Am I eligible for one-on-one consultations with a consultant?
Are you a part of UVA Engineering? If not, then at this time no. But you can indicate your interest here to help us advocate for expanded support.
If you are a UVA Engineering graduate student (Masters or PhD), then yes, you can make one-on-one appointments.
UVA Engineering postdocs can also make appointments. Postdocs are postdoctoral research associates, research associates, or postdoctoral research fellows. You can check your designation in the UVA directory. If you see something other than postdoctoral research associate, research associate, or postdoctoral fellow, you would not be considered a postdoc. If you are a UVA Engineering postdoc, then you can make one-on-one appointments.
If you are not a UVA Engineering postdoc or graduate student, you are NOT eligible for one on one appointments with GWL consultants. Thus, faculty, staff, research scientists, etc. would not be eligible at this time. However, please indicate your interest here to help us advocate for expanded support. You can, however, use the online resources and attend events.
What does an appointment with a GWL consultant look like? How will they help?
Your consultant will assist you in identifying key areas of improvement and offer feedback with respect to a number of potential concerns such as structure and organization, clarity, documentation, flow, and argument. It is not uncommon for a consultant to have you read parts of your work aloud to facilitate the process. You may also discuss writing strategies and concerns with your consultant. Your consultant will not edit or proofread your paper for you or review your work ahead of time. Note that they are able to offer an evaluation of the quantitative or technical accuracy of your document. Consultations should be one of many sources of feedback in your process. During your appointment, your consultant will help identify potential issues and suggest strategies to improve your document and your skills with respect to both higher lever concerns – like structure and organization – and lower-level concerns such as format and language mechanics.
How does the appointment process work?
All appointments are booked online and include up to 50 minutes of one-on-one consultation. Appointments can be booked 12 hours to 5 weeks in advance through the online scheduler. If none of the available times work for you, you can also request an appointment using the request an appointment link (if a consultant is available, they will contact you to set up the appointment). Appointments with the director can also be made with Kelly by email or Slack DM for working through planning larger writing projects like dissertations. Appointments are limited to one or two per week per client and a maximum of 10 on a given document.
I cannot come to my appointment. What should I do? (How to cancel)
If you are unable to attend a scheduled appointment, please cancel at least 24 hours in advance if possible to allow someone else to book the slot. Once you know you cannot make your appointment, please let us know, even if it is an hour before. You can cancel and reschedule appointments using the links in your appointment confirmation email (best choice since it automatically opens the slot for others), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM KellyC(GWL) or your consultant in Slack. If you have last minute concerns or know you'll be late, you can direct message your consultant in Slack or email them (consultant email is listed in the 1 hour reminder notice) to let them know. If you are more than 10 minutes late for a scheduled appointment, you may need to reschedule but please let your consultant know. After your second no-show, you may be prevented from scheduling additional appointments.
How many appointments can I make?
Graduate engineering students and post docs are permitted to make a maximum of 2 50-minute appointments per week. If you book more than this, your additional appointments may be canceled. If we have high demand, appointments may be restricted to 1 per week. If you book two appointments back to back, remember to give your consultant a break at the 50 minute mark. Do not book more than 2 appointments back to back. We found consultations to become less effective after the second hour due to fatigue.
How many times can I bring my paper (or presentation or poster)?
A particular paper, presentation, or poster is limited to a maximum of 10 consultation hours (50 minute slots), regardless of who is bringing it or how many authors it has. Think about how to use your appointments strategically. Remember, the types of things you find in one part of your paper are probably present in other parts as well. We recommend using your notes from consultations to help you look at the rest of your work with similar ideas in mind and apply what you learned to revising your work. Most clients never come close to the 10 hour limit. If you're getting close, it might be time to think about the most strategic ways to use your resources and your appointments- consider if it'd be easier to add another author or hire an editor, or decide if it might be time for the paper to be shared with lab mates/advisor(s) or be submitted. Note that a dissertation is typically not considered 1 document; it may be better to consider each chapter as a single document. Remember you also have other options for feedback, such as peers, advisors, peer review groups and the UVA Writing Center, where you can even make 1-on-1 appointments with ESL faculty for language concerns.
My document isn’t finished; should I keep my appointment?
Yes! A consultant can help you at any point in the writing process. You do not need to have a completed draft for an appointment. We have had very productive appointments going over outlines, early bits of writing, early slides and similar partial writings. It is often easiest to make changes when you don't feel your work is complete yet. Since it is unlikely that you'll be able to get through an entire article in 50 minutes, you can also think about focusing your appointment on a particular section. Additionally, if you aren't making your self imposed deadline or making the progress you hoped, a consultant might be able to help you map out strategies to move forward.
Can I bring my Qualifier/Comprehensive Exam or take home exam?
Probably not. Consultants are not able to provide feedback on or assist with a take-home exam, this includes the SIE, CEE, EE, and MSE comprehensive/qualifying exams. Just because your program is not listed here, does not mean it is OK to bring a qualifier to the GWL. It is always best to get confirmation from your program. Getting a response in writing through an official channel is in your best interest. If you are unsure if a given paper is allowed to have feedback or be brought for a consultation, please discuss it with your professor/advisor or committee in advance.
How should I prepare for my appointment?
Please come prepared with questions or concerns to address. This is likely going to be tied to where you are at with a given document (ex. organization in early stages, sentence level issues in later stages). Bring your document (most consultants appreciate a paper copy) and information about the goals (journal submission guidelines, fellowship mission, course assignment guidelines, etc.). Consultants often suggest starting with holistic concerns before moving to sentence-level issues. Document-level concerns such as structure and organization may affect the meaning and ideas of a document. Therefore, you may need to do significant revision before addressing sentence-level issues such as grammar and mechanics which are likely to change with document-level revision.
Please remember to have your document ready to screenshare via zoom for online appointments or bring at least one printed copy of your writing for the consultant to use if you have an in person appointment.