Student Information

Western Wellness & Well-being provides a variety of professional and confidential services to students needing assistance to meet their personal, social and academic goals.
All appointments are free of charge and can be booked in advance by calling 519-661-3030.

Located at Thames Hall (entrance at south-east corner of Thames Hall, across from Alumni Hall).

Academic Relief and Complaints

Students enrolled in a Writing Studies course click here for information about academic relief and complaints.

Academic Relief
Students seeking academic accommodation on medical grounds for any missed tests, exams, participation components and/or assignments worth (either alone or in combination) 10% or more of their final grade must apply to the Academic Counselling office of their home Faculty and provide documentation. Academic accommodation cannot be granted by the instructor or department.

Documentation shall be submitted, as soon as possible, to the Office of the Dean of the student’s Faculty of registration, together with a request for relief specifying the nature of the accommodation being requested. The necessary form and further information regarding this policy can be found at Student Services. The full policy is set out here.

Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to MentalHealth@Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help.

See Academic Calendar for more details.

If students have a complaint concerning a course in which they are enrolled, they must discuss the matter with the instructor of the course (in a course with teaching assistants, students must discuss the matter first with the teaching assistant, then with the professor in charge of the course). If students are not satisfied, they should take the complaint to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies. Students enrolled in a Writing Studies course click here.

Requests for exemption
Students who make a request for exemption from a University regulation must address the request, in writing, to the Office of the Dean of Art and Humanities.

Students may request academic relief with respect to grades on essays, tests, or final examinations.

Unless there is a procedural irregularity, relief cannot be adjudicated for other matters such as participation grades.

The first stage of the process is a discussion with the teaching assistant (if applicable), and then with the instructor of the course; the appeal must be made within three weeks of the date on which the assignment was returned to the class.

A formal request to appeal a grade at the departmental level must be made in writing; forms are available from the English and Writing Studies Undergraduate Studies Office. A request cannot be lodged without grounds, which may include questions of fairness or appropriateness of general grading practices.

The Chair of Undergraduate Studies will contact the instructor in order to ensure that a full discussion of the matter has taken place at the level of the instructor and the student. In the case of a final examination, the student is entitled to go over the examination with the instructor. For an assignment or test, the student must discuss the material in some detail with the instructor. The absence of a response from the instructor within two weeks during the fall and winter terms will be taken as agreement that jurisdiction in the matter has moved to the departmental level. During the summer term, if the instructor is unavailable, the request will normally be suspended as long as necessary. (This does not contravene the Senate deadlines given below; the grievance must be filed within the appropriate time limit.) If an instructor is unavailable for an extended period of time the request for relief will proceed.

Once the department has taken jurisdiction in a request for relief, it cannot return to the instructor. The Chair of Undergraduate Studies will consider the grounds given, and may arrange to have the assignment or examination re-read confidentially by another instructor who taught the course during the current year or in recent years, but who is not the student's instructor. For assignments, the student must submit the original work, but should also submit a clean copy for the second reader. The instructor should provide the original assignment.

If the grade assigned by the second reader differs from that given by the student's instructor, the Chair of Undergraduate Studies will discuss the grade with both readers. A grade on which any two of these three people (the instructor, the second reader and the Chair of Undergraduate Studies) agree will become the final grade for the assignment.

Deadlines for requests for academic relief against a final grade in a course are as follows:

January marks January 31
April/May marks June 30
Intersession marks July 31
Summer Evening marks August 31
Summer Day marks September 15
Spring/Summer Distance Studies October 15

A request for a change in grade will have one of three results: the grade may stand, or be raised, or be lowered. If students wish to proceed in their request for academic relief beyond this point, they should apply in writing to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.


There are many services and counsellors available at departmental, faculty, and university-wide levels. The first person to consult should be the individual instructor. The instructor knows the student best, can offer advice on services and resources within the university, has experience in problem areas which may seem unique to the student, and can intercede on the student’s behalf when and where necessary.

Program Director
If a problem involves an area larger than one course, the student should feel free to speak to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies or the Program Director:

English Studies - Professor Anne Schuurman, Chair of Undergraduate Studies
Writing Studies - Professor Jamie Johnston, Program Director
Film Studies - Professor Chris Keep, Program Director
Theatre Studies - Professor MJ Kidnie, Program Director
Medieval Studies - Professor Richard Moll, Program Director

Academic Counsellors
Students may also confer with the Academic Counsellor for the Faculty of Arts who can provide students with specific information about academic admission and progression when the student has not met normal requirements and prerequisites. If students have a problem which may prevent normal progression en route to a degree, they are encouraged to consult their Academic Counsellors, Room 2230, University College, 519.661.3043 or

Additional Resources
Academic Support & Engagement
Health and Wellness @ Western
Careers & Experience

Course Assignments - First-Year (1000-1999)

In 1000-lvl English courses, essays and written assignments will be worth at least 45% of the final grade; a class test and a tutorial grade (i.e. class participation) for sections with tutorials will be worth 10% each; and the final examination will be worth at least 30%. With permission of the instructor, a student may rewrite one essay in the first term to improve a mark to a maximum of 80%.

