Skip to content

Bringing a Consultation to an End

Please pay attention to time during the middle of the consultation. If at all possible, it is valuable to find a stopping place with ten minutes left so that you and the student can recap what you’ve done and plan the student’s subsequent revision work. It is often worthwhile to ask the student to begin this summary: What has she figured out? What does she have left to do? You can then reinforce (or add) what discoveries you found most significant and what revisions most pressing.

Before you conclude the session, ask the student to write down the next three steps in a revision plan. A student may have wonderful ideas during the consultation, but be unable to remember them in a few hours; if there’s a written record of your recommendations, the student will be much more likely to be able to revise successfully on her own. While it can be hard to squeeze this into a fifty-minute session, students often say that unless they leave with a written agenda, they cannot remember what they had planned to do when they return to work on their papers alone. Summing up the consultation can also give shape to a session that might otherwise seem amorphous to a student, and thus show her the significance of what she has accomplished with you. (This exercise can also help you to get a head start figuring out what you want to put in your consultation report.) As you close the consultation, it is also a good idea to send the student off with praise for what she has done and reassurance about her ability to finish her paper or revise and improve her draft.

Please ask the student to take a few minutes to fill out an evaluation form before leaving the Writing Center.