First-Year Students

Dear First-Year Students,

Welcome to the Department of English! We're excited to have you, and we look forward to your time with us.
The transition from high school to university can be challenging and at times arduous. Taking English courses can be demanding, but taking English courses can also be extremely rewarding and enjoyable.

We created this website to support you in your transition. Below you will find a list of resources that you may find helpful. We highly recommend returning to these sources and reaching out whenever you feel you may need support or assistance.

First-Year Students

Starting this year, the Department of English will be offering The English Peer Mentorship Program. The program's goal is to create a fun and supportive space for first-year students within the department by helping you build connections with your peers, mentors, and faculty members.

You will have access to mentors who were in your shoes only a couple of years ago and can provide you with tips, tricks, and helpful hints on how to navigate your courses. We hope that the skills you learn and the relationships you build will help you succeed in your first-year English courses and beyond.

The mentorship program is open to students enrolled in ENG140Y, ENG150Y and the First-Year English Seminars. Meetings will be held weekly in September and then biweekly on a date and time determined by your group. The meetings will be led by the Lead Peer Mentor and Assistant Peer Mentor(s). Topics and activities will vary at the discretion of the group and may include informal workshops on strategies for reading and writing in English courses, library research, group discussions on topics of interest, meeting with faculty members and graduate students in an informal atmosphere, and other fun activities.

If you have any questions about the program, please send them to the Vanessa Andres, Undergraduate Advisor, at

Join us and share your love for literature while you:

• Build a support system and friendships with like-minded peers

• Explore ways to become a better communicator and critical thinker

• Develop academic strategies and study habits that are productive and learn how to avoid those that do not work

• Meet informally with teaching faculty and graduate students

• Develop strategies to manage the stress of the transition year

• Get your involvement recognized in the co-curricular record

Please note that limited spots are available, and we will be taking students on a first-come, first-served basis. Please come to initial meetings to secure your place in the program.

Are you enjoying your English courses? Would you like to meet like-minded students? Consider getting involved with the English Students' Union (ESU), which hosts academic programmes, career-planning events, social events, and other initiatives intended for first-year and upper-year students.

The ESU is also the primary liaison between English students and Department of English faculty and staff. You can contact them with questions or concerns about your English classes or the department. Later in the fall, the ESU will hold an election for its two first-year representative positions-if you'd like to become a voice for your peers and lead various events during the year that will encourage learning and enrich student experiences, consider running!

The English Student Union welcomes you to English courses with a video and a roundtable discussion on the joys and challenges of taking English first-year courses.

For more information about the ESU, visit or follow them on their Facebook and/or Instagram pages.

University of Toronto's "Advice on Academic Writing"



Using Sources

Types of Writing

University of Toronto's "The Transition from High School to University Writing"

University of Toronto's "How Not to Plagiarize"

University of Toronto's "Academic Integrity at U of T"

Tips on writing English papers:

Harvard Writing Center "A Brief Guide to Writing the Philosophy Paper"

Harvard Writing Center "A Brief Guide to Writing the English Paper"

UTSC "How to Write an Essay"

U of T Writing Advice "Writing About Literature"

Useful Books (Accessible Through Our Libraries):

Abrams, M.H., Harpham, Geoffrey. A Glossary of Literary Terms

Acheson, Katherine O. Writing Essays About Literature: A Brief Guide for University and College Students.

Baldwick, Charles. Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

Griffin, Kelley, Jr. Writing Essays About Literature: A Guide and Style Sheet.

MLA Handbook, ninth ed.

Advice on Academic Writing: Books on Writing in Specific Disciplines

Writing centres are an invaluable resource at the University of Toronto. With over fourteen centers across our campuses, we recommend you take advantage of them as you familiarize yourself with the process of writing essays in university.

Innis College Writing Centre, Innis College, Rooms 315 and 321

New College Writing Centre, Wilson Hall, Rooms 2045 and 2047

St. Michael's Writing Centre, Kelly Library Learning Commons

Trinity College Writing Centre, Trinity College, Academic Resource Centre, Room 3

University College Writing Centre, University College, Rooms 259E, 259F, and 259G

Victoria College Writing Centre, Online and telephone appointments only during the pandemic

Woodsworth College Academic Writing Centre, Woodsworth College, Room 214

Library Search Tips: A comprehensive guide that includes basic and advanced searching, searching to topic, finding peer-reviewed sources, and managing your search results.

Library Workshop Calendar: This calendar gives you an up-to-date list of upcoming library workshops, programs, and events.Chat with a librarian: Get help with your research, ask questions about the library.

Meet with a librarian: Book an in-depth virtual research meeting to get comprehensive help with your search.