Consultant's Corner


Publication Date: 3/18/19

Dear Peer Consultants,
Many faculty members and students on campus have informed me of the benefits of having my writing peer-reviewed in the Writing Support Studio. While I do agree that your services can be helpful, I fear shame for coming in for a consultation, even as a student who believes they write well. What suggestions do you have for overcoming my fear of visiting you for feedback on my writing?
Seeking a Breakthrough
Dear Seeking a Breakthrough,
The writing process can seem daunting at times, particularly the point of revision that strongly suggests consulting insight separate from your own. We understand your hesitation of visiting us based on this valid fear that you and many others share. Writing consultations should not be taken lightly, even if said feedback is coming from a close friend or family member. Our writing is the very essence of our thoughts and how we intend to communicate them, a concept which not only demands but requires a reasonable level of trust and confidence between writer and consultant.
This understanding guides all training that Writing Support Studio Peer Consultants must receive before our first consultation, and commit to monthly in order to remain in our position. We pride ourselves on maintaining an accessible and welcoming space where all students can feel at ease about visiting us as needed. We do not infringe upon your ideas by editing with a red pen, but read through your writing with you to develop the areas you would like us to. One of the first things we do is set goals for the 30 minutes we have together based on the areas that you are concerned about or seek to revisit. We do not exceed the boundaries of your consent to review certain areas of your writing. Honest communication is key throughout the consultation, so if you ever disagree with any of our suggestions, just let us know so that we may work with you to develop alternatives.
The word “feedback” as it particularly relates to writing unfortunately caries a certain degree of negative connotation. In any writing center, consultants carefully form our constructive feedback to not only focus on areas for improvement, but highlight strong patterns and even use their technique to support areas you would like to. You will also find that we employ questions throughout the consultation to keep you fully engaged with the writing process and establish more clear ideas that meet our previously set goals of the session.
We sincerely hope this has helped ease your fear of visiting us for a consultation. Even the strongest writers seek constructive feedback, so coming in for a consultation does not make you a “bad writer”. Truthfully, no writer is superior to another; we are all just at different points of the writing process as it is something that varies for everyone. The benefits of constructive feedback from others are without exception to any writer, but if you are still hesitant, we suggest testing the waters by emailing us for an online consultation at [email protected]. Thank you for seeking our advice, and we look forward to working with you in the future!
Best Wishes,
The Writing Support Studio