Welcome to the CAC: UVic’s Academic Writing/Learning Strategies Centre!

You are currently visiting our resources site. We also have a site hosted on the University of Victoria main website. You may also want to check out our spaces for Graduate Writing and Discipline-Specific Writing.

Visit us in the Library Learning Commons: offices 135 i-m

Winter 2023 programs

Are you wondering where to get personalized help with academic communication skills and learning strategies? We work with you one-on-one, offering advice on academic writing, reading, presentations, and learning strategies that you can apply to a variety of courses. This fall, appointments will take place in person or online, through same-day written feedback or real-time Zoom appointments.  

Whether you’re getting started with your assignment and need help understanding the instructions, or you’ve completed your draft and want to refine it, we’re here to help!  

On this page you will find information about:

Student Appointments (available every day!)

Students can self-book up to two 25-minute appointments for written feedback or to book an appointment either online or in person each week. For additional appointments, email the CAC manager. We offer tips and advice on the following: 

Academic writing skills

Getting started (understanding your assignment)

Prewriting and planning

Drafting, revising, and self-editing strategies

Reading skills

Reading strategically

Reading for research

Critical reading

Presentation skills




Speaking skills

Pronunciation of discipline-specific vocabulary

Communicating in groups

Other skills

Task perception

Goal setting

Time management

Stress reduction


Test preparation

English Cafe (ACCESS)

12 to 1pm, Wednesdays | January 11 to April 5 | Centre for Academic Communication

The Academic Critical Communication in English Seminar Series (ACCESS/English Café) is an opportunity for all UVic students with English as an additional language to improve their ability to read and communicate in English within an academic context. Participants will practice reading and discussion skills in a relaxed atmosphere, receive coaching on vocabulary use and pronunciation, and get tips for developing confidence with reading and speaking. No registration required. Please contact Madeline at caceal4@uvic.ca for more information. 

Grad writing room 

Interested in meeting with other UVic graduate students to “write alone, together” at the Centre for Academic Communication? Please reach out to Nancy at cacmgr@uvic.ca if interested.

“Learn About…” individual workshops, by appointment

Need a grammar refresher? Make an appointment for an individual “Learn About…” workshop  on the following topics:

  • Pronouns & agreement: Discuss sentences like “Each struggle/struggles with their/his/her agreement.” (Nancy; cacmgr@uvic.ca)
  • That versus which, or is it whose? Create smooth connections when writing adjective clauses! (Madeline; caceal4@uvic.ca)
  • Active/passive voice: Get tips on strategic use of active/passive voice in your sentences. (Gillian; eal1@uvic.ca)
  • Commas, semicolons, and colons: Enrich your punctuation toolkit through humorous examples! (Emily; cacpc@uvic.ca)
  • “A” or “The”? That is the question! Get all your questions answered about nouns, articles, and more! (Kaveh; eal2@uvic.ca)

Workshop Wednesdays (all welcome!) 

Revising and submitting academic work for publication, 1 to 2pm, March 1; https://uvic.zoom.us/j/97389771497  

Are you aspiring to publish an academic paper, thesis, or dissertation? Participants in this hour-long workshop will learn how to select a reputable journal, compose an effective cover letter, create a captivating abstract, and polish their manuscript for submission. No registration required. Contact Emily at cacpc@uvic.ca for information. 

Resubmitting, proofing, and promoting published work, 1 to 2pm, March 8; https://uvic.zoom.us/j/97389771497 

Are you aspiring to publish an academic paper, thesis, or dissertation?  Participants in this hour-long workshop will learn how to navigate copyright permissions, how to address reviewer feedback, how to track submissions for publication, how to publish for an academic career, and how to promote published work to increase its impact and reach. No registration required. Contact Emily at cacpc@uvic.ca for information. 

The literature review: How to organize, cite, and position yourself, 1 to 2pm, March 15; https://uvic.zoom.us/j/7451562018?pwd=MmdtRWlaei9kRnBCVjJLRWNqbkIvdz09 

The lit review is a common genre in academic writing. An effective lit review shows your reader you know the literatures surrounding your research and you can position yourself within the field. By the end of this one-hour workshop, you will be able to 1) describe two ways to start organizing your sources: matrix & map, 2) identify three ways to organize a lit review, 3 )identify an integral and non-integral citation, and 4) describe one strategy for inserting your own “voice” in your literature review This workshop is intended for graduate students, but everyone is always welcome! Contact Madeline at caceal4@uvic.ca for information. 

Self-editing strategies, 1 to 2pm, March 22; https://uvic.zoom.us/j/83175390648  

Wondering how to strategically polish a final draft? Join us for information about prioritizing sentences and grammar issues when making changes. Discover approaches and tools to streamline the self-editing process. Contact Nancy at cacmgr@uvic.ca for information. 

Online Resources

We have resources available to you 24/7 on our CAC website, our Brightspace site, and our graduate student community blog:  

  • Visit our resources for text handouts and short videos on popular topics, such as defining your thesis, writing strong paragraphs, and becoming an effective reader.  
  • Our CAC Online Brightspace is self-enrolling—once you are signed into UVic Brightspace, go to “Discover” in the top menu and find “CAC online.” Once you are in the site, explore multi-modal material about all types of academic communication plus resources just for graduate students.  
  • Our Graduate Student Writer’s Community blog publishes posts about the graduate student experience, many by graduate students (please consider writing a blogpost for us!). Check out the Dissertation Writers’ Resource tab for articles on many aspects of writing a thesis (not just for PhD students). 

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