up to two appointments made in advance. Further appointments will be made with the Writing Lab Instructor’s assistance.
  4. If you need to cancel an appointment, be sure to cancel on the online website,, at least 24 hours in advance. If you must cancel on the day of the appointment, please email the Writing Lab Instructor.
  5. Students who are more than 10 minutes late to an appointment will be seen at the Writing Lab Instructor’s discretion. Drop-in appointments may be seen during unused or cancelled appointments on a first-come basis.
  6. Failure to attend two scheduled appointments means the student will not be able to use the Writing Lab’s services. Times are limited, so students should be respectful of waiting lists and keeping appointments.
  7. Rescheduling and requests should be directed to the Writing Lab Instructor.
  8. If a student is referred to the Writing Lab by a faculty member, a record of the appointment will be kept and forwarded to the faculty member.
  9. The Writing Lab Instructor will keep a record of each student’s appointment visit, including the course, subject, and assignment being discussed, areas for improvement, and recommendations given. These records are for the sole purpose of student development and in tracking the total number of students by subject and year of study for statistical reporting.
  10. The Writing Lab Instructor is not responsible for any unethical, non-academic behaviour such as plagiarism committed by the student, for marks that are awarded, or for coursework performance. The Writing Lab Instructor will follow a policy of non-interference with faculty-student relations regarding grades.