Writing Consultation

Through consultation, I help writers articulate their highest aspirations for a project, map out concrete ways to get there, and achieve their aims. 

Whether you’re drafting or revising, our sessions will focus on the big-picture issues that are key to making your essay, journal article, chapter, book, or report as compelling and persuasive as possible: your purpose, your audience, your argument, and your evidence.

If you’re just starting a project, we might spend a session brainstorming, outlining, and hammering out a plan of action. All good writers know that the writing process is often daunting — if you’re struggling, our meeting might focus on concrete strategies to get you writing pages and meeting deadlines.

Writing consultation is an intensive, collaborative conversation about a piece of writing or an ongoing writing project. I consider it a central part of my job to learn from you about your research and its key interventions and upshots. I have some rhetorical tricks and tactics to impart, but my main role is to facilitate your success by understanding your project’s potential and helping you figure out the best way to achieve it.  

My approach is informed by Writing Center teaching philosophies, which emphasize collaboration and empowerment. I listen carefully and ask a lot of questions — questions that prompt you to explain your argument, reflect on your target audience and their expectations, and discover new ways to persuade your readers or structure the piece. I also make suggestions about possible revisions or new approaches, keeping in mind your purpose and audience.

Writing consultation is not the same as editing. Discussing your research, argument, and drafts with an experienced writing consultant as you write and revise gives you a chance to make your manuscript as strong as possible before you send it to an editor. (If your manuscript is ready for developmental or sentence-level editing, I also offer editing services.)

I’ve worked as an independent writing consultant with faculty members drafting scholarly books as well as with writers at nonprofit organizations working on collaborative research reports. I also have four years of experience working, on an ongoing basis, with PhD students writing dissertations in disciplines from English and education to quantitative sociology and electrical engineering in the Writing Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

If you’re interested in ongoing consultations on a big project or a series of related projects, you might want to consider The Writing Gym. To explore setting up one-time or ongoing consultations, please contact me, tell me a little about your project, and request a fee schedule. Once we’ve discussed your needs, I’ll propose a flat rate for consultation on your project.