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 multiple meetings. 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 more flexible scheduling. 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 part of a consultation reading a dissertation chapter, 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
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 before the scheduled meeting time. An appointment that is not canceled will be considered a “no-show,” and two “no-shows” can be grounds for canceling the remainder of the consultations.
- 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. The time the consultant spends on reading will be counted as a 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. If your consultant can't reach you after multiple attempts, your spot in the program might be in jeopardy.
- 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 pairing you with a consultant.
Once you have finished with your DATA sessions, you can continue to work one-to-one with our consultants on an appointment basis; however, you will have to work with whoever is available.