Thesis and Dissertation Consultations

Thesis and Dissertation Consultations Image

Graduate students working on their thesis or dissertation proposal, prospectus, or draft, or on an article for publication may schedule sessions with the Writing Center's Thesis and Dissertation consultants. These consultants are PhD students or advanced masters students trained to work with advanced graduate writers.

While thesis/diss consultations are offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, the first appointment with the thesis/diss consultant must be in a synchronous format—that is, in person or on Zoom. Your initial conversation allows the consultant to learn about your project. 

Working with a writing consultant can complement the feedback you receive from your faculty advisors and your peers. A writing consultant can

  • Share strategies for planning, organizing, drafting, revising, and editing
  • Share strategies for maximizing writing productivity
  • Help you identify and use the conventions of writing that are specific to your field
  • Provide a sounding board for you to work out your ideas
  • Provide feedback from the perspective of an educated general audience

Unlike other writing center sessions, thesis and dissertation consultations provide time for consultants to read your draft before they meet with you. Writers submit their draft by 9am on the day of the session, direct the consultant's attention to specific elements of the draft, then meet with the consultant for 45 minutes. Consultants can read between 7 and 20 pages, depending on the material and the roughness of the draft. If your draft is lengthy, please indicate the pages you’d like the consultant to prioritize.

To make an appointment, register with the Writing Center, log on to the schedule online, and navigate to the Thesis/Diss schedule. Attach your draft to the appointment form by 9am on the day of your appointment, and tell the consultant which elements of the draft you'd like them to focus on. You may take advantage of one T/D session per week. 

If you have questions about thesis and dissertation consultations, please email Jenny Goransson at

Thesis and Dissertation Consultants

Jenny Goransson is a PhD student in the Writing and Rhetoric program, Jenny has taught Composition at Mason for two years. Her recent research focuses on writing centers expanding into learning centers or merging with learning centers. Other research interests include community literacy, antiracist pedagogy, and the use of yoga and mindfulness strategies in writing instruction. Due to her interest in supporting, mentoring, and learning from future and current K-12 teachers, she often collaborates with faculty in the Secondary Education (SEED) program in the College of Education and Human Development at Mason. She also serves as an adjunct instructor in the MA in Teaching Writing program at Johns Hopkins University.

Before coming to Mason, Jenny worked for eleven years as a high school English teacher at West Springfield High School (WSHS) -- just down the road from campus. In 2009 she earned her Masters in Secondary Education from the George Washington University and in 2015 became a National Board Certified Teacher. At WSHS she founded and directed the writing center for eight years, and has played an active role in the secondary school writing center movement. She currently serves on the board of the Secondary Schools Writing Center Association (SSWCA) and the Editorial Board of the Journal for Peer Tutoring in Secondary Schools (JPTSS). 

Here at the Mason Writing Center, she provides support for graduate writers working on thesis, dissertation, and academic projects and develops workshops for graduate writers. Jenny is also a mother, distance runner, musical theatre nerd, and lover of podcasts.  

Esther R. Namubiru is a PhD student in the Writing and Rhetoric program at George Mason University. Her research focuses on writing center and program administration within African contexts. Her other research interests include community literacy, multilingualism, writing across the disciplines (WAC), writing in the disciplines (WID), digital rhetoric and digital literacy. In the past, Esther taught English for Academic Purpose (EAP) courses at Mason for six years. EAP courses focus on academic writing and research practices, and Esther primarily worked with graduate international students in these classes.

Besides teaching, Esther was also an Academic Advisor for undergraduate Engineering students in the Honors College and the 2019 Stearns Center Fellow for Language. She developed writing course curriculum and curriculum training material for faculty who work with multilingual writers in writing-intensive courses. These materials were released on the Stearns Center For Teaching and Learning website. Currently, Esther also volunteers as an Associate Editor of Connecting Writing Centers Across Borders, a blog of WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship. She co-edits articles by writing center scholars, consultants, and professionals and co-produces the blog’s podcast, Slow Agency.

While receiving her MA in Linguistics from the University of Virginia, her BA in Organizational Communication at Mason, and her Associates Degree in Communication, Esther was a writing consultant at those respective institutions which grew her passion for writing and the writing center field.