Our program

students studying on their laptops
Students attending class

Mission Statement

Uvic's Academic and Technical Writing Program is committed to research and teaching that prepares students to express themselves in varied rhetorical contexts to audiences of diverse and complex backgrounds. The program has unique responsibilities to contribute to knowledge across the entire university and to support students from first-year through upper-level undergraduates and graduate students. These obligations are best met when the program, working to uphold principles of decolonization, accessibility, and anti-racism, offers a holistic perspective on what it means to be a critical reader, thinker, and writer in the context of workplaces and higher education institutions in Canada. Our mission is to connect our students to modes of expression that both empower their voices and teach them to connect with their communities in meaningful ways.

What We Do For Students

Strong reading, writing, and research skills are essential to your success in university-level classes. That’s why we offer classes that allow you to develop these skills while also taking into account your individual needs and interests.

But we also think (whether you are a native speaker of English or have learned English as an additional language) that you will get life-long benefits from developing advanced literacy practices associated with university studies. Being able to find and think critically about information sources will help you learn new things beyond the classroom. Effectively communicating your ideas allows you to contribute to projects you value. 

Learning outcomes

All AWR-designated courses will give you tools to succeed in a university classroom and beyond. These courses focus on developing your critical thinking, information literacy, rhetoric, and written communication skills. What texts and topics you encounter depends on the course in which you enrol – but all of our classes will help you to become a more effective writer.

Our courses align with BCCAT aims for first-year writing.


At the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. paraphrase/summarize texts to reflect accurately and coherently the original’s ideas, organization, and tone;
  2. perform university-level critical analysis of texts, including scholarly and other texts, by recognizing, identifying, and evaluating controlling ideas, supporting ideas, dominant rhetorical patterns, tone, context, and features of style;
  3. discuss and debate texts using terminology specific to discipline and rhetorical context;
  4. read comparatively, using a range of critical perspectives.

Writing process

At the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. practice a post-secondary writing process which involves planning, drafting, peer review, revising, and editing /proofreading with an expectation of grammatically-correct style and rhetorically-effective and discourse-appropriate content and structure;
  2. produce clear and effective writing under time restrictions and exam conditions.

Content and organization

At the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. write essays that develop an academic argument with a thesis or controlling idea, using appropriate language and rhetorical patterns, and accurate, relevant, specific, and sufficient supporting evidence for its audience and purpose;
  2. write unified, coherent paragraphs, including effective introductions and conclusions, and make transitions between and within paragraphs within an academic context;
  3. write correct, clear, cohesive, and effective English.


At the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. apply stylistic considerations (eg. sentence variety, diction, and figurative language) and understand their relevance to purpose and audience;
  2. format the writing for its audience and purpose, using a recognized style, such as presented in the MLA Handbook;
  3. use inclusive language.

Research and documentation

At the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. find and evaluate source material, which may include personal knowledge and interviews, print and electronic media, and any other form of data gathering;
  2. integrate source material (including quotations, paraphrase, and summary) purposefully and effectively, providing suitable authority and context;
  3. document sources fully and ethically according to a current and audience-expected documentation system; recognize and use primary and secondary sources appropriately.