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. See our weekly schedule below.


  • One-on-one writing tutorials. Book online or drop by the CAC to see if a drop-in appointment is available. We are open May 4th - August 15th 12pm - 3pm, Monday - Friday.
  • Online writing tutorials. Click on the tab "Online tutoring" above to get help.

Academic Communication Skills

  • Drop-in help. Attend this drop-in zone to ask quick questions and work on your written assignments, conference presentations, journal submissions, projects, and so on. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, 10am - 12pm, Library A003.

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. Hone your academic communication skills in sessions that range from spoken and written communication to email and presentation skills.
  • Intensive Lab in English for Academic Purposes (ILEAP) - for graduate students. Come spend two days honing your academic English skills! ILEAP consists of workshops, one-on-one and group support. This free event requires registration. This retreat is geared toward graduate students who have English as an additional language, but all UVic students are welcome.

All CAC events take place in the learning commons on the first floor of the MacPherson Library.  All sessions below are drop-in and do not require pre-registration.



Academic skills help drop-in zone (Gillian)

Library 151B

  • 10:00am - 12:00pm

Academic skills help drop-in zone (Kaveh)

Library 151B

  • 10:00am - 12:00pm

Academic skills help drop-in zone (Allie)

Library 151B

  • 10:00am - 12:00pm

One-on-one writing tutorials


  • 12:00pm - 3:00pm

One-on-one writing tutorials


  • 12:00pm - 3:00pm

One-on-one writing tutorials


  • 12:00pm - 3:00pm

One-on-one writing tutorials


  • 12:00pm - 3:00pm

One-on-one writing tutorials


  • 12:00pm - 3:00pm

Graduate writing room (Kaveh)

Library 129

  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) help (Gillian)

Library 129

  • 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Special topics (Allie)

Library 129

  • 2:30pm - 4:30pm

Wednesday Workshop Series for Summer 2015 at the CAC

Workshops: EAP Help and Special Topics
Schedule: Wednesdays, 1 – 2:30 (EAP Help) and 2:30 – 4 (Special Topics) in the McPherson Library
Instructors: Gillian Saunders and Allie Simpson

These workshops will help you to improve your academic communication skills in a wide variety of contexts. Wish you were a grammar expert or better at public speaking? It’s never too late! The EAP Help 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. Stay for the Special Topics workshops, where you’ll get a chance to practice the skills you’ve learned in different contexts, or engage in academic discussions with your peers.

Students of every English proficiency level and background are welcome. Bring your questions about grammatical terminology, structure, and usage, or about 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 and Allie suggestions for topics and have workshops designed especially for you!


EAP: Getting Started: The Psychology of Writing (May 6)
Having trouble putting words on paper? This workshop will address the issues that contribute to “Writer’s Block” and give techniques for writing, revising, and handing assignments in on time.

Special Topics: Mastering the Research Paper (May 6)
This workshop focuses on understanding the major components of a research paper and using resources such as the CARS (Creating a Research Space) Model to aid in reading and writing a research paper.  

EAP: Common Grammar Errors and Myths (May 13)
Who or whom? Which or that? Affect or effect? Come to this workshop to get these tricky questions sorted out for good. This class tackles the most common error of English language learners: the articles “a,” “an,” and “the.” It also addresses outdated phrasing, spelling, and grammar rules. You CAN end a sentence with a preposition. Learn how, and liberate yourself from lame writing rules invented by old dead guys.

Special Topics: Editing Your Writing  (May 13)
This workshop focuses on identifying and correcting common errors in writing. Stop by to practice editing your own writing in a fun and relaxed space.

EAP: Verb Tense, Voice, Aspect, and Mood (May 20)
Unsure about how and whether the passive voice should be used and how to transform it to the active voice as needed? In this workshop, you can learn how to identify and use verbs in all their possible forms in English, and we will also look at which tenses can be used to introduce and discuss research.

Special Topics: L.I.S.T.E.N  (May 20)
For many listening and taking notes in lectures is a difficult task. Stop by this workshop to practice and discuss taking effective and organized notes using the L.I.S.T.E.N. acronym.

EAP: TBA – Students’ Choice Topic (May 27)
Special Topics: TBA – Student’s Choice Topic (May 27)


EAP: Punctuation (June 3)
Do you know all the ways to use a semicolon and a colon? Are you sure that comma is in the right place? If you have a comma splice error or run-on sentence, and you’re not sure how you made it or how to fix it, this class can help with that and show you how to be more creative and use a better variety of punctuation in your writing. It will also help you figure out whether to use “its” or “it’s,” and when to use some of the lesser-known bits of punctuation.

Special Topics Speaking in Groups: (June 3)
This workshop focuses on developing oral communication skills though a Conversation-Café-type atmosphere. Stop by to discuss topics and meet new people in a welcoming environment.

No workshops on June 10 (Closed for LTC staff retreat)

EAP: Using Quotations (June 17)
Did you know that there are only three ways to punctuate a direct quotation? Can you tell when you’ve used too many quotations in a paragraph? This workshop will address these issues and show you how to effectively and accurately integrate quotations into your written work.

