Writing center conferences are a fifty-minute long one-on-one conversation about writing—both the process of writing and a draft, if the writer has one. Initially, the writer and the writing assistant discuss the writer’s project and goals for the conference. If the writer has a draft, we read the draft aloud so that the writing assistant becomes familiar with the current draft and the writer hears it afresh. Writers often make new connections or generate new ideas by reading the draft aloud. During the discussion that follows, the writing assistant asks questions to prompt critical thinking, reflection, and inquiry about the writer’s project. The writing assistant might also assist the writer with brainstorming, offer advice or suggestions, and/or model strategies and approaches for planning, drafting, and revising. The writer plays a large role in the conversation, often leading and directing what aspects of the draft is discussed, posing questions, and generating ideas by talking about their writing.
Because writing conferences focus on revision and development of ideas, we strongly encourage writers to make appointments with plenty of time remaining for revision.
We work with writers on all types of writing, from analysis essays to lab reports, conference proposals to dissertations. Our conferences are not limited to one specific type of writing or a single academic field—we collaborate with writers from across the university on a large range of academic writing.
Typically, the writers who visit are working on projects for courses. But we also see writers who are working on personal projects, statements of purpose and personal statements for graduate school, and so on.
We often work with writers on…
- Understanding assignments
- Developing ideas
- Planning for revision
- Thesis statements
- Paragraph Structure
- Introductions and Conclusions
- Self-Editing Skills
One-on-one writing conferences are a great way to receive additional help with your English writing. Many of our writing assistants are undergraduate students just like you, and they have first-hand experience with the kinds of writing assigned in UNH courses. All of our writing assistants are trained to work with multilingual writers. They can help you work on a variety of different aspects of writing: developing ideas, learning the conventions of American academic writing, learning how to self-edit, etc.
Some ESL students choose to schedule regular appointments with the same writing assistant. Doing so allows you to work with someone who is familiar with your past work and with trends in your writing. If you think this approach would work well for you, you can schedule those appointments in our online scheduling system. Other ESL students choose to work with a new writing assistant for each visit, to receive a fresh perspective on their work.
We encourage you to come in to the Connors Writing Center to see what resources and options are available to assist you in your writing. For additional second-language resources and courses, visit the UNH ESL Institute.
Writing as a graduate student can be distinct from writing as an undergraduate. For this reason, the writing center asks that graduate students make appointments with graduate writing assistants. Grad writing assistants are typically more aware of the types of documents graduate students must produce, and they know first-hand about the challenges (and joys) of writing in graduate school.
Graduate student may make up to 8 appointments a semester, and 1 appointment per week.
Thesis and Dissertation Services
If a graduate student is working on a thesis or dissertation, they may be interested in our Graduate Student Services, which matches a graduate student with a graduate writing assistant so that the write can meet consistently with the same person. To sign up for this service, a graduate student must meet with Molly Tetreault, Director of the Writing Center. Call or email to set up an intake appointment.