Graduate Writing Hub
Welcome to the Graduate Writing Hub!
The Graduate Writing Hub supports writers in graduate and professional programs at Anderson University by offering one-on-one writing consultations and in-class workshops throughout the year. Through our services, we draw attention to writing as a social practice—an embodied, spacialized, and affective experience as well as an intellectual one—in which members from across the academic community participate. Our support services and activities aim to create a sense of belonging around writing, remove barriers to academic participation, and promote renewed attitudes toward writing as scholarly work rather than merely scholarly product.
Hours and Location
Please see our current schedule for open appointments.
All appointments take place online via Zoom. Click HERE to make an appointment with us.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Individual writing consultations—which we prefer to call coaching—are the core service we offer. We believe that the best way for our clients to learn how to be better writers is to engage with their own writing practices and written products. Clients are therefore required to bring their own written materials to coaching sessions. These materials can include but are not limited to assignment prompts, drafts or outlines of a writing assignment, or notes from close readings of course material or field research. We also provide group appointments for clients who are working on group writing projects.
Workshops consist of a one-hour active learning intervention focused on a specific topic related to writing as either process or product. These workshops not only give writers information and strategies but also address stressors that writers face. Participants will therefore walk away with strategies they can implement or renewed thinking about their writing process.
Workshops are scheduled for classes or other department events by faculty or staff request. To request a workshop, faculty or staff can contact the director to discuss options for their class or event.
Who We Are
Writing coaches at the GWH all have at least a master’s degree and some of us have doctoral degrees. We come from a variety of academic backgrounds, but all of us have experience as successful academic writers and teach academic writing at the graduate level. Our goal is to meet you where you are in your academic journey and help you make your next steps. We demystify the expectations of academic discourse, help you shape and deploy your disciplinary knowledge through writing, and show you how to develop sustainable writing practices. All of this allows for your long-term participation as a scholar or professional in your field.
Who We Are Not
While we are here to help you with your writing projects, we are not your faculty mentors, dissertation chair, or members of your doctoral project team. The kind of feedback you may get from us will differ from that which your faculty give you—we read as informed readers, concerned with rhetoric and logic, ethical source engagement, genre conventions, and writing style, but your committee members will read your work as experts in that field and so will be attentive to knowledge gaps and disciplinary convention in addition to how well you’ve constructed your arguments. We are here to help you sift through their feedback, decide how best to respond to it, and strategize how to communicate your intentions to your committee members and chairs or other intended readers. One of our goals is to help you cultivate good communication skills around your writing as part of becoming a better writer.
Tori Dalzell, PhD
Dr. Tori Dalzell is the current director of the Graduate Writing Hub where she oversees the daily operations of the center, meets one-on-one with doctoral student writers, and supports faculty as they teach students how to write in their disciplines. She has worked in writing centers since 2012 and coached students in both research and professional doctoral programs since 2014. Many of her students have been English language learners and non-traditional students or involved in the sciences. She holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Riverside, and a BA in music and English from Hollins University.
Tori’s own research focuses on music practices in the Himalayas. She conducted her dissertation research in Nepal on a Fulbright IIE grant (2012–2013); she also received a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society (2019) to continue research in that region. Her original work can be found in the journals Asian Music, Anthropology and Humanism, and Himalaya. Tori moved to South Carolina from California. There, she was involved in UC Riverside’s Mayupatapi ensemble, which performs folk and popular music from the Andean region of South America, and APU’s Masterworks Chorale, where she sang as an alto. Tori is an avid tea drinker, but her professional work has taught her to appreciate coffee.
Aja Vasquez, EdD
Dr. Aja Vasquez is a graduate writing coach. She has been a writing instructor for twenty years, served on multiple doctoral committees, and worked as a qualitative research coach. She has been a graduate writing coach for several years. She has an MA in English from California Baptist University, MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California Riverside, and an EdD in Educational Leadership from California State University San Bernardino. Her research focuses on best practices for teaching writing–currently, labor-based writing courses. She has also published memoirs and horror stories. Aja enjoys crocheting, cross-stitching, and quilting in her spare time. She also enjoys hiking.
