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Graduate Writing Support

Graduate students working on large projects (e.g. theses, dissertations, and capstones) are encouraged to make appointments with writing consultants in advance through WCOnline

Graduate writing consultations may include discussions about:

  • Strategies for managing a large project, including time management, setting short-term and long-term writing goals, and creating writing and revision plans.
  • Drafting strategies, such as outlining, prewriting, and freewriting.
  • Strategies for writing and organizing literature reviews and effectively incorporating sources, including feedback on formatting in common style guides (e.g. APA, MLA, or Chicago). You may also contact a librarian for citation assistance.
  • Strategies for writing abstracts and proposals.
  • Goal-oriented conversations about your writing process, including when and how to ask advisors and peers for feedback and guidance.


  • Be familiar with the Master’s Thesis and Dissertation guidelines published by your department. Keep these guidelines accessible so that you and your consultant can refer to them, if necessary. Please note that we do not provide support for formatting theses and dissertations.
  • The Wallace Library has many resources for graduate students, including sample theses and dissertations from RIT Scholar Works.
  • If your primary concern is grammar and mechanics, we are happy to read an excerpt of your thesis focusing on those issues.  Based on our reading of that portion of your thesis, we can then recommend strategies for how you can revise and copy edit the rest of your thesis. We recommend Grammarly for grammar, spell-checking, and other resources. 
  • Attend to RIT Academic Integrity guidelines including student and faculty resources for understanding copyright,Turnitin, and institutional policies for both intentional and inadvertent plagiarism.
  • We encourage you to contact your college librarian for research assistance.

Locating a copy editor:

The Writing Commons does not provide copy editing or proofreading services, and our writing consultants are not trained experts in this area. Rather, writing consultants focus on global concerns (e.g. development of ideas, claims and evidence, structure and organization) and guide writers in a goal-oriented conversation about their writing. During this process, writing consultants will point out particular patterns they see in your writing (e.g. inconsistent verb tenses, punctuation errors, subject/verb agreement) and support you in learning how to correct those mistakes in your current and future drafts. 

Currently, the Writing Commons does not provide copy editing or proofreading services. If you are interested in having your thesis or dissertation edited or proofread for errors before you file with the Wallace Library, you will need to locate an editor and pay for this resource.

The Editorial Freelancers Association is a professional organization which offers a member directory and job list. You can use this organization to contact and hire a professional copy editor. The EFA is in no way affiliated with RIT, the University Writing Program, the Writing Commons, or the Wallace Library.