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Writing Centre

The Writing Centre at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design is a resource for all Daniels students seeking assistance with academic writing, research, and related academic skills.

The Writing Centre currently offers consultation-based writing instruction. Consultations may involve a wide range of approaches to academic thinking, research, and writing, including (but not limited to):

  • Creative and critical thinking
  • Idea-generation exercises and tools, including mind-maps, outlines, dictionaries, thesauri, web searches, and a variety of word play and other experimental methods
  • Analysis of design, culture, historical topics, texts, etc.
  • Review of readings, assignment sheets
  • Review of composition elements, such as the thesis, the topic sentence, etc.
  • Discussion of research methods
  • Conversation and transcription
  • Discussion of grammar and syntax

Winter Hours

The Daniels Writing Centre has expanded its hours for the winter session!

Drop-In Hours are Monday-Friday 4-5 pm in room 105. A sign up sheet (3 slots) will be posted at 11 am each day. 30 or 50 minute reserved appointments are also available Monday - Friday.
The online booking system is https://awc.wdw.utoronto.ca

Questions may be send to writing@daniels.utoronto.ca

We recommend scheduling several appointments in advance according to your assignment deadlines.

NOTE: The Writing Centre is now located in Room 105

A Note on Language
In the study and practice of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and the visual arts, language takes on many shapes, from scholarly books and articles, to public presentations, competitions and client proposals, city plans, fee letters, site specifications, exhibitions, and even legal proceedings. In other words, language is used a great deal, in a great deal of different modes and genres. Honing your writing and speaking skills as a student is therefore important to your development, whatever your professional goals.

Writing in Architecture

As both a profession and an intellectual discipline, architecture has a unique place within the institution of the university (though it shares affinities with other professional faculties). Generally, theory concerns the architect, when at all, in view of its possible applications. As a result, academic and professional research may take the form of a learned book or article, but it may just as easily manifest itself in a competition success, a built project completed, or the launching of an exhibition of works on paper. Historically, this has posed challenges to the evaluation of architectural research within the university. Similarly, it has made both the form and the function of writing practice within the discipline somewhat obscure to outsiders -- and, on occasion, to those within the discipline.

Writing in Practice and Writing in an Architecture Faculty

In the profession, architects do a great deal of writing, not to mention speaking. It is the chief medium for interaction with non-professionals -- clients, contractors, etc. Typically, however, this writing is a supplement to the design process itself. Perhaps regrettably, competence in these work-a-day writing genres is not something architects generally acquire via their academic training.  The writing genres in which student architects do participate generally fit into one of two categories. The first sort of writing more closely resembles what one finds in Arts and Science disciplines. As in those disciplines, research papers, case studies, and examinations serve to test the student's knowledge of a given set of written materials. The second category occupies a more nebulous place within an architectural curriculum. It is comprised of the various sorts of writing that students employ to critically refine ideas that they are pursuing in their studio work.

Writing as a Design Medium

One of the challenges faced by students attempting to use writing effectively in their design process is the lack of clear conventions governing writing in this context. This writing is distinguished from more typical forms of academic address by the following features: its promissory or future-oriented rhetoric (I tend, I propose, I will do, etc.), its integration with other representational forms (diagrams, photographs, drawings, etc.), its fragmentary and/or provisional nature, and its orientation towards other-and more final-forms of production.

The first step to effective writing in any context is understanding that context and what it is asking of you as a writer.

All other inquiries may be emailed to writing@daniels.utoronto.ca

U of T Resources:

Academic Skills Workshops

English Language and Writing Support for graduate students

Academic Success Centre

English Learning Program

Centre for International Experience