How can I schedule an appointment?
You can schedule your own appointment by following the link to the scheduler on our main page. If you have trouble making appointments, you can always email us at email@example.com
Where do appointments take place?
All our appointments take place online via Zoom. The Zoom link for your appointment will be in your appointment confirmation email. Please save this email so that you can join your appointment at the designated time.
How long are appointments?
All appointments are scheduled for 50 minutes. This time slot allows for up to 45 minutes of coaching and up to 5 minutes of wrap-up, during which you and your coach will compose a session summary outlining your take-aways or plan for next steps.
How many appointments can I have in a week?
You can make up to one appointment per day and up two appointments per week. This policy ensures that (a) as a limited resource, clients have access to it equitably, and (b) to benefit most from writing coaching, the client will need time to implement any next steps before the next session.
How far in advance can I make an appointment?
Our schedule is released every two weeks; you can make appointments up to two weeks in advance.
Can I make a last-minute appointment?
You can make an appointment up to 1 hour before an appointment slot. This limitation gives our coaches a heads up and ensures that they are not surprised by last-minute appointments.
What if I can’t make it to an appointment?
If you cannot make it to an appointment, we encourage you to cancel it. You can do so up to 4 hours before the appointment. This 4-hour notice gives someone else a chance to make an appointment in that time slot. You are not penalized for canceling appointments; however, successive no-shows or missing appointments will suspend your appointment privileges for the remainder of the semester.
Am I penalized for canceling an appointment?
Students can cancel an appointment with no penalty up to 4 hours before an appointment. After that, the appointment is considered a missed appointment. If you incur up to three missed appointments, you will not be able to make appointments for the remainder of the semester.
What happens if I miss an appointment?
If you have not shown up in the Zoom room within the first 5 minutes of your appointment period, the coach will call you to see if you still plan on attending. They will leave a voice message if they do not get ahold of you or email you if they are unable to leave a voice message. If you still do not show up within the next 5 minutes, then they will count the appointment as missed, close the Zoom room, and move on to other work. Once you accrue three missed appointments, you will not be able to make additional appointments for the remainder of the semester.
Please save your missed appointments for legitimate emergencies—the plumbing in your house bursts, you must take your child to the emergency room, or you are made to stay late at work because your replacement on the next shift isn’t coming in. Life happens; that is why we allow up to three missed appointments per semester without penalty.
What should I bring to my appointment?
You are required to bring your own written materials to coaching sessions. These written materials can include but are not limited to assignment prompts, drafts or outlines of writing assignments, or notes from close reading of course materials or field research. Rather than conducting grammar drills or teaching reference principles in a decontextualized way, we believe that the best way for you to learn how to be a better writer in your program or discipline is to engage with your own writing practices and written products.
I don’t have anything written. Can I still make an appointment?
You are welcome to make appointments at any stage of the writing process, including the prewriting or brainstorming stage. If you’re having trouble starting an assignment, find that you make better progress when brainstorming with someone, or have questions about the assignment, please make an appointment!
How should I prepare for my appointment, especially since it’s online?
All coaching sessions are synchronous, meaning in live time, using a video conferencing platform. The coach structures each session based on your expressed writing needs. Here are some things to do to prepare for your appointment:
- Come with goals or questions. What is your purpose for meeting with a writing coach? What do you want to get out of the appointment? At the beginning of the session, you and your coach will spend the first few minutes setting an agenda for the appointment based on your needs and questions as a writer. We recognize that sometimes writers are not sure what kind of feedback they need, and so your coach will ask a series of questions about your assignment and experience thus far to help you determine what you need; however, the ultimate decision as to what to focus on in the session is yours.
