Before the consultation begins, students should be prepared with the following materials:
- for writing assignments: any relevant instructions from the instructor of the course, and any other materials that the student thinks may be relevant to the assignment (e.g., previous assignments for the course, the instructor’s comments on previous assignments, a copy of the book or article that the student is writing about, etc.);
- for personal statements / statements of purpose: any relevant instructions from the school or program to which the student is applying;
- something to use to take notes during the consultation (e.g., a pen or pencil and a sheet of paper, a laptop, or a tablet)
- a paper copy (at most 10 double-spaced pages, or about 2,500 words) of the piece of writing that the student would like to work on.
This piece of writing may be a draft of an essay or paper, an excerpt from a draft of a thesis or dissertation, an outline of an essay or paper that the student plans to write, or even just some notes that the student has taken regarding what they plan to write.
We also work with students who have not yet begun the writing process on how to get started. Students who haven’t written anything yet should still feel free to come and see us.
Consultations vary in length, but they will not take up more than 50 minutes. Consultations are structured in the following way:
- First, the tutor will chat with the student for a few minutes regarding what issues the student would like to focus on during the consultation. That said, after reading the student’s work, the tutor may decide to prioritize other issues.
- Next, the tutor will spend no more than 20 minutes reading what the student has written so far.
- The tutor will then devote any remaining time to having a conversation with the student about how to improve the student’s writing.
- The consultation will end when the student and the tutor decide to end it, or when time runs out after 50 minutes.
After the consultation, the student will complete a short survey regarding what was discussed in the consultation and how satisfied the student is with the consultation.
If the student would like us to inform the instructor of their course about the consultation, we can do that so long as the student gives us the instructor’s name and email address.