On this site you will find 8 interactive lessons that, together, cover the core skills of first-year academic research and writing.

These lessons take a practical and interactive approach. They are example-based, and instructors and students will find lots of models and activities for skill-building.

The lessons are presented here in two groups – the Library Study Rooms, which focus on critical thinking, reading, and writing skills, and the Gym Boot Camps, which emphasize the practical mechanics of writing and documentation. Go ahead and select Library or Gym, or click on a lesson to go directly there!

The Library

Study Room 1 – Critical Reading and Summary

Study Room 2 – Critical Thinking and Comparison

Study Room 3 – Research and Annotation

Study Room 4 – Synthesis and Curation

 

The Gym

Boot Camp 1 – Pace yourself with a writing process

Boot Camp 2 – Flex your muscles with effective writing

Boot Camp 3 – Bulk up with quality research

Boot Camp 4 – Stretch out with good editing

 

[click each to take to the lesson start; click Library or Gym for Landing pages]

 

How to use these lessons

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

These eight lessons are open education resources. Designed to be mixed and remixed by users for customized use, these lessons could be kept together as the core text for a course or applied individually as supplementary practice. You could also simply search through the lessons and pick out any specific resources and activities that might be useful for you.

All we ask is that you attribute the material you find here to TRU-OL.

For Instructors

Use this as a course textbook.  The eight lessons in this digital workbook could be together to support an introductory course in university writing.

The eight lessons are linked together with a shared theme. The materials are all linked in some way to the theme of understanding the digital experience.  The readings, examples and activities focus on questions such as how digital technologies affect how we think and interact with each other.

The study room lessons work with the same articles in the progression of writing skills from summary, through comparison, to synthesis of multiple sources. These are supported by the development of practical writing mechanics and documentation in the boot camps.

Use Lessons independently. The lessons can all be used independently. For example, if you would like a lesson on writing an annotated bibliography, Study Room 3 provides an interactive demonstration and modelling of this process. Students would not need information from the previous study rooms to complete this lesson.

Mine these lessons for useful resources.  You might want to pull smaller resources from these lessons. The practical activities in the lessons could be re-applied in any context, and don’t have to be used with the given theme and examples. Each lesson includes a variety of interactive activities that develop isolated skills related to academic reading and writing. We encourage instructors to pick and choose from within the lessons, as well as between them, to meet their needs.

For Students

If you are taking a course in academic writing, or just want to brush up on your skills, you will find many examples modelling specific writing techniques and types of assignments. You will also find many practical activities to practice writing, editing and documentation skills.