Skip to Main Content

Academic Support


Writing Skills Tutoring

Free writing skills tutoring for RDP students.

Essay Basics Step-By-Step

Knowing how to begin can be overwhelming. These links break it down:

What is Academic Writing?
Academic writing is required in most college and university classes. Grammarly explains the basics of this writing style.

Understanding Assignments
​A step-by-step guide from Royal Roads University to help you interpret and understand your assignments.

Assignment Calculator
Enter today's date, the date your assignment is due, and the type of assignment you're doing (e.g., research essay) and this website designs an assignment schedule for you! Complete with writing links and advice. From the University of Waterloo.​

Brainstorming Techniques
You've researched your topic—now what? The University of Kansas Writing Center details some different ways to help you find and organize themes from your research.

Creating an Essay Outline
It's tempting to skip the outline, but don't! Making a good outline will keep you on track as you write. George Mason University shows you how.

Essay Structure: The Basics
Great advice from U of C Writing Support Services on a basic essay format and formulas for your body paragraphs. One of our most-used links.

Thesis Statements
U of C Writing Support Services offers step-by-step advice on how to write and evaluate your thesis statement, complete with useful examples and common mistakes.

Thesis Statement Development
Still confused about thesis statements? Use the "What," "How," and "So what?" test to boost your thesis writing skills. From the UCLA Undergraduate Writing Center.

Learn how to make a good first impression. EAP Foundation explains how to write a strong introduction.

Body Paragraphs
Your body paragraphs are the meat of your essay. Using the MEAL plan (Main idea, Evidence, Analysis, Link) from Duke University, you'll write strong body paragraphs and stay on track as you write.

Topic Sentences
Topic sentences guide your reader along from one idea to the next. Grammarly explains how to write masterful topic sentences for body paragraphs.

Do you struggle to wrap up your essay? Don't overcomplicate it! Walden University offers some simple tips.

Transition Words
Transition words and phrases help your reader see how your thoughts and ideas are connected. Are you using them when and where you should? The University of Waterloo Writing and Communication Centre breaks it down in one of our most recommended links.

Lab Reports
Writing for the sciences has its own rules. Trent University breaks down the essential parts of a lab report—introduction, methods, results, and discussion— and how to get the format and tone right.

Writing Anxiety and Writer's Block
Is anxiety about writing keeping you from starting? UNC at Chapel Hill offers advice on anxiety and writer's block to get you writing.

What is Plagiarism (And How to Avoid It)

Plagiarism occurs when you take another person’s words or ideas and claim them as your own.

The most common forms of plagiarism are:

  • copying or paraphrasing another author’s work without proper acknowledgement
  • using the ideas or lines of reasoning of another author’s work without proper acknowledgement
  • submitting work that someone else has written or substantially edited
  • submitting the same work for multiple courses without approval

List from RDP Student Misconduct: Academic and Non-Academic policy

Plagiarism has severe consequences, including failure, suspension, and expulsion. In college courses, you are expected to document your sources properly and consistently.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources. Commonly used citation styles include APA, MLA, and Chicago.

To learn more, see the RDP Library’s Academic Integrity guide.