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

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.  

Dissertation Retreats:  Our Dissertation Retreats, co-sponsored by The Graduate School, 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 projects. 

Topical Workshops:  In addition to the intellectual, scholarly challenges, writing a dissertation is a large, multi-dimensional project to manage.  In the rearview mirror, most dissertation completors, recognize the project management skills that they have developed, the pitfalls they encountered and how they dug themselves out of these holes and got back on track.  It can save graduate students a lot of time and frustration to be aware of these dimensions and pitfalls in advance and to begin collecting strategies toward a successful dissertation journey.  Topical workshops on Dissertation project management include time management, mindset, community and well-being. 

If you are interested in any of these dissertation support programs, please email to get the latest schedule and get on our list-serve. 

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


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

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



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