Grow Your Writing Style

The Nature of Writing is a classic writing guide that provides detailed lessons on everything from identifying parts of speech to crafting a quality research essay. With hundreds of videos and exercises, we give you all the tools to succeed in high school and university.
Welcome to The Nature of Writing, a writing guide for anyone who would like a little help with their writing.

We want you to experience something of the beauty and complexity of language, so that you can take pleasure in an apt word, an elegant turn of phrase, or a polished essay.

Our goal is to help students (and teachers) achieve a higher standard of writing. If we struggle with language, our thoughts and ideas will also lack complexity. Improving literacy is therefore the first step in improving our ability to think on a higher level.

Yet writing is about more than learning a few rules. The rules act like the lines on a colouring page, or a frame around a painting. They set limits and create order, but they are not the picture itself. In the same way, the best writing seems natural: we no longer notice the frame. Finding that balance between spontaneity and order is something we’ll help you to achieve.


Dr. Conrad van Dyk is Professor of English at Concordia University of Edmonton (Canada). In 2020, he was awarded Concordia's top recognition for outstanding teaching (the Judith C. Meier Teaching Award). Mentoring students is his passion, which is why he created The Nature of Writing as a more engaging and affordable writing guide. Dr. van Dyk has also published in the areas of medieval literature, children's literature, and twentieth-century fiction. He is currently working with a colleague on a book about G. K. Chesterton. As for hobbies, he like to do some creative writing (check out his children’s podcast “Sophie and Sebastian”), spend time gardening, play boardgames (not the Monopoly type), enjoy the outdoors, and spend time with his wife and kids.   

Why Our Guide?

Wondering what makes us stand out? Here are some of the advantages of using our writing manual.

110+ Exercises

Not only do we provide more exercises than most guides, but our questions range in difficulty, providing multiple levels of challenge. 

Interesting Examples

We like to be creative with our examples. From interesting facts to humorous observations, we revel in the possibilities of language.

120+ Videos

We'll walk you through the concepts step by step, paying special attention to any exceptions to the rule.

Based on Experience

Created by an award-winning educator with over 15 years of experience at the post-secondary level, this guide addresses student needs.


We know textbooks are overpriced. Not ours. A year's access to our writing guide is just $20 Canadian. 

Discounts Available

Sign up your class and get a 10% coupon code for your students.
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Try a Demo

Want to try out our writing guide? Then enroll in our demo course and access select lessons and exercises.

Our Courses

In addition to our core writing guide, we offer numerous free courses.
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Free Teacher's Trial

In addition to our student guide, we also provide a separate teacher's guide, with additional test banks and features. For more information, please visit our overview page or check out our detailed documentation.
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Special Thanks

We gratefully extend our thanks to Concordia University of Edmonton for providing institutional grant funding to help with website development and design.
CUE students receive free access to our complete writing guide. See here for more details.
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