Course Assignments - Second-Year (2000-2999)

In 2000-lvl English courses, at least 60% of the final grade will be based on essays, written assignments and in-class tests and 30% of the final grade will be based on formal, scheduled exams. No individual assignment (essay or exam) will be worth more than 40% of the final grade. In 2000-lvl E-courses, no more than 7,000 (3500 for a 0.5 course) words of written work (excluding formal tests) will be required of each student.

Course Assignments - Third/Fourth-Year (3000-4999)

In 3000- or 4000-lvl E-courses, no more than 8,000 (4000 for a 0.5 course) words of written work (excluding formal tests) will be required of each student. There will be no more than one formal test in any particular essay course (excluding the final examination) without a proportionate reduction in the amount of written work.

No individual assignment (essay or exam) will count for more than 40% of the final grade.

In the first week of term, students will be informed of the way in which their final grades will be determined, and of the weight of the final examination.

If students wish to submit the same material in two different courses, they must obtain permission in advance from both instructors. If the student does not obtain such permission, the result will be a zero for the material which is submitted the second time.

Students are fully responsible for submission of essays. Students should also keep backup copies. Essays not submitted in class should be deposited in the essay box outside the English Department Main Office.

> Do not put essays under office doors.

> E-mailed essays will only be accepted with prior permission.

Assignments will normally be returned to the student within three weeks of their submission. Students will be informed of their term grades when their final assignments are returned.


This information is provided for your convenience by the Undergraduate Office. Please see the Academic Calendar for additional Undergraduate Sessional Dates.

Fall/Winter 2024-25

Fall/Winter Term classes begin: Thursday, September 5, 2024
Honours Thesis meeting: Friday, September 13, 2024
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Monday, September 30, 2024
Fall Reading Week: Saturday, October 12 - Sunday, October 20, 2024
Thanksgiving Holiday: Monday, October 14, 2024
Fall Term classes end: Friday, December 6, 2024
(final due date for all first-term half-course assignments)
Study Days: Saturday, December 7 - Sunday, December 8, 2024
Mid-year/Fall term examination period: Monday, December 9 - Sunday, December 22, 2024
Classes resume: Monday, January 6, 2025
Spring Reading Week: Saturday, February 15 - Sunday, February 23, 2025
Family Day: Monday, February 17, 2025
Honours Thesis Day: Friday, March 28, 2025
Fall/Winter Term classes end: Friday, April 4, 2025
(final due date for all course assignments)
Study Days: Saturday, April 5 - Sunday, April 6, 2025
Final examination period: Monday, April 7 - Wednesday, April 30, 2025
Good Friday: Friday, April 18, 2025
Easter Sunday: Sunday, April 20, 2025

Essay Tips and MLA Documentation

MLA Documentation

View the authorized The MLA Style Center here. A companion to the MLA Handbook, the site provides a host of free resources on how to document sources, set up your paper, and improve your writing.

Tips for Success as a First-Year Writer of University Essays

> As soon as you have your essay topics, choose your topic and begin reading the relevant material.

> Work out a rough outline and a tentative thesis at least a week or two before the due date, and consult with your teaching assistant and/or professor about your ideas. It doesn’t matter if the paper is only three pages long and you think you can write that much in a day. You may be on the wrong track entirely – leave yourself enough time to start again if you have to. Writing a successful university essay is harder than it looks!

> Write a draft of your essay and then leave it for a few days. What looks like brilliance in the heat of the moment may look less spectacular when you have some distance from it. Complete and print out (or upload to the course site) your final draft at least 24 hours before it is due. Instructors are not sympathetic to complaints that a printer is broken or that a student can’t figure out how to submit the paper electronically (as is required in some courses).

> If you have a medical or family emergency that makes it impossible for you to complete your essay by the deadline, visit the academic counsellor of your home faculty. They will let you know what documentation is required and when they have that documentation they will contact your instructor about extending the deadline.

> Think of becoming an excellent writer as a personal goal, rather than as something imposed on you by professors or programs. You have everything to gain by becoming effective writers capable of communicating ideas that are important to you. The university wants to help you achieve that goal: it is a key part of becoming a global citizen.

> Never, ever cheat on an essay. Plagiarism is a major academic offence. All instances of plagiarism will be reported to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies. Proven cases of plagiarism will result in a grade of zero for the assignment. Subsequent offences will result in failure for the course.


There will be a final written examination in all English courses numbered 1000 to 2999 (courses numbered 3000-4990 may also have an exam). The examination may take a variety of forms.

In courses with more than one section, the final examination may be common to all sections, but instructors have the option of setting individual examinations.

In courses not having final examinations, excessive absenteeism may be considered just cause for failure in the course. In all other courses, attendance regulations will be applied as specified in the university calendar. Students who are repeatedly absent from classes may be refused permission to write the final examination.

All requests for Special Examinations, Incomplete Standing, or Medical Accommodation must be presented by the student in writing to the Dean of their Faculty.

