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Writing Centre for English and French Literacy

The Marianopolis College Writing Centre supports the improvement of English and French language skills of all students. Its services are free and it is located in I-306, a temporary space due to renovations.

Here are some ways in which the Writing Centre supports students:

  • Reading more effectively
  • Overcoming writer’s block
  • Organizing an essay
  • Writing introductory, body and concluding paragraphs
  • Writing thesis statements
  • Self-editing, revising and rewriting essays that teachers have marked
  • Writing effective sentences
  • English grammar theory and application
  • French grammar theory and application


The Writing Centre is not a proofreading service. English professionals examine a sample of student work to point out the types of language errors a student makes. They also provide theory and practice to improve a student’s language skills. They do not proofread assignments nor do they write or otherwise suggest content.

While the Writing Centre provides support in all aspects of grammar, reading and writing, the Library provides help in research and citation styles. The College also offers a non-credit pre-college preparatory English course, Preparation for English College Studies (PECS), for high school students who will begin college studies in English.

How to get help at the Writing Centre

Any student may visit Writing Professional Suzanne Daningburg to discuss their individual situation and decide upon the best means of improving their English language skills. Dr. Daningburg’s office door (A-322) is almost always open; students may request an appointment in person or via a message in Omnivox.

Writing Centre services

Individual weekly sessions with the Writing Professional or an English monitor

Students who could benefit from guidance in English may request a series of appointments to reinforce their English language skills so that they can be more successful in their courses and the English Exit Exam. These sessions may include reading comprehension, grammar exercises, editing practices and error analysis.

Office hours for occasional help in English or French

Writing Centre staff are available to see any student without any appointment during office hours, which are posted outside A-322 and I-306.

Individual regular sessions with a French monitor

Students in certain French classes are automatically assigned a French monitor; for example, students enrolled in French 602-100, 602-LPW and 602-009 benefit from individual sessions with French monitors to supplement class instruction. Topics include understanding spoken and written French, pronunciation, grammar and spelling.

Individual weekly sessions with a French peer tutor

Students benefit from working together and, in peer tutoring, students help other students and learn from each other. Typically, both the tutor and the tutee establish goals at the beginning of the semester, with guidance from French teachers. Weekly sessions focus on areas most in need of French language support.

Independent study

Tip sheets on English grammar, reading and writing topics are available in the hallway outside F-314. Students may complete the exercises included in tip sheets and review their answers with an English monitor during office hours.

English Exit Exam preparation

Small group workshops provide additional focused support for comprehension, organization and expression evaluated in the Ministry of Education’s required English Exit Exam. Workshops are offered in the Fall semester. Individual help is offered in the Winter semester.

University application essay review

Writing Centre staff, along with Academic Advisors, review and comment on university application essays.

Support with math

Teachers may suggest that students who need help with pre-Calculus meet one-one-one with Mathematics Monitor Maria-Josée Bran Lopez. Students may also drop in during Activity Period or reach her via Omnivox. There are also workshops, usually at the beginning of every semester.

Writing Reflections

We often imagine that excellent academic writing happens easily for teachers and professionals. However, polished writing takes time and effort. The Writing Reflections project provides a glimpse into how Marianopolis teachers and staff consider and develop their prose and how they edit and re-write until it’s just right. Click on the names to read individual reflections:

English Teacher Andrew Burton; History and Humanities Teacher Dolores Chew; Academic Advisor Pauline Gregoire; English Teacher Jun Lin Khoo; Art History and Classics Teacher Rachel Levine; Humanities Teacher Wendy Richardson; Economics Teacher Victor Terekhov; Humanities Teacher Sarah Brand.

helpful  resources

English Exit Exam information from the Ministry
Purdue University’s online theory and exercises
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation’s online rules and exercises
The University of Ottawa’s online resources
The Grammar Girl’s friendly guide to grammar, punctuation, usage, and fun developments in the English language
Directory for English-language improvement 

Amélioration du français
Exercices interactifs pour le niveau collégial
Exercices sur le Québec
Exercices pour élèves de niveau 1
Autre banque d’exercices pour élèves de niveau 1
Pour élèves avancés
Pour la traduction de termes
Signets audio et video