What to expect at your appointment
During your 50-minute appointment, you will meet one-to-one with a trained writing consultant. You should expect the session to be very interactive, as your consultant will engage you in conversation about your ideas and writing. Consultants serve as supportive and effective readers and help you to think about big-picture concerns like structure, argumentation, and clarity. Often, consultants also suggest or initiate writing exercises and activities to help you with specific writing strategies and revision. Keep in mind that the goal of an appointment is not only to help you with a particular assignment, but also to strengthen your writing skills. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t address every concern in a 50-minute session. Becoming a better writer happens over time and with continuous practice. Think of each session at the Writing Studio as an opportunity to develop some aspect of your writing skills.
What to bring to your appointment
Wherever you are in the writing process, come prepared to discuss your writing project. If you make an appointment for help with brainstorming, for example, do the appropriate reading and gather all related materials or notes on your topic and assignment. If you are working on a draft, bring it in whenever you feel stuck or want feedback. And if you have a final draft, come with an understanding that your consultant might suggest strategies for further revision.
Consider the following as you prepare:
- Try to schedule your appointment leaving enough time to work on revisions afterward.
- Try to identify specific questions, concerns, or issues that you would like to discuss.
- Bring relevant materials (your assignment, books, essays, 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 50 minutes of individualized attention. Try to arrive early if you need to print your work using VUprint. We’ll wait on you for 10 minutes, but after that, you session is available to anyone who walks in.
- 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.
Consider doing the following during your session:
- Feel free to take notes. Write down specifics that emerge from the conversation, including ideas, plans for reorganization or clarification, or possible thesis statements. This may help jog your memory and save you time when you get back to working on your paper.
- At the end of the session, review with your consultant what you have accomplished in the meeting and what you need to do next. Verbalizing remaining goals can help you clarify tasks and regain focus when you return to your work.
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.
Another resource for ESL students is low-cost English classes for non-native English speakers offered by the BRET Office of Postdoctral Affairs. Classes are taught by the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute and the cost is $96 for the series of classes. For more information and to register, please contact Claudia Cottingham.
Writing Studio and Center for Student Professional Development Joint Statement
The Center for Student Professional Development and the Writing Studio both work with students on developing professional materials.
Writing Studio consultants are primarily available to work with students on:
- personal statements
- cover letters
- resumes used for graduate and professional (excluding law) school applications, scholarships, and fellowships
*Although the Writing Studio is happy to help you express items in your CV, we strongly encourage you to work with a faculty advisor concerning the content.
The Center for Student Professional Development staff are primarily available to work with students on:
- resumes used for applying for opportunities in a specific industry including full-time and internship positions
- general resumes
- resumes to pursue post graduate professional opportunities
- cover letters that are attached to a resume*
*It is best if students first complete the ICAP/Coaching Assessment process and have established a relationship with a Career Coach in their targeted industry in order to receive critical feedback.
Resumes used for law school applications will be critiqued by Klint Alexander, Director of Pre-Law Advisory Office. Email your resumes to email@example.com.
If you are beginning the process of developing a resume, both the Center for Student Professional Development and the Writing Studio encourage you to utilize the Optimal Resume tool on the Center for Student Professional Development web site and/or attend a Center for Student Professional Development resume writing workshop specific to your industry interest. Resume workshops and other relevant events are listed on the Center for Student Professional Development home page.