First-Year English Writing Labs

The First-Year Writing Labs registration for Spring 2024 will begin the first day of classes, January 5th.

English Writing Labs

Are you a First-Year English student who would benefit from additional instruction in essay writing essentials?

The English Department’s Writing Lab workshops are your best opportunity to complement what you are learning in first-year English and to keep you on track. Designed and taught by English faculty members, these online labs focus on reviewing essay-writing skills in a series of five interactive workshops. The lab workshops offer plenty of hands-on practice in a supportive environment. The lab instructors—experienced in teaching first-year English courses—are here to guide you through the essay writing process while showing you how to apply each workshop’s lesson to your academic writing. You should attend if your WRTG1100, ENGL 1100, ENGL 1104 or 1200-level instructor has recommended it or if you know that you need extra help with your writing. Every lab offers the same five workshops over five weeks: Sentence Structure, Paragraphs, Using Quotations, Thesis Development, and Grammar.

When and where are the labs?

The Spring 2024 labs will take place synchronously (or "live") fully online within Big Blue Button on Moodle. This means it is essential that you enrol in a labs Moodle page (see below) so that you can access the videoconferencing interface. Past students say that signing up early is important. Keep in mind that each lab is limited to 25 students. Enrolment for labs will open January 5th and is continuous through most of the semester.

Each lab comprises of five workshops that meet at the same time each week. You are welcome to sign up for as many or as few of the lab workshops as you like, but you should avoid repeating them. To get all five lab workshops, you only need to sign up for one lab (A, B, C, etc.).

January 2024 Lab schedule:


Lab A Mondays (Jan. 22-Feb. 26) 1 PM (Jennifer)* FULL
Lab B Tuesdays (Jan. 23-Feb. 27) 7 PM (Jennifer)* FULL
Lab C Wednesdays (Jan. 24-Feb. 28) 10 AM (Jennifer)*
Lab D Fridays (Jan. 26-Mar. 1) 1 PM (Jennifer)*
Lab E Mondays (Jan. 29-Mar. 4) 4 PM (Jennifer)*
Lab F Fridays (Feb. 9-Mar. 15) 10 AM (Jennifer)*
Lab G Wednesdays (Feb. 28-Mar 27) 4 PM (Jennifer)
Lab H Thursdays (Feb. 29-Mar 28) 7 PM (Jennifer)
*Lab A, B, C, D, E and F skip one week for Family Day or Reading Week on Feb. 19-23

**Sometimes a student will drop a lab, leaving a seat open. Even if a time is full, you can double check to see if a seat has opened.


How do the online labs work?

The labs consist of interactive synchronous (or "live") workshops in BBB. This means that you will need to be online during the lab in order to take part. After enrolling, you will log on each week 5 to 10 minutes before your lab workshop time. 

What do I need to take part?

To participate, you will need to enrol in a lab at the time of your choosing. You will need a device that works with Moodle (a laptop or computer is ideal). You will also need a working mic (a camera is not strictly necessary). Please be advised that BBB will not work properly on a cell phone. Chrome is the best browser for BBB.

How do I sign up?

To sign up for the labs, you will use your regular log in on Community Moodle ( Anytime on or after January 5th, Click here to open up Community Moodle (you may be prompted to sign in; use your usual log in info). Registration for the Spring labs begins on January 5th and is ongoing.

You will see a list of writing labs on Community Moodle. Click on the one that works for your schedule. Weekly times and days are listed in the titles of the labs. Once you choose one, you will press "Enrol Me" (it's the blue button):

blue button

The lab will now appear on your dashboard with all your other Moodle courses:


screenshot desktop


Once you are enrolled in a Moodle page for the lab you want, go into the lab Moodle page and click on the "Sign-Up" survey. Make sure to answer all of the questions. You will need to know your First-Year English Instructor's name, so have that handy. Choose the lab workshops that you would like to attend:


sign up screen shot



That’s it! You are signed up. You will receive reminder messages about the lab you signed up for a day or two before the weekly workshops. 5 to 10 minutes before your session, you will enter the videoconference room on BBB. Please keep your camera off and mic muted at first. 

If you decide not to take the labs, simply unenrol from the Community Moodle page.

Trouble-shooting tip: If you find that the link to the labs (above) is not working for you, do this instead: 1) Log in to Community Moodle in a separate browsing window ( 2) Find the search function at the top of your screen on your dashboard, 3) search for "Writing Lab," and 4) look for the courses clearly marked with lab times and days that have our logo. Your Community Moodle log in is the same as your courses Moodle log in. 


More Frequently asked Questions

Where are the labs?
Spring 2024 Labs will take place ONLINE within Community Moodle as interactive synchronous (or "live") workshops. This means that you will need to be online during the lab in order to take part. After enrolling, you will log on each week 5 to 10 minutes before your lab time. 

Students must register before attending labs (see above). Registration for Spring labs is open January 5, 2024.

When are the labs?
In Spring 2024, eight labs run from January to the end of March. These eight labs are scheduled at different times and days of the week. Each lab is comprised of five workshops that take place each week at the same time for five consecutive weeks. Once you sign up for a lab, you can come to the five workshops at that time each week (or you can choose to attend however many or few workshops you like). To give students maximum flexibility, we have rolling start times throughout the semester. 

What do they cover?
Each lab covers five topics in five workshops over five consecutive weeks. All digital materials are provided and each workshop covers a lesson on the basic components of university writing. Every lab offers the same five workshops: Sentence Structure, Paragraphs, Using Quotations, Thesis Development, and Grammar.

How long are they? How many can I attend?
Each lab series, such as Lab A, contains five one-hour workshops that run at the same time for five weeks. Lab A and all the other lab series cover the same material in the same order just at different times. You can attend up to five workshops without repeating material. 

How can I sign up?
You will use Community Moodle to sign up. Please see above for instructions. Each lab time is limited to 25 seats, so sign up as early as you can to avoid disappointment. Seats are limited, so please only sign up for labs that you know you can attend.

What are the labs like?

Remote video URL

Contact or if you have any questions.