- Treat your online session like you would an in-person appointment. Do not make an appointment when you will otherwise be preoccupied and cannot be fully involved in your session. For example, do not make an appointment when you will be driving your vehicle, attending a work meeting, or cooking dinner. Before you log into your session, make sure that your environment has minimal distractions. Remember, this session is live and we’re here to help you engage with your writing, not fix your paper for you.
- Join from your computer. While you can access the Zoom meeting from a phone or tablet, keep in mind that you also need access to your paper, which you will be interacting with during the session and will need to share with your coach. You will reduce frustration and distractions for both you and your coach if you’re able to join from your computer instead of another device.
- Make sure that your Zoom and browser are updated before joining your appointment. We suggest running any Zoom or browser updates before joining your appointment to reduce the risk of connection issues during your session.
- Use your Anderson University email account. You are asked to use you AU email account to communicate with the GWH instead of your personal or work email addresses. We understand that it may not always be convenient, especially if you have your work or personal accounts open; however, this will mitigate any complications with sharing documents or materials that may require extra permissions for non-AU accounts and reduce frustrations during an appointment when you or your coach are not able to access materials.
- Consider using a headset. Using a headset will reduce the noise coming from your environment through your computer, cut down on microphone feedback, and minimize distractions for your coach, who is listening on the other end. It will also help ensure that your voice carries better. Your headset does not have to be fancy—you can use the earbuds/microphone combination that you use for your phone.
- Have your paper open and ready before the session or have it shared with the GWH email prior to the session. If you prefer to share your screen, have your Word document open and ready to share. If you prefer to use Google docs, a few minutes before your session, share your paper via Google Docs with email firstname.lastname@example.org and enable editing privileges. Your coach will not directly edit your work; however, giving them editing privileges will enable you to see their cursor in your paper, and they can highlight portions of your text with their cursor to draw your attention to parts of your paper.
What should I expect in an appointment?
The coach structures each session based on the expressed needs of the client. You will be actively working with your coach during the session. Your coach will encourage you to make changes to your paper in real time. They will encourage you to type in your document, make notes, and ask questions about your written work. Here are some things to expect in the session:
- Talk through your goals and strategize next steps, for both inside and outside the session
- Look at portions of your project together, focusing on global concerns: developing ideas, organization, structure, and main points as well as elements appropriate to the rhetorical situation (e.g., audience, purpose, tone)
- While you and your coach can certainly talk about grammar, editing, and style, the coach will not be editing your document during the session. Instead, you and your coach will look for patterns within the writing then talk about ways for you to identify and revise these errors or make better writing choices on your own.
We ask that you also have patience with online communication. Despite our best intentions and preparation, technology does not always work as we anticipate. Expect to spend some of your appointment troubleshooting technological issues that arise. Communication online can also take more time than an in-person session since you do not have access to the same visual cues as you would in an in-person appointment.
I need proof that I had a writing hub appointment. Do you provide that?
All our appointments end at the 45-minute mark so that you and your coach can compose a summary of your session. You will receive a copy of that summary in your inbox once your session ends. Protecting those last 5 minutes of your appointment is therefore vital so that you receive that coveted “proof” that you did, indeed, successfully complete a writing hub appointment!
Can you guarantee a better grade if I work with a writing coach?
These sessions are focused on helping you develop as a writer, not perfecting your written product. As such, the coach neither guarantees that your paper will receive a certain grade nor makes additional promises for other desired outcomes. The written product itself remains your responsibility.
The coach is also not responsible for the content of your document; they will neither compose part of the document nor conduct research for the document. Rather, the coach will act as a facilitator of your learning process and will help you in the areas where you require more attention or work; however, the coach is not responsible for your entire learning process.
I prefer an in-person appointment. Is that an option?
Currently, we are only offering online appointments.
I’m writing a paper with several others in my class. Do you conduct group appointments?
