Thesis and Dissertation Consultations

Thesis and Dissertation Consultations

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.

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 at least 24 hours in advance of the session, direct the consultant's attention to specific elements of the draft, then meet with the tutor for 45 minutes. Consultants can read between 10 and 25 pages, depending on the material and the roughness of the draft. If your draft is lengthy, consider indicating 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 at least 24 hours before your appointment begins, and tell the consultant which elements of the draft you'd like them to focus on.

If you have questions about thesis and dissertation consultations, please email Sarah Johnson at sclevel3@masonlive.gmu.edu.

Thesis and Dissertation Consultant

Sarah Johnson   A PhD student in the Writing and Rhetoric program, Sarah has published on cognitive strategies for writing consultants, theorizing how mindfulness meditation might be used to optimize consultants' and writers' cognitive loads, and has also co-authored work examining student resistance in digital reflective writing. Her current research focuses on the connections between translingual pedagogy and anti-racist writing assessment.

Sarah also teaches English Composition at Mason. She recently spent a year in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, where she taught English and Creative Writing to multilingual high school writers. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from American University, where she was a graduate fellow and interim assistant director in the writing center and taught English composition. 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. When she isn't reading, writing, or tutoring, she enjoys running on the Potomac and expanding the reaches of her dog's vocabulary.