Distance is your new BFF by Claire

Distance is your best friend  written by Claire  Happy finals week! I know that this time in the semester is filled with many contradicting emotions, with stress being the most prominent one. Getting your writing turned in and with confidence is a struggle no matter where you are in your educational journey. I know many of you are turning in seminar papers! And as writers, it's easy to get attached to your writing. You may feel like every word you've written is perfect, and you can't imagine changing a thing. Or you could feel that you’ve done all that you can do and it’s too complicated to fix things at this stage! Taking a step back from your writing during revisions can actually be incredibly beneficial. Here are a few reasons why: 1. Fresh eyes are generative! When you've been staring at the same piece of writing for hours or days on end, it's easy to get stuck in a rut. You may find yourself making the same changes over and over again without rea

From Drab to Fab: Turning Your Writing with Confidence and Style! Written By Parisa

From Drab to Fab: Turning Your Writing with Confidence and Style! Written By Parisa   Hello grad folx! I am Parisa, a third-year PhD student in the Literature program at the English department. If you have made it this far in your writing journey, congratulations! It means you stopped procrastinating, and leaned into your inner boss, you didn’t let the blank page win, YOU WON, and kept yourself validated and motivated along the way (I have used some titles from the previous blog posts by my amazing fellow grad consultants here). Now let’s get down to business and turn that bland first draft into a masterpiece, to wave hands and bid a happy farewell to that old draft by the end! In this blog post, I'll be sharing some tips and tricks to help you revise your academic writing with confidence, befriend your inner voice, and turn your work into something truly fabulous. As writers, we can get bogged down by the nitty-gritty details of formatting like grammar, style, and organization. Ou

Leaning into the Mess! (If that’s your schtick) by Lizzie

Leaning into the Mess! (If that’s your schtick) written by Lizzie I’m no longer a graduate student, but--at least as a writer--I frequently still feel like one. To be sure, the ten plus years I’ve now spent getting more at home in the scholarship has vastly increased my comfort level with my place in the field: I now feel like I know enough to understand and make good arguments, and that’s a big difference from my early and far less self-assured graduate student self. Nonetheless, as a scholarly writer --someone who is constructing some original, coherent argument that I hope will be relevant to others in my field--I often still feel like a beginner. Every project presents me with a new blank page, and with the challenge of how to make something cogent out of the tangled knots of half formed suspicions that start any project off. When I first heard scholars in my field talk about the writing process as “messy,” I thought, yes, exactly! I’ve always been a messy writer, and most especial

Revising Theses and Dissertations by Sean

  Revising Theses and Dissertations Written by Sean Hello! I hope our readers are having a wonderful and productive semester! My name is Sean, and I am in the process of finishing up my Ph.D. in the Psychology program (about two months away from my defense! 😬 ). I’ve been working as a Graduate Writing Consultant since last year, and today’s topic came from what I’ve been working on almost every week for the past six months: revising dissertations! At some point during most of our graduate school careers, we will inevitably have the daunting task of writing a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. Personally, I am right in the middle of writing my dissertation – I was literally working on revisions just before writing this! If there’s anything I’ve learned from working on the revisions for this document, my master’s thesis, and my comprehensive exam, it’s that revising long, technically detailed documents like this can sometimes feel impossible. It can feel overwhelming to know w

Blocking Out Writers Block by Cam

  Blocking Out Writers Block written by Cam Cavaliere Writer’s block is one of the most common things that many of us struggle with as writers, myself included. It’s not that I don’t have the ideas to write, it's just that when it comes time to write that big paper, there are times when my mind goes completely blank. The idea of writer’s block itself is one that curates many metaphorical images in the mind, for some it's a blank page, for me it’s like my mind has been cut off from my typing hands, a physical block separating the two.  I know this isn’t an uncommon experience, my students and fellow graduate student friends all share stories about how they struggle with this issue too. Even the most popular and acclaimed professional writers struggle with writer’s block. But how do we get past the stage of simply staring at the blinking cursor on a blank page? Here are some of my best tips for writer’s block, whether you’re trying to write that final seminar paper or type up the

An Honest Dialogue About Cover Letter Drafting by Ahjah, Parisa, and Tanzim

An Honest Dialogue About Cover Letter Drafting Written by Ahjah, Parisa, and Tanzim To whom it may concern, we hope that this blog post finds you well.  Seems a bit impersonal doesn’t it? Today’s blog post has a unique feature with three bloggers in conversation: Ahjah, Parisa, Tanzim. All three writers will be graduating and pursuing their careers after the academic year. Ahjah is currently studying higher education and applying for faculty jobs; Parisa and Tanzim are both studying architecture and applying for industry positions. In our post today we will be discussing the differences of drafting cover letters for industry specific positions (Tanzim & Parisa) and faculty positions (Ahjah). Specifically we discuss how to both capture the professionalism of the cover letter genre while also conveying our passion and competence for a position. Not to be too metacognitive, but… as we were drafting this we found it much easier to dialogue about the difference. Drafting comes in many f

Don’t Let the Blank Page Win by Emily

Don’t Let the Blank Page Win Written by Emily, 2nd year MA Hello all! I’m Emily, a second-year masters student in Philosophy here at Miami. I’m also a graduate writing consultant at the Howe Writing Center, where in addition to consulting I help run the hybrid-format synchronous Grad Writing Hours! One of the things I’ve heard people talk about as they participate in these periods of time where everyone is working on writing towards a specific goal is how good it feels to put words on the page. Whether you’re starting a new chapter of a thesis, a textual analysis for a class, or another section of that one idea for an article, it can feel difficult to overcome the anxiety and inertia to get the writing going.  The idea for today’s blog post actually came from years of hearing advice my mom, a high school art teacher at the time, would give herself and her students when making visual art – you have to do something to move past the blank page fear. When we are looking at a blank sketchbo