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   The University Writing Center > Writing Assistance > Advanced Writers Support Program
Advanced Writers Support Program

Advanced Writers Support Program (AWSP)

The Advanced Writers Support Project (AWSP) is designed to assist writers who are working on projects which are longer, more sustained, or larger in scope. While for smaller projects, single sessions at the Writing Center are often helpful and all that's necessary, our AWSP writers find that their writing benefits from working closely with a single consultant who meets with them consistently, gets to know their project well, is able to help them through several stages of the writing process, and helps keep writers on track to meet their project deadlines.

For the past several years, we have been working with graduate students and faculty members who are developing projects which are longer, more comprehensive, and moving through multiple stages.

Q: What kind of projects can I bring to the AWSP?

A: The AWSP is available to writers for many different kinds of projects, both academic and creative. We work with graduate students who are writing their theses or dissertations, or who are transforming a piece of writing into something else, such as a conference paper, an article, or a book chapter. We work with faculty members who are researching, writing, or revising articles for publication, crafting a collection of their work, or developing a book-length project. We also work with creative writers developing works larger in scope, such as novels, collections of poetry, memoirs, or other projects. If you are working on any of these types of projects, we are happy to offer our support. If you would like to work with us, please just complete and send us the AWSP Interest Form, found on our website. If you are working on another type of project, and you would like to know if it would be a good fit with AWSP, please contact us at wc_awsp@uncg.edu.

Q: Who uses the AWSP?

A: We work with faculty members, staff, and graduate students who are engaged in long-term projects, or in projects larger in scope than can be effectively handled in single Writing Center sessions. AWSP writers work in a variety of fields and departments—in education, business, health, science, the arts, the humanities, and more—and they bring a range of projects to the table, both academic and creative.

AWSP consultants are graduate students from various fields and departments around campus. While each consultant is not an expert in every field, every AWSP consultant is an educated, experienced, and thoughtful reader who has been trained in Writing Center work, who is familiar with the conventions of academic writing and of creative writing, and who can offer some effective strategies for each stage of the writing process, from invention to revision, from outlining to expanding, from working through early drafts to polishing final ones.

Q: How do AWSP sessions work?

A: Each consulting session is booked for an hour, and so you will have that full hour to sit down with the consultant to discuss your ideas, concerns, and questions about your project. At your first AWSP session, you and the WC consultant will discuss your project and your goals, and you will map out a rough plan for how to complete your project and meet those goals.

Depending on where you are in the writing process, each subsequent session will be shaped differently. Initially, you might brainstorm or make a research plan with your consultant, review your sources and chapter outlines, or discuss the themes of your work as a whole. In subsequent sessions, you will bring in a printed copy of the section of your project you're working on (keep in mind that five pages is usually the maximum amount of writing we can effectively work with in an hour). You or the consultant will read the writing out loud and discuss whatever concerns or questions you have about that piece. This is often one of the most valuable pieces of the session; as a writer, you can see more clearly the effect of your writing on a live reader, and the consultant can offer immediate feedback on the clarity, organization, and development of the writing.

In later sessions, you might work on citation style, syntax or grammar, writing style and voice, or any other final polishing you feel you need. At the final AWSP session of the semester, you and the consultant will review your initial plan, see your progress, and perhaps draft a new plan for tackling your next project (or a continuation of your current project) next semester.

Q: How do I sign up for the AWSP? What are the procedures?

A:In order to get started, please fill out the interest form. We'll be in touch with you shortly to determine which day and time works best for you, and we'll match you with an AWSP consultant.

At your first meeting, please bring a printed copy of the interest form to discuss with the consultant. Please note any important deadlines or other information necessary for your project. From there, you and the consultant will create a plan for the rest of the semester.

After this initial meeting, it becomes the writer's responsibility to reserve the time slot for the next meeting in the Writing Center appointment book. If your appointment is written in the book, the consultant will reserve that time to meet with you; however, if you do not have an appointment, the consultant becomes available to work with other writers. If your weekly meeting time happens to fall on a holiday when the Writing Center is closed, you can make an appointment with your consultant later in the week, or for the same time slot the week after the holiday.

Please keep in mind that the AWSP is part of the University Writing Center; for that reason, AWSP consultants are only available when the Writing Center is open. The consultants' schedules change each semester and summer session, and so we'll need to set up your meeting day and time again with each new academic session.

Q: What have other advanced writers said about the experience?

A: "I worked on a conference proposal. The most useful thing, for me, was being able to work with someone who had written proposals in the past, who knew the academic idiom, and who understood the limitations on word count, tone, and detail required by the form. She was helpful in assisting me cut down the text, focus on the argument, and clarify the theoretical approach I was using in the paper." —Alan Benson, PhD candidate in English

"I worked on my dissertation. Much of what she saw was pretty rough—really still just ideas, but she always asked questions that helped me connect ideas in new ways. I'm still working, but I know I wouldn't be nearly this far along without her help. Just knowing we had an appointment helped me keep writing." —Brandy Grabow, PhD candidate in English

Q: Other than AWSP, can you suggest other resources for advanced writers?

A:

  • The Purdue OWL offers good resources and tips for advanced writers, especially for specific types of writing like conference papers, dissertation abstracts, or book proposals.
  • The Get a Life, PhD blog by Sociology and American Studies Professor Dr. Golash-Boza, from the University of Kansas, offers strategies for completing writing projects and making writing part of a routine.
  • Wendy Belcher's book, Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks, has gotten great reviews from graduate students.