Things I look for in a paper or report:


In general for papers and reports:

         I expect the paper and reports to be well-written, well-organization and easy to follow. It should flow easily from one point to the next.

         Both papers and reports should have proper sentence structure, spelling, vocabulary and grammar. Each point should be articulated clearly and completely without being overly verbose.

         They should demonstrate your understanding of the topics you are studying in the course and your confidence in using the terms, techniques and issues you have learned.


For reports, I will also expect that each of the pre-specified sections will be included and sufficient detail provided for the reader to understand the information being reported.


For papers, I expect the main point, thesis or debate in the essay to be clearly stated and well argued. There should be a suitable number of points or arguments made and they should be presented in a logical order. For papers that include a debate, it should be clear which side of the discussion you (the writer) are taking and you should provide evidence to support your reasons for taking that side. For other arguments or points you are making, the background research you reference should sufficiently support the arguments put forward. As always, references must be properly included and cited (see Writing Resources below).

In general, you should be creative, critical, bold, provocative, strong and confident in your ability to make your point(s), sufficiently argue your point(s), and generally in your ability to contribute to the learning and engagement of your readers. The best way to gain confidence in your ability to make a point, argue it sufficiently, and make a contribution with your writing is to practise and then practise again. An excellent place to practise is in your professional masters program and courses like this one.


The number of pages or words and other details about font size and formatting requirements will be vary depending on the assignment and will be included in the assignment instructions.

Writing Resources:

In all of the assignments, you must cite sources appropriately. See: for guidance on citations.

The following resources can help you ensure your writing is effective and conveys your points clearly:

Please also review these University of Toronto sites about how to avoid plagiarism: