Writing Courses at the University of Toronto

Much of the writing you will do at the University of Toronto has been carefully integrated into courses that focus on disciplinary knowledge rather than on the process of writing. But the University of Toronto also provides a wide range of writing courses, both credit and non-credit, designed specifically to help you develop your writing skills.

Undergraduate Credit Courses and Programs

There are several options for undergraduate students interested in taking a composition course:

  • The English department on the St. George campus offers two courses on composition. ENG100H1 (Effective Writing) provides practical tools for writing in university and beyond. JEI206H1 (Writing English Essays) teaches students who already write effectively how to write clear, compelling, research-informed English essays. For more information, see the Arts and Science calendar entry under English.
  • TRN190Y (Critical Reading and Critical Writing) is a first-year seminar course offered at Trinity College.
  • TRN478H1 (Science Writing for Non-Scientific Audiences) aims to train senior-level science students in a wide range of writing genres, focusing on a diversity of non-scientific audiences and writing styles.
  • Students at Scarborough may enroll in ENGB05h2 (Critical Writing about Literature). Visit the UTSC calendar for details.

Students may take courses in the following three college programs:

  • Innis College’s minor in Writing and Rhetoric reflects the belief that strong skills in critical thinking and written communication are central to a liberal education. It is built on a foundation of long-standing Innis courses in academic and creative writing and on more recently mounted courses in professional writing, rhetoric, and media.
  • Victoria College’s minor in Creative Expression and Society has two components: (1) workshop-style courses allowing students to develop skills in creative expression and communication, and (2) courses encouraging students to analyze the relationship between creative arts and society.
  • U of T at Mississauga offers a minor and major program in Professional Writing and Communication. The program aims to cultivate flexible, reflective writers/editors in small, interactive classes. It encourages students to develop writing portfolios and to publish work they produce in their courses.

Undergraduate students interested in developing their skills in creative writing may choose from a variety of course options:

  • The department of English in the Faculty of Arts and Science offers three credit courses in creative writing, ENG389Y (Creative Writing) and ENG391Y or ENG393H (Individual Studies, Creative). Look under English in the Arts and Science fall/winter timetable for further information.
  • Victoria College offers a number of workshop-style courses that focus on writing poetry, short stories, and novels as part of its program Creative Expression and Society.
  • The Writing and Rhetoric Program at Innis Colleges offers a seminar course in fiction writing.
  • Students planning to enter first year in the Faculty of Arts and Science may apply to enroll in the Innis One course INI102H (Telling the Stories of the City: Writing Creative Non-Fiction).
  • U of T at Scarborough offers a variety of courses on creative writing structured around workshops.

Engineering Courses

Communication is integrated into the engineering curriculum through first-year courses that establish foundations in design and communication and through upper-year courses in each department that develop the specific communication demands of those fields. Those interested in specific course offerings can refer to the academic calendar for departmental course offerings or to the Engineering Communication Program homepage.

School of Graduate Studies Non-Credit Courses

The Office of English Language and Writing Support (ELWS) has set up a wide range of free non-credit courses for graduate students. They offer practice and instruction in the types of oral and written communication done as part of graduate programs. Some courses are intended specifically for non-native speakers of English. Look at the course descriptions for the full range of courses that are offered. Check to see what is currently being offered, or look at the course schedule for the entire academic year. Choose the course that best suits your needs, and sign up fast — spaces are limited! Or attend an ELWS Writing Intensive, which provide you with¬† a dedicated time and space for intensive writing.

Graduate Work in Creative Writing

The Department of English offers an MA program in English in the Field of Creative Writing. The program draws both on the expertise of faculty at U of T and on Toronto’s writing community.

Credit Courses in English Language

U of T at Scarborough’s Center for Teaching and Learning offers credit courses that are specially designed for university students whose first language is not English. All courses require the permission of the instructor.

Non-Credit Courses in English Language

The English Language Learning Program (ELL)  offers an intensive, non-credit, 8-day course focusing on scholarly reading, academic writing, critical thinking, listening, and oral presentation is offered in late summer and spring.

The Office of English Language and Writing Support (ELWS) offers non-credit courses aimed specifically at graduate and undergraduates students in their respective faculties.

Certificate Courses

The School of Continuing Studies offers a wide array of certificate courses both to U of T students and to the wider public on business communication, creative writing, and English as a second language. Discounts on part-time English Language Program courses apply to U of T students and postdoctoral fellows.