Two Ryerson resource centres have come together to launch a new online tool that will help struggling students write a successful research essay.

The library and the university’s Writing Centre are working on the joint project that will allow students to access their print resources online. It will launch in Fall 2014.

“The writing center and library realize that students need someplace online to turn to,” says interim e-learning librarian, Kelly Dermody. “We want to make them feel comfortable about writing their first paper at university.”

The tool will provide an interactive experience with modules that teach students where to find sources, the basics of proper time management and how to write as well as edit their final product.

Students will be able to complete the whole online package in about 45 minutes, but there is also the option to pick and choose which module they want to complete. Each chapter can take about 5-10 minutes to finish.

“If they’re stuck in the middle of the night and need to refresh on how to do a citation page we offer an authoritative and trustworthy site,” says Dermody.

The university noticed that other schools offered online resources and tools that students could benefit from, Dermody says. The writing tool, for example, was inspired by York University’s Spark tool.

In addition to this tool, the library also offers an assignment calculator available on their website, which allows students to create a step-by-step plan to finish their course assignments.

The calculator is already available online, but this easy-to-use infographic timeline with helpful links will ensure essay success. Follow the steps of an average research essay with a two-week deadline, measured with the assignment calculator.

Lauren is a journalism graduate from Ryerson University. She has an interest in sports, holistic fitness and human rights.