Centre for Academic Communication

The Writing Centre has grown into the Centre for Academic Communication (CAC)! In addition to our writing support services, we offer help with a range of academic communication skills:

Writing support

  • Writing skills
  • Writing processes
  • Writing to publish
  • Writing different kinds of texts
  • Academic expectations

Academic expectations

  • Academic integrity
  • Transitions (from other cultures, high school, community college, the workforce and into graduate school)
  • Classroom expectations

Reading support

  • Academic text management
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Text as the basis for writing

Speaking support

  • Class and oral defense presentations
  • Pronunciation support and development
  • Practice and feedback sessions

Join us for one-on-one tutorials and our various drop-in zones.

We have lots of different programs to help you develop your academic communication skills!


We’re excited about a new digital resource for all graduate students writing theses, projects, or dissertations, called the Thesis Writing Starter Kit. This document is the result of a collaborative effort among numerous UVic services: http://www.uvic.ca/services/counselling/resources/thesis/index.php

This searchable pdf can help grad students:

  • Form effective, collaborative writing/support groups
  • Ask for/give/receive feedback on writing
  • Enhance their productivity
  • Understand psychological barriers to writing (anxiety, perfectionism, procrastination etc.)
  • Try out tested technology tips, including bibliographic management software, concept mapping and writing tools, and life style management tools


  • One-on-one writing tutorials. Book online or drop by the CAC to see if a drop-in appointment is available 4-5:30pm, Monday to Thursday, September 14 - December 3, 2015. We are open for booked 1:1 tutorials 10am - 4pm, Monday - Friday, September 14 - December 4, 2015.
  • Online writing tutorials. Click on the tab "Online tutoring" above to get help.

Academic Communication Skills

  • For detailed program information, click on the tab "Fall 2015"!
  • Learning plans for undergraduate and graduate students at UVic, offered by the Centre for Academic Communication. Click on the tab "Fall 2015" to get more information.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

  • English as an Additional Language (EAL) Specialist consultations. Book an appointment with or  to get a learning plan tailored to your specific academic communication needs.
  • EAP help. Click on the tab "Fall 2015" to get more information about our fall workshops!

All CAC programming takes place in the learning commons on the first floor of the MacPherson Library.

New for Fall 2015 - Learning plans for undergraduate and graduate students

What is a learning plan?

A learning plan is a program that can help you improve your academic communication skills, such as academic writing and presentation skills.  We can also help you improve your understanding of common academic integrity issues, how to edit your own writing, and how to read more efficiently. Click here for more information or come see us to find out how we can help you!

Fall 2015 Workshops

EAP Help (3-5pm Wednesdays, Sept. 16 - Dec. 2, Library 151b): Wish you were a grammar expert or better at public speaking? It’s never too late! The EAP workshops are a great way to learn something new about the English language and improve your written and spoken communication skills through instruction and practice. Students of every English proficiency level and background are welcome. Bring your questions about grammatical terminology, structure, usage, writing, critical reading and thinking, or pretty much anything else that’s English-language or academic-communication related! The final session of each month has been left unplanned so that you can give Gillian suggestions for topics and have workshops designed especially for you!

Conversation Café (1:30-2:30pm Mondays & Fridays, September 14 - Dec. 4, Library A025): Looking for more opportunities to practice your English conversation skills? The English Café is a great place to meet and talk to other international students and native English speakers in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The facilitator will prepare a new topic for discussion each week and you just need to show up prepared to chat and make friends!

Bring your questions about Canadian culture and academia and your tea or coffee and join us for an hour of fun conversation.

The Basics of Writing and Research (3-5pm Sept. 14, 28, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 19, 22, Nov. 16, 23, 30, Dec. 3, Library 151b): The four sessions in this series will discuss the fundamentals of doing research and academic writing. Topics will range from library sources and finding a topic to planning, organizing, and writing. 

Reading (3-5pm Sept. 21 & Oct. 29, Library 151b): The two sessions will cover techniques for effective reading comprehension, plus tips for taking notes on and summarizing the key points of a reading passage.

