library2On this site you will find 8 interactive lessons that, together, cover the cores skills of first-year academic research and writing. These digital lessons approach this topic with a practical and interactive focus. The lessons are example-based, and instructors and students will find lots of models and practical activities for skill-building.
The lessons are presented here in two groups:

  1. Library Lessons: focus on critical thinking, readings, and writing skills
  2. Gym Lessons: emphasize the practical mechanics of writing and documentation

Go to the Library for these four lessons:

Study Room 1: Critical Reading and How to write a summary
Study Room 2: Critical Thinking and How to write a critical comparison
Study Room 3: Research skills and How to write an annotated bibliography
Study Room 4: Synthesis skills and How to write a synthesis paper


Go to the Gym for these four lessons:

Boot Camp 1: Developing a writing process
Boot Camp 2: Writing effective paragraphs and sentences
Boot Camp 3: Documenting research material
Boot Camp 4: Developing global editing strategies


These eight lessons are open education resources. Designed to be mixed and remixed by users for customized use, these lessons could be kept together as the core text for a course or applied individually as supplementary practice. You could also simply search through the lessons and pick out any specific resources and activities that might be useful for you.
All we ask is that you attribute the material you find here to TRU-OL.


If you are taking a course in academic writing, or just want to brush up on your skills, you will find many examples modelling specific writing techniques and types of assignments. You will also find many practical activities to practice writing, editing and documentation skills.


As noted above, the eight lessons offered in this digital workbook could be used as stand-alone resources for an introductory course in university writing. The eight lessons are linked together using a shared theme. The theme for the lessons is understanding the digital experience. The materials are all linked in some way to this larger question of how digital technologies and experiences affect how we think and interact with each other. In addition, the study room lessons are linked, as they work with the same articles in the progression of writing skills from summary, through comparison, to synthesis of multiple sources.
Despite the links, however, the lessons can all be used independently. For example, if you would like a lesson on writing an annotated bibliography, Study Room 3 provides an interactive demonstration and modelling of this process. Students would not need information from the previous study rooms to complete this lesson.
Perhaps, most importantly, instructors might want to mine these lessons for smaller pieces. The practical activities in the lessons could be re-applied in any context, and don’t have to be used with the given theme and examples. Each lesson includes a variety of interactive activities that developed isolated skills related to academic reading and writing and we encourage instructors to pick and choose from within the lessons, as well as between them, to meet their needs.