Writing Commons


September 2023/2024: Reimagining the Writing Commons


Up until now, The Writing Commons has served as an in-person and virtual space for supporting graduate student writing in the process of helping them with technical writing skills. Alongside Writing Commons peer coordinators, students have had access to feedback on structure, revision, brainstorming and development.

In previous years, the Writing Commons helped graduate students answer the question: “How do I write?”. Recognizing the increasing proliferation of technological writing tools and Apps (Grammarly, AI, etc.), widely (if cautiously) accepted by the academic community, we propose reimagining the purposes of the Writing Commons by centring a new question for these times: “Why do I write?”, and “How do I write as part of wider academic community committed to making transformative change?” 

 Rather than working with students in their individual manuscripts, we hope to support them to think more deeply about writing. How might we write if writing is a process that amplifies voices rather than mould them to fit a formulaic structure?  How might we write if writing is a collective and political practice?  

Through a thoughtful, collaborative approach to supporting students, we are excited to work towards creating a resource-Hub and space for collaborative dialogue, wherein students will be invited to engage in the Writing Commons to think critically about the act of writing – and what this process means as an ethical and social practice. Perhaps more importantly, we envisage supporting graduate students to think about their writing as an integral part of the active and ongoing process of collective knowledge-making, versus a technocratic assignment to be graded.

While we work hard to reimagine, recreate and redevelop the Writing Commons, there are a variety of valuable resources you can refer to during your academic writing. We encourage you to explore conventions about academic English writing in our field. The following are the links that may help you:

We also encourage everyone to utilize the Western Writing Support Centre which offers free 50-minute one-to-one appointments with a writing advisor. Students can either visit in person or online. 

Click here to find out more: Western Writing Support Centre