The questions below are commonly asked by future students. You can also visit our "Stories" pages to hear what students have to say about our courses. Don't hesitate to contact an instructor in the Academic Writing Program if you would like more information about our program.


Academic Writing denotes the kinds of writing that are typical in scholarly settings in modern research institutiuons. Most obviously, academic writing is research writing — writing done to generate and to disseminate knowledge that is produced by research. 

Academic writing involves a number of genres and related sub-genres, most notably text-based forms such as monographs and journal articles published by members of the academy, as well as things like research proposals, grant applications, case studies, lab reports, and so on. For students, the research paper is likely the most significant of the research genres.

Writing 1000 has evolved as one way to address the different kinds of scholarly reading, writing and reasoning that students encounter as they begin their university-level studies and prepare to think and write in academic and professional contexts. 

Taking an Academic Writing course will help students recognize that writing clearly, concisely, and effectively is a valuable skill that, like any other skill, can be learned and improved. Writing 1000 addresses the wide-range of skills that students at the university-level need to develop to be successful academic readers and writers across the disciplines. The course typically includes theoretical lectures and practical exercises, and it focuses on sentence-skills (punctuation, grammar, common sentence errors, etc.), paragraph development, techniques of summary, analysis, persuasion, information literacy, and ultimately writing research papers, which includes instruction in citation, documentation, plagiarism, annotation, and so forth.

Most students find that taking Writing 1000 sooner than later is best. Students who take the course early in their academic program typically feel more confident in their writing and more comfortable working in the genres of writing that are typical in the modern research university.

The Academic Writing Program recommends that you take Writing 1000 in your first year on campus, if possible. Often students enjoy better grades and read and write more efficiently and effectively in subsequent courses due to their improved rhetorical and compositional skills.

The Academic Writing Program offers multiple sections of Writing 1000: Introduction to Academic Writing each term, including a limited number of sections each year in Summer Session I and Summer Session II/III.

The University of Lethbridge encourages the highest possible degree of interaction between students and faculty. One way to ensure this is possible is to offer small classes whenever we can. In the Academic Writing Program, classes are limited to twenty-seven students.

This enables instructors to create learning environments in which they are able to interact closely with individual students and their written work, the latter in the form of detailed feedback on student assignments.

Instructors in the Academic Writing Program also encourage students in Writing 1000 to make use of their Office Hours for further discussion of course content, assignments, and other questions related to rhetoric and composition.

As many of our students report, Writing 1000 is very helpful for students making the transition from high school or college to university-level reading, writing, and reasoning. Most obviously, we make clear how the university is a place where research is done, where knowledge-making and knowledge-dissemination are essential and unique features of research culture.

For new students with little or no experience in research reading and writing, the university might seem like a confusing and intimidating place. Writing 1000 helps students to both understand and successfully participate in the diverse and exciting knowledge-making activities of the disciplines in which they study. By emphasizing the close connections between thinking, reading, and writing in research culture, and by explaining the generic features of academic writing, Writing 1000 typically makes the transition to university smoother.