Special examinations are normally written at the University or an Affiliated College no later than 30 days after the end of the examination period involved. Arrangements for Special Examinations must be made BEFORE the beginning of the final examination period.

See Academic Calendar for more details.

Film and Video Policies and Production Guidelines

In certain courses that explicitly designate on their course outlines, a short film or video may be produced in lieu of a longer research paper. The attached are guidelines set forth by the Film Studies Program for the procedure and rules governing this assignment choice by a student. For the purposes of this document, “film” will designate either a film or (digital) video.

Film and Video Production Guidelines 

Below is an outline of policies and procedures that all Film Studies students must follow in shooting film/video and/or recording audio on university property, public property and private property.

Film and Video Release Form 


The Department of English & Writing Studies does not release final grades. All undergraduate grade reports will be available from the Office of the Registrar.

See Undergraduate Grading Criteria .pdf

Letters of Permission

We are happy to consider Letters of Permission for students to take courses abroad. However, we will not grant Letters of Permission for courses that are not officially administered by an accredited University and taught by a faculty member with an advanced degree their field. This means that in order to receive a Letter of Permission, your course must be part of the official timetable at that University and the instructor must have either a Master’s or PhD (or equivalent level degree), depending on their field. In order to have a Letter of Permission approved for the course you wish to take, you MUST provide us with the following documentation:
  1. A link to the University’s course listing in the course calendar showing a brief course description, and any prerequisites that apply;
  2. A link to the course listing in the University’s timetable showing that the course is being offered during the session in which you plan to take it;
  3. The course instructor's official listing (e.g., the faculty listing from the instructor’s home university);
  4. The number of contact hours (hours of official instruction - lecture hours; length and frequency of tutorials or labs, etc.) associated with the course;
  5. A link to the current course syllabus (if the current syllabus is not available, you may submit a link to the previous year’s syllabus but please make every effort to provide us with accurate and up-to-date information).
Please do not pay tuition or arrange travel and/or accommodation for a course until you receive official notice that your Letter of Permission has been approved by Western. We cannot guarantee approval in advance, even if that course has been approved in previous years.

Letters of Recommendation

Graduating students intending to apply for OGS [Ontario Graduate Scholarships], CGS [Canada Graduate Scholarships], and MA programs, should allow sufficient lead-time to meet deadlines (a minimum of two weeks is recommended).

Office Hours

Each instructor must post office hours (three hours per week) on the relevant office door. Students may see their instructors at other times by appointment.

Students who wish specific information about the nature and policies of a course in which they are or will be enrolled are encouraged to consult with the course instructor.


Plagiarism (the unacknowledged use of work that is not one’s own) is one of the most serious academic offences, since it involves fraud and misrepresentation. In plagiarizing, one is claiming another's words or ideas or data as one's own work, and thus misrepresenting material subject to academic evaluation. It is necessary, therefore, that plagiarism carry appropriate penalties. These are within the discretion of the Chair of Undergraduate Studies, but may include failure of a course or a grade of zero on an assignment, without the privilege of resubmitting it.

Students found guilty of a second serious offence will be expelled from Department of English and Writing Studies courses. Further action may be taken by the Dean's Office.

Plagiarism includes the use of any material generated by artificial intelligence programs or large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT, with the exception of those instances where they form part of the assignment instructions. Some instructors may ban outright the use of LLMs.

Students must acknowledge each printed or electronic source (including study guides such as Cole’s Notes, SparkNotes, and Internet materials) by author, title, date and place of publication, and page number if: (a) they quote from it directly; (b) they paraphrase its ideas; (c) they are conscious of any influence its ideas may have had on their own work. Every source (including websites) that students have consulted (whether they refer to it directly or not) must be included in a bibliography (Works Cited). Some instructors may require that students provide copies of material downloaded from the Internet.

It is not always possible to identify the sources of inspiration of one's own ideas with total accuracy. A reasonable and conscientious effort is all that is required. It is, however, entirely the student's responsibility to be aware of the nature of plagiarism. If students have any questions about plagiarism, they should ask their instructor. If students have any doubts about the documentation of their own essays, they should ask their instructor before the essays are due. Information about correct forms of documentation may be found in the MLA HANDBOOK, 9th edition (New York: Modern Language Association, 2021) and on Weldon Library’s Citation Guides webpage:

Aiding or abetting plagiarism is also considered a serious scholastic offense and is treated in the same manner as other instances of plagiarism. Any students who know their own work has been used improperly have a responsibility to inform the Department of that fact. Since honest students (by far the majority) are potentially affected by the actions of the dishonest few, some may choose to bring instances of plagiarism or other forms of cheating confidentially to the attention of the Chair of Undergraduate Studies.

All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for the detection of plagiarism. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between The University of Western Ontario and

See Academic Calendar for more details.


The following is a statement on prerequisites which has been mandated by the UWO Senate:

"Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.”

Term Work

The instructor for each section of each undergraduate English course will provide an explanation of the nature of the term work to students in printed form within the first three weeks of the term. This regulation does not preclude the administration of surprise assignments and quizzes, as long as the total number, approximate frequency, and value of such assignments are specified in the course outline.