When students are working on a group writing project, yes, we do conduct group appointments. When you make an appointment for a group, we ask that you include the names and AU email addresses of everyone who will be attending the session in the “how can we help you today?” box on the intake form. The same policies apply as for other writing hub appointments. For you to get credit for completing a writing hub session, you must attend that group appointment; the coach will include the names of everyone who attended on the client report form.
I’m really busy and it’s hard to schedule an appointment that fits my schedule. Can I send my paper in for comments instead?
Currently, we are only offering synchronous appointments. While an asynchronous coaching model is valid, we have several reasons for choosing synchronous.
First, we want to maintain the difference between what an editor does (focus on perfecting the text) and what a coach does (focus on developing and supporting the writer). It also helps ensure that you, the writer, remain in control of the text while recognizing that writing requires community support.
Second, learning is not merely a cerebral process, but a relational and emotionally engaging one. Connecting with a person—in this case, a coach—aids the learning process.
Third, we currently have limited staff; synchronous appointments are the best use of our current human resources.
We understand the complication of scheduling appointments when you lead a busy life, and when the coach and the client are in separate time zones, that can add to existing complexity. We do our best to make sure available appointments are at reasonable times for both parties. Please remember that, just as you are busy as both a student and professional, our coaches are also people who have responsibilities outside of coaching appointments.
I have a question that is not listed here. How do I contact someone at the Graduate Writing Hub?
All email inquiries should be sent to email@example.com This account is checked by staff during regular business hours.
Graduate Writing Hub Communication Statements
To ensure consistent communication, we ask that faculty members include the following paragraph in their syllabi or on their Canvas course should they desire their students to use the Graduate Writing Hub instead of writing their own description. This paragraph can also be included in department or program orientation materials.
The Graduate Writing Hub is committed to supporting graduate students across Anderson University’s graduate programs as they become participants in their discipline or profession. Writing is a community endeavor, not just an individual one, so students are invited to schedule one-on-one appointments with our writing coaches to receive feedback on their writing, learn to manage their writing projects, become familiar with academic writing conventions, and develop writing practices that work for them. The Graduate Writing Hub also collaborates with other campus entities to host learning and community building activities through writing throughout the year. You can make appointments and connect with the Graduate Writing Hub via their website [website here] or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can download a copy of this statement as well as a short video introducing the Graduate Writing Hub, both of which you can post to your Canvas course. Click HERE to access these materials.
Requiring Graduate Writing Hub Appointments
You are welcome to require students to attend coaching sessions as part of an assignment grade or course grade. Students will receive a session summary for each appointment they complete; they can submit this summary to you as proof that they had the requisite number of appointments. For simplicity, the Graduate Writing Hub does not provide other kinds of appointment proof.
When you do require students to attend coaching sessions, we ask that you require no more than two sessions per course per semester. Please be mindful that other courses may require your students to attend sessions as well, the Graduate Writing Hub has a limited number of appointments available, and we provide appointments on a first come first served basis. If you are requiring students to receive feedback on a specific aspect of their written work (e.g., their APA style, their thesis statement), or you’ve noticed a common area in which all your students could use support, consider collaborating with the director to conduct a workshop in your course or to create another resource to support your students.
The Graduate Writing Hub as Your Resource
The Graduate Writing Hub also supports faculty as teachers of writing in their disciplines. You are welcome to make a one-on-one appointment with the director or any of our coaches to discuss designing new writing assignments or revising existing ones for courses you teach. You can email the director and arrange a meeting outside of regular coaching times; if you prefer to work with another one of our coaches, you can make an appointment with them on their existing coaching schedule. The director also collaborates with the CTLE, CIDL, and other campus entities in faculty development opportunities throughout the year.
As an AU faculty member, you can also make appointments for feedback on your own writing. If you are working on a journal article, book chapter, conference paper, or grant proposal; revamping course writing assignments; revising syllabi; or working on any other kind of writing related to your own scholarly or professional work, we hope that you will make appointments with the director or any of our writing coaches and set an example for your students that all writers benefit from feedback on their written work and community support during their writing process.