Guiding Principles


Our mandate is to:

  • Support the continuous learning and development of students, staff, and faculty in academic and professional writing, speaking, and visual presentation.
  • To facilitate the production and publication of written scholarship.
  • To ground our teaching practice in research on writing, rhetoric, composition, and language acquisition.
  • And to contribute to the broad fields of writing studies and teaching/learning scholarship.


As a hub of research and expertise, the Writing and Communication Centre will foster excellence in written, spoken, and visual communication within the University of Waterloo community.


The Writing and Communication Centre engages, encourages, and empowers members of the University of Waterloo community to better articulate ideas while meeting the varied expectations of their disciplines and vocations.

To achieve our mission, we deliver timely and focused individualized teaching at all stages of the composition process. We help students, staff, and faculty:

  • Synthesize, integrate, and share best practices in communication
  • Experience their work as others do
  • Support and promote a lively, cross-disciplinary writing culture on campus and online
  • Develop skills and strategies that last a lifetime

Our Teaching Philosophy

Teaching is core to the work of the Writing and Communication Centre. We teach in a variety of contexts and modes and through a variety of activities. The following principles outline the values and commitments that are at the centre of our teaching practice.

Students, staff, and faculty are our partners in learning. 
Our teaching is individualized and collaborative. We work alongside writers and speakers to help them see how their audience receives their work, to introduce new strategies, and to build confidence and competence. We provide our learning partners with information and choices, but each person is always the decision-maker over their own work. 

We are committed to equity, access, and inclusion.
We are committed to teaching strategies that respect diverse abilities and racialized, Indigenous, religious, gender, and sexual identities. We help students navigate questions about the relationship between language and identity. We aim to provide barrier-free access for all students and community members by offering services in multiple sites across all University of Waterloo campuses, and by paralleling, where feasible, services online.

Language and communication are connected to students’ identities.
We recognize that language is intimately connected to identity and equity, and we are committed to advancing and supporting writers’ and speakers’ rights to engage with their language(s) on their own terms. We acknowledge that there are multiple, valid Englishes, and our teaching practices value students’ agency by empowering and supporting their rhetorical and language choices. 

Writing and communication happen in a global context.
We regard multilingualism as an asset in the learning and writing process. In a global context, speakers of all languages, including English, must learn to communicate across cultures and fluencies as speakers and listeners, writers and readers. 

Writing and communication are not separate from other disciplinary work.
Writing and communication are part of research, discovery, knowledge creation, learning, and critical thinking. In our teaching practice, we encourage people from all disciplines to see writing and communication as integrated with their research, learning, and scholarship activities. 

Writing and communication are social, meaning-making activities.
In all communication, meaning is negotiated between people. By analyzing the conventions of genres and discourses and by serving as an audience for writers and communicators, we make the contexts of communication explicit. We emphasize that writing and composing are iterative processes that are part of meaning-making. 

We are committed to continuous learning and improvement.
We value teaching as a reflexive practice. Together, as professional and student staff, we are committed to ongoing improvement by sharing and integrating current research in rhetoric, composition, communication, teaching and writing centres.

Our service commitment


The Writing and Communication Centre is committed to excellence in our service to the UWaterloo community. Our approach to service is student-centred and guided by the WatSEE Framework for student engagement and experience. We strive to be responsive and collaborative partners with students, faculty, staff, and our campus partner units. Through our teaching and service values, we are committed to equitable and accessible service. [Our Teaching Philosophy Statement guides our teaching praxis.]* 



Our work respects students as holistic learners with diverse identities, lived experiences, and language practices. By centering antiracist and socially-just pedagogies and by working to support student well-being, we strive to create in-person and virtual spaces for composing and learning where students have agency and power and feel they belong. We commit to continuous learning about and deepening our practices of equity, diversity, and inclusion. 


We aim to provide barrier-free access to our services and programs for all students by implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles in our processes and teaching. By respecting students as experts on their own learning, we will deliver individualized teaching and support in a range of modes and formats that suit students’ diverse learning needs and contexts.  


We are proud to be partners in students’ learning. As such, our services, programs, and activities are guided by student needs and preferences, and we seek student input and feedback for continuous improvement.  

Supporting the Campus Community 

We strive to be active contributors and collaborators within our campus community. The WCC works in partnership with other academic and support units to cultivate a vibrant writing and communication ecosystem and culture.  


A Working Space for Students 

An in-person communal writing and tutoring space is available in South Campus Hall during regular university office hours, Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm. We invite students to use this space to work, create, and access support.  

Flexible Appointment Formats 

We aim to have appointments available when and where students need them. Appointments are held in-person, virtually, or via email, with daytime, evening, and weekend options.  

Multimodal Programming 

WCC programs and workshops are delivered in in-person, hybrid, and virtually. Asynchronous workshops and online resources can be accessed through our website any time students need them.  

Inquiries, Input, and Feedback  

We will respond to emails and messages from students, staff, and faculty within two working days. All members of the campus community are invited to provide input and feedback anytime. 

Writing and Communication Centre  

Strategic Plan (2018-2023)

We are proud to share our Strategic Plan with our University of Waterloo community. Please make sure to check out our Strategic Plan 2018-2023 web page for more information, including the complete PDF document.

What you can expect when you come to the WCC (video)