Graduate Students

The Center for Excellence in Writing has proven to be a powerful resource for graduate students.

Writing Consultations for Graduate Students

Feel free to come in with specific questions, for a brainstorming session, or to request feedback on a specific aspect of your work.  While we may not have a consultant in your discipline, sometimes a thoughtful outside reader can provide you with a valuable perspective about the clarity of your work.  There are times when just talking it out with a peer can help you unknot the inevitable tangles in your project.   

We can help you with a wide variety of writing projects including:  

Even though I had a rather difficult and exclusive topic, he took the time to understand necessary concepts in order to approach the essay.

The CEW helped me a lot in both my dissertation and drafts of my journal papers.

  • Course papers
  • Dissertations
  • Theses
  • Proposals
  • Job application materials
  • Conference Presentations
  • Group Projects
  • Journal articles

Using the GSA editing service in conjunction with CEW consultations

Since CEW consultants are not copy-editors and our work with writers is interactive, we encourage you to use a combination of CEW consulting services and the Graduate Student Association's free copy editing services.

The GSA can be used for straightforward copy-editing work that can be done outside of your presence. Working with a CEW consultant is best for planning revisions and making editorial changes that need to be discussed  to make sure your meaning is preserved. The CEW may also help you with stylistic revisions to make your work easier and more pleasing for your audience to read. 

If you need both levels of work, it is a great idea to use both GSA and CEW services. For example, you could get copy-editing out of the way before you meet with a CEW consultant. Or you can work with a CEW consultant first on revisions related to meaning and then send your draft out for copy-editing. CEW consultants can also help you to respond to revision suggestions made by the GSA copy-editor.

You can submit up to 50 pages at a time to the GSA..  For full dissertations, students should plan to submit chapters individually and several months in advance of the deadline.  Turnaround time for documents submitted to the GSA is roughly two weeks. The GSA also has a Live Chat feature in which you can speak to an editor for a quick copy-edit of a short document (300 words or less), or questions related to grammar and formatting. 

Here is the link to access GSA copy-editing services:


Check out our Write Through: Dissertation Inspiration resources below, or jump to our Graduate FAQ at the bottom of this page!

Write Through: Dissertation Inspiration!

Write Through: Dissertation Inspiration is a collaboration between The Graduate School and The Center for Excellence in Writing. It includes dissertation retreats, workshops on productive writing strategies, and the Write Through article series. Our goal is to bring community, support, and shared wisdom to dissertation writers across UB. 

Dissertation Support Programs


Graduate students working on dissertations and other large projects!  The CEW is committed to helping you meet your summer writing goals with a variety of programming this summer.  Accountability and community are key! Register for any programs that interest you!  (Registration is required for all programs. Space is limited) 

Registration link:

Writing Retreats4 to 5 days of intensive work on your project, framed by discussion, goal setting and experience sharing.  Participants report making surges of progress, breaking through obstacles, and finding newfound momentum in their writing projects.  In person or Zoom format available.  Location:  17 Norton (or TBA) 

May 28 - 31, 10am -  4pm (with lunch break) in 17 Norton

July 15 - 19, 9am - 1pm (with lunch break)   Location TBA 

Mini-Writing RetreatsSimilar to regular retreats, but one day.  Keep your momentum moving forward over the summer with these opportunities for intensive work, community and accountability.  In person or Zoom formats available.  Location:  17 Norton

Friday, 6/14, Monday, 6/24. & Friday 8./9  10am - 4pm (with lunch break)  

Dissertation Café/Reading Group:  An opportunity to get together with others to explore effective strategies for navigating the process of dissertation writing and to discuss Dr. Jan Allen’s The Productive Graduate School Writer. Designed for early-mid stage dissertators, but late-stage participants also impart valuable knowledge and gain added momentum.  First 10 registrants will receive a copy of the book. Light refreshments are provided.  Ideal if you can commit to the entire series, but not required.     

Wednesdays @4pm; 5/22, 6/19, 7/31 & 8/7

Join our listserv (see below) to get announcements and reminders about graduate student programs.  Questions?  Email

We can also help departments to develop in-house groups and retreats.  

I like the retreat for hearing the collective struggles and successes of the group. It makes me feel part of a community of writers.

I would participate in this every day until my dissertation was complete, if it was available.

CEW Events

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Click here to subscribe to our Graduate Writing Support listserv to receive occasional emails about our various graduate writing and dissertation support programs and events.

Enter the listserv name "CEW-GRAD-WRITING-SUPPORT-LIST" in the box, then enter your UB email. If you are unsure whether or not you are already subscribed, email us at or check out the listserv FAQ page. You can also unsubscribe using the same subscription link above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about our Graduate level writing and consultations services. If you can't find an answer to your question here, please reach out to us at