GRADUATE STUDENT TESTIMONIALS:
As a doctoral candidate, I feel like I should know how to write already. I have been completing assignments, papers, a qualifying exam, and even a dissertation proposal on my own. However, when I sat down to actually write my dissertation, I was overwhelmed. Over the past semester, I have met weekly with my consultant, as we have worked our way through the first three chapters of my dissertation. All semester I have looked forward to meeting with her because I know that our time together will be productive, and move me forward as I work towards completing my dissertation. In addition to being a safe place for me to share my writing, I have also learned more about myself as a writer.
I am a Ph.D. student at the stage of writing my dissertation. This semester I have had weekly appointments at the Writing Studio with a Graduate Writing Consultant Extraordinaire! Some weeks, I send her a piece of writing to read; then, we spend our time together going over specific editing concerns. Other weeks, I come with a piece of writing that we read aloud and edit as we go. She has even helped me brainstorm ideas for organizing a new chapter. In each type of consulting, we are both active participants in the editing. We work hard and have fun, too! I always leave the Writing Studio grateful, encouraged by my progress, and inspired to go home and keep writing! I now highly recommend the Writing Studio to all of my friends who desire a better writing process and finished product!
Each week I look forward to the two hours I get to spend with my writing consultant. These sessions have become an integral part of my writing process. What she presses me to think about stays with me as I revise my writing on my own.
My consultations at the Writing Studio have been a valuable resource in writing my dissertation. The main focus of the work during the sessions was to clarify my wordings and ensure that I was not missing any logical steps in explanations. My consultant did a great job of pointing out areas that were unclear, and working with me to determine how to make the wording more directed.
I was very glad to be able to have multiple extended appointments with a consultant as I worked on my major area paper throughout the semester. It saved both of us time to not have to re-explain the content each session. I had more time to focus on organizing and prioritizing the material. Furthermore, it was useful to have somebody from outside my field relate his perceptions of the content. My familiarity with my project had led to explanations that were not always clear enough for a general reading audience. Reading it with a consultant helped me immensely, as he provided both helpful editorial and stylistic suggestions and needed motivation to get the hard work done.
I just wanted to express my thanks and gratitude for all the great work the Writing Studio has been doing. I applied to business schools in the fall and I was able to develop great products and I was eventually admitted to MBA programs at Harvard, Wharton, Stanford. Thanks for all the help!
The Writing Studio has saved my dissertation. For almost a year, I have had regular two-hour weekly meetings with my consultant to work through dissertation chapters. Sometimes we hash out ideas, sometimes we talk about broad-strokes global organization, but, for the most part, we slog through one paragraph, one sentence, at a time. I needed this attention to detail. I needed someone to sit down with me and think about very basic things like topic sentences, sentence style and clarity, thesis statements, and paragraph coherence. In the process of working through these basic writing principles, my ideas have become clearer, and I’ve finally discovered what my project is about and why it’s worth doing. I’ve rediscovered the confidence I once had in my writing.
Each week I came to the Writing Studio with a (fairly) specific sketch of how I wanted each chapter of my thesis to proceed, and from there we would then go about shaping the trajectory of my arguments. Each chapter had its own focus and sub-argument, but what my consultant really helped me to accomplish was connecting the sub-arguments of my chapters into an overarching claim for the whole project. She apprehended from the beginning that I had certain critical intentions for my project and so challenged me with questions that directed my attention toward areas where my critiques were weak or ungrounded in textual or historical evidence. Having another’s critical eye on my work during the writing process made me more conscious of how much more precise my writing needed to become in order to communicate effectively with an academic reading audience.
Extended appointments at the Writing Studio helped me to finish my dissertation on time. Thanks to my writing consultant, I now have a defense scheduled and will graduate in May. The consultant and I worked on two difficult chapters. My professor asked me to write a chapter that I had not envisioned for my dissertation. The chapter required me to complete a broad survey of literature. With the help of the Writing Studio, I improved this chapter by better introducing narratives. Overall, the sessions brought greater clarity to my project. We also worked on my final chapter as I attempted to tie up some loose ends. When I turned in the chapter, my adviser gave me positive feedback and only suggested a correction or addition here and there. I was very pleased to receive excellent help and suggestions from the Writing Studio at this critical stage in the process.
I would highly recommend the Writing Studio to anyone working on a dissertation. In fact, I would encourage advisers to make their students aware of this service. The Writing Studio helped me to alleviate fears and expedite the dissertation writing process.