At the Writing Studio, you will meet with writing consultants who are trained to discuss any writing project at any point in your writing process. Appointments begin on the hour and typically last for 50-minutes.
What to expect
We believe that all writers benefit from conversation about their writing. Expect your one-to-one meeting with your writing consultant to be very interactive. Your consultant will engage you in conversation about your goals for the session, your purpose in writing, and your ideas. Consultants are supportive readers who want to help you think about concerns like structure, argumentation, and clarity of expression. Keep in mind that the goal of an appointment is both to help you with a particular piece of writing and to contribute to the development of your writing skills overall. To reach that goal, consultants might ask you questions, suggest specific writing strategies, or initiate writing activities to help you generate or revise text. Since appointments are only 50-minutes long, you and your writing consultant will have to prioritize concerns you bring to the session.
Becoming a better writer happens over time and with continuous practice and conversation. Think of each session at the Writing Studio as an opportunity to work on at least one aspect of your writing.
How to prepare
Wherever you are in the writing process, come prepared for conversation. If you make an appointment for help with brainstorming, for example, think about your reading and research thus far. If you are working on a draft, think ahead about which aspects of the paper you would like to discuss; it can be very helpful to talk about your ideas while you are in process of formulating them. If you have a final draft and a close deadline, come with an understanding that your consultant might point out opportunities for further revision while also helping you finish on time.
- SCHEDULE EARLY. Appointments fill up quickly, so plan ahead, especially during midterms and finals. Try to leave yourself a buffer after your appointment to work on your writing before it is due.
- BRING RELATED MATERIALS. Do you have an assignment sheet? Research findings or texts that you are analyzing? Reviewers’ comments that you need to consider? Bring what seems most relevant to you. You are welcome to arrive early to use VUprint.
- THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED. Identify specific questions, concerns, or issues that you would like to discuss with your writing consultant. If you are confused or stuck, don’t worry. We can help you figure out what to discuss.
How to make the most of your session
- BE ON TIME. Appointments start on the hour and end at 50-minutes past the hour. If you are running late, we will wait on you for 10 minutes past the hour, but after that, you session will be made available to anyone who walks in.
- JUMP IN. Ask questions as you have them and say what’s on your mind so that you and your consultant can be clear about how best to proceed.
- BE OPEN TO CONVERSATION AND CRITIQUE. Expect that your consultant will ask you lots of questions about your work. The more you are willing to dialogue about your ideas, the more we are able to help you achieve your goals.
- WRITE. Take notes or write down specifics that emerge from the conversation, including ideas or plans for reorganization or clarification. This may help jog your memory and save you time when you get back to working on your own.
- REVIEW. At the end of the session, take a minute to say what you have accomplished in the meeting and detail what you need to do next. Verbalizing remaining goals can help you clarify tasks and regain focus later on.
- REMEMBER. You are welcome to make other appointments to discuss the same writing project or get started on your next one.
Distance learners: For students enrolled in distance-based learning program and other members of the Vanderbilt scholarly community not currently in residence on campus, we now also offer synchronous online consultation session by request.