By Jeff Low

To help students develop their skills and gain confidence in their academic performance, the Student Success Centre (SSC) and McMaster University Library present: Research and Writing Week.

Taking place from January 27 until January 30, the week will feature different workshops to help students with their biggest and scariest academic projects.

Jenna Storey and Mary McCaffrey, SSC academic skills program coordinators, want to reassure students that it’s normal to need academic support in university.

“Sometimes assignments seem scary because the expectations for a university paper are much higher than in secondary school,” shares Storey.

McCaffrey adds, “I still get scared of assignments, and I’m working on a PhD!”

Additionally, seeking support isn’t the same as admitting defeat. “Sometimes we need to have our ideas validated by an outsider to build our confidence. We can get stuck when we don’t feel like our ideas or skills are good enough,” McCaffrey shares.

In their experience working with students, the SSC academic skills team has identified that research and writing are common concerns for undergrads. Some questions that students ask and the SSC academic skills team’s expert advice include:

How do I properly integrate my sources?

· “We have workshops to help you do this, and you can also meet with a writing advisor.”

Why should I write an outline?

· “Outlines help us to write better-organized papers and convey more complex ideas.”

How can I find good scholarly journals?

· “Weigh each article using the CRAP test: Is the article current, relevant, authoritative and purposeful?”

Where can I find writing support?

· “Trained writing advisors from the Undergrad Writing Centre can support students’ writing skills and provide new insight into their assignments.”

For more support on these topics and more, undergrads are invited to celebrate the launch of Research and Writing Week with Motivation Monday on January 27.

From 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., students can meet with McMaster Library and Undergrad Writing Centre staff to receive assignment advice from both a research and a writing perspective. Snacks will be provided.

Other Research and Writing Week workshops include:

For the full Research and Writing Week schedule, visit

To register for the appointments or workshops, visit OSCARplus.


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