Words of Wisdom
No matter how often I try to duck the issue and get on to topics that are really interesting, most people still want to know where the comma goes.
Long and involved scholarly documents are a special sort of beast. Students working on scholarly articles, theses, and dissertations can require more support than students working on classwork and related documents. The Dissertation Article and Thesis Assistance program (DATA) was designed with this in mind. Students in the DATA program are paired with the same consultant for up to ten 45-minute sessions. The DATA consultant's job, like that of other consultants, is to help the writer improve their writing skills, but the repeating appointments allow the consultant to get to know the student and the project more thoroughly. It also allows for scheduling appointments at regular intervals. Consultations cover a variety of concerns and are customized to address the student's timeline and needs. A DATA consultant, for example, can spend the first half of a 45- minute consultation reading submitted work, and the rest of the session discussing it with the student. The student and consultant can also coordinate appointments online or by video conference.
During DATA you will:
agree on an appointment calendar that works with your schedule (once a week, biweekly, etc.)
work independently between consultations to make progress and improve your skills
learn to set personal writing goals
learn revising and proofreading techniques
learn effective writing habits
Handouts for DATA
Ground Rules for DATA Applicants
- DATA consultants (and students, generally) work most effectively when they have sufficient time to write and revise before a deadline. It is highly preferable that your deadline is no less than one month away. It can take several days or a week to start setting up appointments with your consultant so if you have a short deadline, it is better to make regular appointments.
- If you cannot make an appointment, you must cancel the session in our scheduling system at least 8 hours before the scheduled meeting time. An appointment that is not canceled will be considered a missed session and will count against the ten-session maximum.
- It is your responsibility to work independently on your writing between each meeting.
- You may work out a schedule with your consultant that allows him or her time to read your work before your appointment. Each 45-minute session the consultant spends on reading will be counted as a full session.
- The consultant will not edit your work line-by-line, but instead provide general help or point out patterns in your writing. If you require a more extensive review, you might want to contact a freelance editor.
- Your consultant may ask you to meet with another consultant, especially in the case of a change in his or her schedule. Your consultant will keep University Writing Center staff informed of your progress to ensure the least possible disruption to your progress.
- Please stay in contact with your consultant or the DATA administrator if you need to take a break from sessions. If you miss two sessions without cancelling, we'll assume you no longer want to participate, and your spot in the program will be given to someone else.
- If you find you need to stop attending sessions but you don't want to give up your spot in the DATA program, email the DATA administrator or the UWC at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. We'll put your enrollment on hold and you'll be at the top of the list when you are ready to return.
- As a DATA client, you can request a different consultant at any time. Your request, however, will be dependent upon the availability of an alternative DATA consultant.
Interested in joining DATA?
Apply by filling out the DATA registration form. We’ll send you an email confirming your application and pair you with a consultant. If the program has a waiting list when you apply, we'll let you know that as well.
Once you have finished with your DATA sessions, you can continue to work one-to-one with our consultants on an appointment basis, and you can always make additional appointments with our other consultants during your time in DATA, up to one appointment per day.