Special Topics: Increasing Reading Comprehension (June 17)
Reading is one task that is impossible to avoid in any academic discipline. Stop by this workshop to practice and discuss strategies to increase comprehension and enhance long-term understanding of academic texts.

EAP: TBA – Students’ Choice Topic (June 24)
Special Topics: TBA – Student’s Choice Topic (June 24)


EAP: Strong Sentences (July 8)
This workshop will focus on how to create strong thesis and topic sentences, and illuminate the four types of sentences in English. Learn the difference between simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences so that you can build an interesting and varied piece of writing with good flow.

Special Topics: Peer Review  (July 8)
Are you dreading the peer review assignment?  Are you struggling to write a peer review? Having students give feedback to one another on their papers can have many advantages and is widely used across disciplines at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Stop by this workshop to discuss and practice writing a peer review.

EAP: Formal and Informal Language and Tone (July 15)
Join us in this workshop to learn about how word choice and types of language affect your academic communication results. Learn the essentials of formal academic writing conventions, and find out whether you can use “I,” “we,” and contractions in your work.

Special Topics: Email Writing (July 15)
Not sure how to write e-mails appropriate in the academic context? Stop by this workshop for discussion and practice on interacting with your professors and colleagues via email.  This workshop will provide practice writing professional and clear emails, thus allowing you to build relationships, get your questions answered, and make requests.    
HINT: leave out the LOL's and the :D's

EAP: Summarizing and Paraphrasing (July 22)
Not sure when to use a direct quotation and when to paraphrase? This workshop focuses on what makes a good summary, and how to paraphrase accurately and cite correctly.

Special Topics: Facilitating Discussion (July 22)
Facilitating a discussion or a debate can be very intimidating.  This workshop focuses on providing discussion facilitation practice in order to help you lead an engaging discussion. Stop by to practice leading or participating in a discussion or debate in a relaxed and friendly environment.

EAP: Students’ Choice Topic (July 29)
Special Topics: Students’ Choice Topic (July 29)

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.

Academic Communication Tutor Positions at the Centre for Academic Communication, September 2015 – April 2016

Consider bringing your excellent communication skills, love of people and joy in a busy workplace to the Centre for Academic Communication (The CAC)! We’re looking for graduate students to help us with one-on-one tutoring of academic communication skills for undergraduate and graduate students across the disciplines for the upcoming academic year.

Applicant requirements

  • Enrolled full-time as a graduate student at UVic for the 2015-16 academic year. Preference given to applicants in a PhD program or a second Master’s degree, but applications from students entering their second year of their Master’s degree will be considered
  • Available to work
    • 10-1pm Mondays & Fridays, September 21 – December 4, 2015, or
    • 10-1pm Monday to Friday, November 2-27, 2015 or
    • 1-4pm Monday to Friday, November 2-27, 2015 or
    • A combination of the above
  • Able to write with coherence and cohesion and able to analyze academic communication issues in a broad range of academic disciplines above and beyond the content encountered
  • An interest in learning how to support student development of the range of academic communication skills
  • A demonstrated interest in supporting student learning and an ability to work with a wide range of students in a professional and respectful manner
  • Experience working with people from other cultures and languages
  • A demonstrated understanding of the cultural context of academic communication
  • Basic knowledge of student services at UVic
  • A real desire to work with students from all backgrounds in a positive, instructional manner

Preference will be given to applicants who

  • Have taken a “Teaching in Higher Education” course and/or an advanced English grammar course
  • Have experience coaching academic communication skills in different disciplines
  • Have previous work experience in a Learning or Writing Centre as a sessional instructor or as a teaching assistant (TA)

To ensure the CAC knowledge of the academic communication skills of different disciplines, candidates from under-represented departments may be considered before those from over-represented ones.

As this is classified as a teaching assistant (TA) position, the standard CUPE 4163, Component 1 rate of $24.21/hour plus 4% vacation pay applies. Because this is a TA position, only applicants who are enrolled in a full-time UVic graduate program from September to April can be considered. Please note – we are unable to hire tutors who are currently teaching as sessional instructors at UVic.

Paid training for this position is August 17-20th. For applicants who are not in Victoria at this time, alternate arrangements could be considered.

The schedule for Spring will be created in late Fall; tutors will then be asked which shifts they are available for.


Please submit an application package that consists of the following in one PDF document:

  • A cover letter clearly outlining how you meet the application requirements and which shifts you are available for (see above).
  • A resume (no more than two pages, please). References can be supplied at the time of interview.
  • A written assignment. Question: Describe a challenge you had with academic writing and how you overcame it (150 words maximum).

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications should be addressed to Dr. Laurie Waye (ltcassocdirsas@uvic.ca) and Nancy Ami (thecac@uvic.ca) and must be sent by e-mail before 4pm on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. For more information, please call 250-853-3675.