Taking courses online often involves a lot of writing, including reflections and discussions.

  • When writing a reflection, explicitly relate your thoughts and reactions to the text or lecture material to make sure people understand your references.
  • When posing discussion questions, aim for open-ended questions that are not self-evident and can prompt a variety of responses, starting a conversation or debate. Simple yes-or-no questions tend to shut down a discussion.
  • When answering questions, think about the why and back up your stance or perspective with course material or related examples.
  • When submitting anything, be sure to keep a back-up of any work you have uploaded. Technical glitches can happen and it’s important to keep an archive of your past work.

Some writing resources are linked below, along with a handout on getting over writer’s block.


Writing resources Where to find guidance for your learning
Apps and tech Technology to support your learning needs
Helpful services Additional services and resources at U of T
More information Further reading and related information

Writing resources

The University of Toronto Undergraduate Writing Centre offers advice on academic writing including planning and organizing essays, lab reports and literature reviews. 

Graduate students can receive writing support at the Office of English Language and Writing Support (ELWS).

If you are a professional faculty student, please visit Writing Centres in the Professional Faculities for information regarding your writing centre.

You may also find this handout helpful when dealing with writer's block.

Apps and assistive technology

We have used some of the apps and websites listed below, and others have come to our attention from students who have found them helpful.

Disclaimer: the University of Toronto does not officially endorse the apps and sites listed here, and  may not be held responsible for any technological problems that arise from their use. Please use at your own discretion.

Students with disabilities may receive academic accommodations including the support of assistive technologies. Please contact Accessibility Services for more information.

student texting