Good instincts, clear thinking, and a sense of academic style may be enough to produce first-rate college papers, but to succeed at the greater challenge of writing a multi-chapter thesis, an informed approach to the craft of writing may be helpful. Many Amherst College honors thesis writers have found that support, guidance, and motivation in the Writing Center.
Early in the fall, you might learn about integrating your research and writing processes, get support in setting deadlines, talk through your ideas, or get feedback on early writing.
As you move towards completing your first chapter, we may help you develop your revision skills, find an effective writing process, and improve your writing more generally, so that drafts of subsequent chapters are even stronger.
If you find yourself stuck, we can help you get going again, whether you need help sorting out your ideas, structuring your time, avoiding procrastination, or discovering new strategies for writing.
We encourage you to visit the Writing Center early and often for one-on-one sessions. We also offer workshops by request to academic departments who wish to offer their thesis students discipine-specific writing process support. We host an Interterm Writers’ Retreat for a concentrated sprint of productivity in January, and the the Writing Center also co-hosts (with the Library) the Weekly Thesis Write-Ins in Frost Library.
Our Writing Associates offer individual appointments to discuss organization, time management strategies, individual chapters, and other aspects of the thesis writing process. We encourage thesis students to complete the Thesis Intake Form, both to facilitate your thinking on how you would prefer to use the Writing Center, and to help us support your individual process appropriately.
It’s never too early to discuss your thesis with a writing associate. Bring in an early chapter, a rough outline, a pile of notes. We work with students at all points in the writing process, and strongly encourage writers to begin visiting the Writing Center early in the year.
Some thesis writers find it useful to find one associate with whom to work on a regular basis. Others appreciate the variety of perspectives and strategies offered by working with different associates throughout the writing process.
If you would like for us to talk to you about a draft that is longer than 8 pages, please schedule two appointments with the same mentor, and email your draft to your mentor in advance of the first appointment. During the first hour (which you need not attend), the associate will read, and during the second hour, the two of you can discuss your writing.
Because staying motivated to write daily is a challenge to most writers, the Writing Center offers Thesis Writers' Retreats during the January Interterm. Each morning, participants gather to write in a common space, setting writing goals and then reviewing those goals at the close of the session. Writing Center staff are available for consultation, and coffee and snacks are provided.