Graduate Writing Resources


Dissertation Writers' Retreat

Dissertation Writers' Retreats are designed to provide Western PhD candidates in year 4 or above with dedicated time and space for intensive writing. Participating in the retreat can help you make significant progress in writing your dissertation, and help establish good writing habits that will enable you to meet future objectives. By providing you with a comfortable, encouraging, and distraction-free space, as well as support from expert writing advisors, we will give you the opportunity to remove yourself from daily distractions and time demands to focus exclusively on dissertation writing. The Dissertation Writers' Retreat is specifically for writing your dissertation. The next Dissertation Writers' Retreat takes place May 14, 15, and 16, 2019. Registration is required as space is limited. Contact Doug Campbell if you have questions or need additional information. 

Register for the May 14 - 16 Dissertation Writers' Retreat

Online Writing Assistance

Western Distance Studies students and Western students whose disabilities prevent them from accessing our on-campus services can submit drafts of written assignments or writing-related questions to Writing Support Centre advisors. 

How it works:

  • Fill out the Online Writing Assistance form using the link below to submit a draft of your writing assignment or any writing-related questions.
  • A writing advisor will respond with feedback to the draft within 4 days (not including weekends). We are not a 24/7 service. We will respond during our business hours.
  • We are only able to respond to one submission at a time. Once you have submitted your work you must wait until you receive our feedback before submitting additional writing. Multiple submissions will be ignored.  
  • We spend the same time with online submissions as we do in our 50-minute one-to-one counselling sessions. This means we can read and comprehensively respond to about 5 pages of written work.
  • Students should be as specific as possible with their questions for the writing advisor. 
  • Students are limited to one submission per assignment. 
  • We are not an editing service. We are a teaching unit. We will provide general comments on how to improve your written work.

Where to submit your writing assignments:

Graduate Writing Lab

Our Graduate Writing Lab (WSS4130a) is a dedicated space for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Located just inside the Writing Support Centre, the Grad Lab offers computer stations, a resource centre, and a comfortable seating area. Graduate students are welcome to use this area Monday to Thursday from 10am until 4pm. In addition, you may reserve this space for academic uses such as seminars or study groups on Fridays. We ask that when you use this space you:

  • Check in at Student Development Centre reception in the Western Student Services Building (WSS 4100)
  • Sign in when you arrive in the Graduate Writing Lab
  • Respect the area as a quiet study space by entering and exiting quietly and keeping the door closed
  • Use the resource materials on site

If you have questions or would like to reserve the Graduate Writing Lab on a Friday, please contact Doug Campbell at 519-661-2111 extension 85950 or at

GradWRITE: Writing Handouts

Our general Writing Support Handouts contain explanations and examples of university appropriate English language grammar and style. 

Directory of University Writing Centres

Other university writing centres have their own sets of resources. If you have been through our site and are looking for further information or help, check out the following selected list: 

 Non-University Sites

Style Guides

Western Libraries has created up-to-date Online Style Guides for academic citations and referencing. Several citation management systems are also available for all Western students, staff, and faculty; this web-based software can help you organize and format your citations.

Resources to get you started:

If you are looking for sources, Western Libraries' subject-specific Research Guides are a good place to begin your search.   

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' Electronic Theses & Dissertation Repository site has resources to help you find all the information you might require in order to format and successfully submit your graduate thesis for examination and publication electronically.

Help for Writing Research Grants and Awards:

Research Grants and Awards

Student Grants:

Commercialization Grants:

Schulich Medicine and Dentistry Research Office :

Western Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies: SGPS

Western Society of Graduate Students: SOGS

Writing Support Centre