First Year Writing Labs

The First-Year Writing Labs are currently on hiatus for Summer 2020. Please check back here for updates about Fall 2020.

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 Labs 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, the labs focus on reviewing essay-writing skills in a series of modules. The labs 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 module’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.

Remote video URL

When are the labs?

Please check back here for updated info about Fall 2020.

How do I sign up?

To sign up for the labs, you will use Moodle. Click here to open up Moodle (you may be prompted to sign in).

You will see a list of writing labs on Moodle. Click on the one that works for your schedule. 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:


dashboard image


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. Choose the lab modules that you would like to attend:


sign up survey


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 session.

If you decide not to take the labs, simply unenroll from the 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 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.


More Frequently asked Questions

Where are the labs?
Labs are offered on the Richmond and Surrey campuses in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. In Spring 2020, nine labs run at different times from January to March.

Students must register before attending labs (see above). Registration begins the first week of class. 

What do they cover?
Labs cover five topics in five modules. Hand-outs are provided and each lab covers a lesson on the basic components of university writing. The topics differ for each lab: Sentence Structure, Grammar, Paragraphs, Thesis Development, and Using Quotations. There are also other labs available (we offer MLA labs in some of our Saturday pop-up days and a Using Quotations 2 lab in our condensed Saturday lab).

How long are they? How many can I attend?
Each module is one hour and 20 minutes. You may attend as few or as many unique modules as you like. The five modules will take place in two rotations as well as on "Pop-Up Days", so if you miss the first session or you discover later in the term that you'd like writing guidance, there will be labs available to help.

When do they start?
The first rotation of five labs starts in Week Three of the Fall 2019 semester. The second rotation starts in the end of October.

How can I sign up?
You will use 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 "Writing Lab Pop-Ups"?

Since many students can't commit to a weekly lab session, in Spring semester, we will offer Pop-Up Days (a day of four labs), Mini Pop-Ups (two labs), and a Condensed lab that meets for three Saturdays in a row. Students can sign up to attend several labs in one day. If you have already signed up for a weekly lab time, you do not need to sign up for the same topics during Pop-Up Days or Mini Pop-Ups.

Contact or if you have any questions.