The main service provided at the Writing Studio is the personal writing consultation, a fifty-minute interactive session in which you discuss your ideas and your writing with a trained writing consultant. The consultant can act as a sounding board for your ideas, or take a more active guiding role in helping you develop your ideas, arguments, or paper organization. Writing consultants focus holistically on your writing process, rather than offer a proofreading service.
The focus of a consultation session varies according to the individual writer and project; for example, consultant and writer may discuss strategies for clarifying and developing an argument, or they might address issues regarding structure, word choice, or even the visual display of quantitative information. Consultants will work with writers whether they are just beginning a project and determining its scope or whether they are working on final revisions. The Studio’s one-on-one services can help graduate students stay on schedule in pursuit of their academic goals.
Writing consultants may be graduates or undergraduates from any number of disciplines, which means that you may work with a consultant at a different level of study from your own, and with people inside or outside your own discipline. Each has its benefits—keep in mind that it may be especially beneficial to have to explain your ideas or your research to a trained consultant who is unfamiliar with your topic.
As a graduate student you may schedule one consultation session per week or walk in for one appointment per week. Appointments can be scheduled online or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, the Writing Studio also offers graduate students alternatives to the weekly 50-minute appointment:
For graduate students working on shorter projects (articles, conference papers, grant and fellowship applications, etc.), we offer one hour of reading prior to the consultation session, followed by a one hour session.
For graduate students working on dissertations or other long-term projects, we offer the following two types of extended appointments:
1. The writer provides material via email, and the consultant spends one hour reading prior to a fifty minute consultation session.
2. The writer and consultant meet for a two-hour session (including a brief break) without the consultant having read the writer's work beforehand.
Extended appointments MUST be arranged in advance via e-mail to email@example.com. A limited number of extended appointments are available each semester, and these are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
To arrange a series of extended appointments, an initial 50-minute session is required during which time the writer and consultant will discuss the project, determine the type of ongoing appointment most suitable to the writer and the work, and set goals for the series of extended sessions.
Graduate students working on comprehensive exams must provide evidence that their departments or committees allow them to receive assistance from the Writing Studio.
Consultations take place in the Writing Studio’s main location in 117 Alumni Hall (Monday-Friday 10am-4pm) and its satellite in 217 Commons Center (Sunday-Thursday 4pm-10pm).
Consider the following before your appointment:
- To make the best use of your time in the consultation, be sure to come with an agenda—a clear idea of what you want to attend to and accomplish.
- Please be open to conversation. Expect that we will ask you lots of questions about your work and about the choices you’ve made as a writer.
- Try to schedule your appointment leaving enough time to work on revisions afterward.
- Bring relevant materials (notes, a draft if you have one [even if it’s messy], etc.) to your session.
- Arrive on time, so that you can receive a full session of individualized attention. Try to arrive early if you need to print your work using VUprint (available on site). We’ll wait on you for 10 minutes, but after that, your session is available to anyone who walks in.
If English is not your primary language and you find yourself struggling with grammar, syntax, word choice, or other sentence-level issues contact the English Language Center Writing Workshop to schedule a one-on-one consultation.
Seeking assistance at the English Language Center does not prevent you from making an appointment at the Writing Studio where we are happy to work with you on any type of writing whether you are just beginning to develop your ideas or you are revising the structure or argument of a draft.