What to Expect for Your Appointment

What to bring

Please either send an electronic copy of your manuscript in advance to sph.writing.lab@umich.edu OR bring two copies of your work-in-progress. Also bring any guidelines you have for the task -- such as an assignment, the grant proposal guidelines, previous feedback from a professor on an earlier draft. These will help us make the best use of your time while here. If you are "stuck" with your writing or you feel unsure where to start, please bring whatever you have, even just notes.

Depending on where you are in the process, feel free to sketch out some specific goals for our meeting. For example, you may want the introduction to flow more smoothly, or be concerned with the length, or the organization.

Expect to talk about your writing

Before we begin, I'll ask you about your goals and challenges with this project. What are you trying to accomplish? What is at stake? What research gap are you trying to fill? From time to time, even the most experienced writers run into frustration.

Talking through frustrations, identifiying different expectations, and getting feedback from an objective reader can often help to make expectations more clear and can provide tools for tackling and overcoming perceived obstacles.

Expect to do your own proofreading

This is not a proofreading service! It is likely that we will catch some typos and non-standard uses while reading, but our goal together is for you to write confidently and coherently for a given audience and task. Therefore, most of our focus will be on understanding the expectations of the writing task (genre), structure, organization, "flow," and language clarity. Of course, if I do see you consistently making one particular kind of error, I will help you understand the mistake.