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

Dissertations writers can become isolated which might lead to a loss of motivation and periods of inactivity.  To help dissertation writers keep moving forward toward their goals, we offer programs that create contexts of community, support and accountability.  These take the following forms:

Writing Groups

These are weekly meetings, usually in 3 hour blocks, in which writers come together to work on their individual projects.  They are usually structured with goal setting at the beginning of the session and a report of accomplishments at the end.  The frame of conversation around working time allows for discussion and sharing to overcome common challenges in the dissertation process.  Ideally, writers form a community of friendship and support. 

Spring 2024:

General Writing Group: Thursdays 6pm - 9pm (Hybrid - on Zoom and in 17 Norton) - facilitated by Jake Sanders. Zoom link

Writing Group for Graduate Students of Color - Sundays 1pm to 4pm (Hybrid - on Zoom and in 436 Clemens Hall)  - facilitated by BreAnna Rice and Sherika Caliste.  (see flyer below)  

Email for the Zoom link for all virtual writing groups.

Dissertation Café 

This is an opportunity for you to gather to share strategies, commiserate, and connect. Come talk about your dissertation journey, ask questions, share best practices, and discover a community of support. 

Spring 2024 Cafes to be announced.  

Dissertation Retreats

Our Dissertation Retreats help you to make bursts of significant progress toward completion of major projects. Dissertation Retreats are five day, focused, writing events.  Similar to writing groups, writing days are framed by goal setting and conversation, but the majority of the time is spent working on your individual project.  

Upcoming retreats to be announced

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.

Writing Group for Graduate Students of Color

writing group for graduate students of color flyer.

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