Faculty Services & Resources

Saint Mary's University emphasizes the importance of writing and communication in academic life.

We strive to support the development of clear, compelling writing, as well as the development of effective analytical and critical thinking skills. As part of this mission, we offer consultations, workshops, and other services to Saint Mary's faculty. 

How we can help you?

Writing Help Online (WHO)

WHO is an online, interactive writing resource that uses active learning and scaffolding theories to help your students develop writing skills. Easily integrate writing instruction with your courses; assign our academic writing study guides to your students, or request a customized module with examples more specific to your discipline. 

To use this resource in your course, please contact the WHO Coordinator (who@smu.ca).

In-class workshops

These workshops are designed to be course specific. If you would like to have a workshop tailored to your course, please contact the Director of Academic Learning Services (brian.hotson@smu.ca). Most workshops are one hour long.

We can also train your TAs in writing skills, as well as essay marking skills.

Bonus marks for visiting the centre

As an incentive for students to use the Writing Centre's services, you might consider assigning bonus marks for visiting us. If you choose to do this, please contact us to arrange tracking of your students' visits.

Course development & instructional design

Faculty may schedule a confidential appointment with our director (brian.hotson@smu.ca or 902-491-6201). During a session, the director will work with you to clarify or restructure course resources, which can be especially useful when developing and writing new assignments, reimagining exam questions used in previous years, or developing course descriptions.

AWELL Conference

AWELL is a two-day conference designed for faculty, instructors, and writing centre professionals who teach and tutor ELL students. The goal of the conference is to provide tools and approaches in a workshop format that may be used directly in the classroom and tutoring sessions.

Saint Mary's Undergraduate Academic Writing Awards

If you have an exceptional paper submitted by a student, please encourage them to submit it. Here are more details about the award program and the student journal, Afficio.

Office Hours in the Writing Centre

Successfully piloted with SMU faculty, Office Hours in the Writing Centre is a new program designed to assist you in helping students with their assignments with a dedicated writing tutor.

Whether beginning or completing an assignment, schedule office-hour time in the writing centre with a dedicated writing tutor. Invite your students to work with you and a tutor on a specific assignment—lab report, case study, or essay. You can connect with your writing tutor in advance to plan the session to get the most from the time; send assignment descriptions; and provide any materials in advance so that the tutor will be prepared to assist.

Students who attend report being better prepared to write, have greater comprehension of assignments, and feel more confident academically. Students are also introduced to the writing centre as a place for academic help, not just for remediation.

For more information, please contact Brian Hotson, writing center director, at writing@smu.ca

Faculty resources

We provide resources on many areas of writing and writing instruction. We have written materials for teaching in science, arts or business that may be checked out from the centre. These include theoretical materials and practical examples of how to improve and instruct in writing, reading and analyzing skills. 

We also develop new resources as required, and present faculty development workshops several times a year.

Provide information

We have the resources and experience to help you in many areas of writing, so please come and see us if you:

  • want to include more writing initiatives/activities in your class;
  • want to learn marking strategies for writing-intensive courses;
  • have any questions about our centre, our services, or writing in general.

Verba volant, scripta manent