Writing Center

Support for Thesis Writers

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, whether for one-on-one sessions, the Interterm Writers’ Retreat, or one of our many workshops.

Writing Mentoring

Our Writing Associates offer individual appointments to discuss organization, time management strategies, individual chapters, and other aspects of the thesis writing process. All of our appointments must be scheduled online.

It’s never too early to discuss your thesis with a Writing Mentor.  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 visit several writing mentors early on, in order to find one with whom to work on a regular basis. Others appreciate the variety of perspectives and strategies offered by the experience of working with several different mentors 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), your mentor will read and reflect; during the second hour, the two of you can discuss your writing.

Thesis Writers’ Workshops

The Writing Center offers a variety of workshops for thesis writers throughout the year, such as:

  • Planning, Managing, and Retaining your Thesis Research,
  • Productive Habits for Long Term Projects
  • Start Writing Your Thesis
  • The Writing Process for Writing Theses
  • Conventions of the Senior Thesis: Typical Approaches to Introductions, Body Chapters, and Conclusions

See our workshop schedule for descriptions, instructors' names, and online registration forms.

Thesis Writers’ Retreat

Because staying motivated to write daily is a challenge to most writers, the Writing Center offers Thesis Writers' Retreats during Thanksgiving, January Interterm, and spring breaks. 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.