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Besides being an academic mode of communication, writing is a form of social and personal interaction. For example, when we write, we expose ourselves to critique—something most of us dislike. And sometimes these external factors generate concerns serious enough to affect our ability to write. They might be on the individual level (e.g., dealing with severe writer’s block) or stem from interactions with others (e.g., conflicting messages about what one’s committee wants a prospectus to entail). Regardless of the issue, if you are experiencing a concern related to writing, a writing support session is available for you. Academic, Professional, and Technical Graduate Writing Development Director Robby Nadler offers three types of services to assist students with their concerns (read below to see which service is right for you). To schedule a support appointment, please e-mail Robby Nadler.

Note that all of these services are considered private (in line with FERPA regulations) but are not confidential. Please see the last section of this page for how to obtain confidential services (for writing-related and/or general concerns).

Writing Counseling Services

Counseling appointments are available for students who wish to discuss any writing concern that goes beyond the academic/professional nature of traditional writing consultations. Reasons that students seek out this service include (but are not limited to) severe writer’s block, fear of failure on writing assignments, feeling upset with one’s writing abilities, and uncertainty about how to approach faculty to discuss writing-related matters. Counseling appointments seek to provide solutions to student concerns and/or refer students to the appropriate parties on campus who can assist.

Writing Facilitation Services

Facilitated appointments bring together parties who seek to discuss writing-related matters in the presence of the Academic, Professional, and Technical Graduate Writing Development Director. In this role, the Academic, Professional, and Technical Graduate Writing Development Director serves as a third party to record the session’s progress, focus discussions, and help draft solutions. These sessions are ideal when students are working collaboratively on assignments and wish to assign responsibilities, have interdisciplinary committees and want all parties to adhere to a single framework to evaluate work, and want to gather committee members to generate guidelines for producing a written product. The goal of these appointments is for all parties to produce and agree to a document that stipulates conditions for producing and evaluating the writing discussed.

Writing Advising Services

Similar to facilitated appointments, advising appointments bring together parties to discuss writing-related matters. However, instead of acting as a facilitator, the Academic, Professional, and Technical Graduate Writing Development Director participates in these sessions as an active party. These appointments are ideal for when students and other parties have previously met to remedy writing concerns but are still at an impasse. After explaining each side’s positions, the Academic, Professional, and Technical Graduate Writing Development Director will offer recommendations based on his expertise. All advice given in these sessions is non-binding, i.e., all recommendations are just that unless all parties agree to follow the offered advice.

Ombuds Services

The Academic, Professional, and Technical Graduate Writing Development Director is not a confidential resource. Know, however, that the Office of the Ombuds at UC Santa Barbara provides confidential consultation services to faculty, staff, students, parents, or anyone else with a campus-related concern. The ombuds addresses workplace issues, interpersonal conflict, academic concerns, policy questions, and many other problems, whether as a first step, last resort, or at any point along the way. The Office of the Ombuds is dedicated to ensuring fairness throughout the University and regularly makes recommendations for systemic change. Common support areas for graduate students include: difficulties with advisors, teaching or research concerns, authorship disputes, academic standing decisions, departmental or university policies, conflicts with peers, harassment or bias (of any nature), disability accommodations, ethical dilemmas, and funding concerns.