Vocabulary Building Strategies (3-5pm, Sept. 17 & Nov. 2, Library 151b): This session will provide some practical strategies for building and improving your academic vocabulary.

Thesis and Dissertation Writing (3-5pm, Oct. 5 & Nov. 5, Library 151b):  This workshop will review the essential steps in starting, developing, and finalizing a thesis or dissertation.

Self-editing (3-5pm, Oct. 19 & Nov. 26, Library 151b):  This offering will give you the tools necessary for being able to independently edit your own writing.

Scientific Writing 1: An Introduction to Scientific Writing (1-3pm Sept. 15 & 4-6pm Oct. 13, Library 151b): A common misconception is that careers in the sciences do not involve much writing. The opposite is true! In fact, developing your writing skills is one of the most important steps to a successful career in science. In this workshop, we’ll go through the writing process step-by-step, focussing on challenges specific to writing for science.

Scientific Writing 2: Developing Better Scientific Writing Skills (1-3pm Sept. 29 & 4-6pm Oct. 27, Library 151b): Interested in a career in science, but not sure if your writing skills are up to snuff? One of the most important and challenging goals in scientific writing is communicating complex ideas in a simple, understandable way. This workshop targets upper level undergraduate and graduate students who want to improve the clarity and conciseness of their proposals, lab reports or theses.

Our online writing tutor can help you develop your ability and confidence as a writer through written feedback. This feedback gives you the tools to edit your own writing. 

What to expect:

  • You can receive constructive feedback on organization, your most common grammatical error patterns, the style of your paper and its clarity.
  • We do not provide grammar correction, citation correction or help with take-home exams.
  • We will get back to you with feedback within 72 hours of submission (excluding weekends).

How it works:

  • Email your paper to . Please attach your assignment guidelines and include the following information: Your V00#, year of study, your first language, 2 or 3 questions you'd like answered about your writing, and for longer papers, the five pages you'd like the tutor to focus on.
Are you looking for help in the middle of the night? Do you live in another time zone? We have lots of online resources that you can access.

Work-study Positions at the Centre for Academic Communication, September 2015 – April 2016

We’re looking for two people to join our team as work-study students. In this role, you will be one of the first points of contact with undergraduate and graduate students visiting the Centre for Academic Communication (the CAC) and will also help facilitate the very popular English Conversation Café. There are a maximum of 210 hours available for each position.

What would you be doing?

You would be assisting at the CAC in two important ways:

  • Up to 13 hours a week greeting students who come to the CAC (located in the Library). Two or three hour shifts are available during the following time periods: Mondays and Fridays 11:30am – 1:30pm and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9:30am – 2:00pm. Greeting students requires knowledge of CAC services, other campus services, and the ability to use our online booking system, WCOnline. Training is provided. Different schedules may be available in the spring.
  •  Help facilitate the English Conversation Café on Mondays and Fridays, 1:30pm – 2:30pm. Assist Gillian Saunders, the EAL Specialist who runs the Café. Under her supervision, develop lesson plans and materials and  facilitate the Friday café sessions from mid-October onward. One hour of paid prep per week is available, making this part of the role count for three hours a week.

What kind of skills and knowledge should you have?

We are hoping to find two candidates who

  • Enjoy interacting with a diversity of students in a customer-service environment
  • Thrive in a busy environment and are self-motivated during lulls
  • Are comfortable with learning new technology
  • Have a strong desire to facilitate lessons, especially in an English as an Additional Language environment
  • Are interested in lesson planning and materials development You must be eligible for the work-study program to work in this position. Please check the UVic work-study website for more information.

Why would you choose this work-study position

Through this role, you will gain confidence as a lesson planner and facilitator in a Canadian academic environment. Other benefits include:

  • Our work environment is friendly and positive, and we provide paid training
  • In addition to the standard work-study rate of $11 an hour, we provide a $2 an hour top-up

How do you apply?

Please send an email to Nancy Ami (theCAC@uvic.ca), the Manager of the CAC, with a cover letter and your résumé as an attachment. In the email, please indicate when you are available to work and how many hours you have been approved for. Pleae note: You must qualify for the work-study program for these roles.