What kinds of support do coaches provide?
Spark Writing Coaches can assist students with all aspects of the writing and research process. This includes finding academic sources for projects, navigating library resources, outlining, drafting and proof-reading papers. Additionally, our coaches are happy to help with resumes and CVs, personal statements, and other professional materials that our students might need assistance with as well.
Do I have to have a complete project/draft before meeting with a Writing Coach?
No! Students can meet with coaches at any stage of the research/writing process. In fact, we encourage students to work with coaches to refine sections or components of projects.
How can I begin working with a coach?
Our coaches work with students through a variety of formats including in-person meetings in the School of Music Library, virtual meetings via Zoom, or asynchronously via email. To schedule a time to meet with a coach, access the Google calendar page. In addition to scheduling, this page provides brief bios for each of our coaches that describe their experience, coaching specialties and preferred method of coaching (in-person, Zoom, email).
When can I expect to receive feedback from a coach?
Any coach who reviews writing samples via email will respond within 48-hours to let you know they received your sample and tell you when you can expect feedback. Asynchronous feedback will be provided within a week of receiving the writing sample.
If working with a coach asynchronously, what length of writing sample should I send via email?
Students should send writing samples no longer than 10 pages at a time. This will ensure that coaches are able to provide detailed and timely feedback regarding a writing sample. However, students who are working on larger projects (such as theses and dissertations) are encouraged to break their documents into smaller pieces in order to collaborate with Writing Coaches on a continual basis.
What are the limitations for Writing Coaches?
Writing coaches are not meant to be professional copy editors. This means that while our coaches can certainly help students proofread and review papers, they are not expected to copyedit entire documents.
Additionally, if you are seeking assistance with proofreading and editing, the most effective method for undergoing this process is in-person or via Zoom. That way you can work through a writing sample with a coach in real time and gain a better understanding of why certain corrections need to be made. This integrates editing with the learning process and will ultimately aid you in editing your own work in the future.