Frequently Asked Questions about the Writing Consultations

At what stage in a writing project can a writing coach offer constructive advice?

The Graduate Writing Consultations Program is designed to offer Davis graduate and professional students a unique opportunity to get useful feedback on their writing at any stage of the writing process.  Whether you are brainstorming topics, structuring an outline, revising an existing work, or placing the finishing touches on something that is nearly complete, a writing coach will talk with you about your goals for the work and offer practical strategies for making improvements in your written product, your writing process, or your writing style.

Should I have completed a draft of my paper?

No, you do not need to have a completed draft of your work ready for your appointment.  If you do have a draft prepared, however, you are encouraged to use it to focus the discussion.

What should I do to prepare for my session?

Most importantly, be ready to experiment with new approaches to your writing.  It can be helpful if you are also willing to talk about your writing project and what you’d like to accomplish in the meeting with your coach. Are there particular challenges you’re facing in this writing project or with writing in general? If so, be prepared to talk about them. Are you looking for feedback on a certain aspect of the project? If so, let your writing fellow know this. If you just feel stuck and don’t know what to do, we can work with you to develop a focus for the meeting, too.

Will my writing consultant edit or proofread my writing?

No, we will not edit or proofread your writing.  However, if you want help with understanding a particular grammatical or stylistic issue, your consultant will be glad to discuss it with you, and you both may work through a piece of your draft or use other approaches to work through stubborn challenges or to develop a new organizational scheme. The goal is to help you develop, revise, and improve your writing while giving you a better sense of yourself as a writer. 

Can I have more than one session?

Every student is welcome to have multiple sessions throughout the academic year.  We do, however, give priority to students who have never met with a consultant, and limit appointments to one session per student, per week. You are invited to schedule additional sessions at your discretion.