How to prepare for your Appointment

At the start of your appointment, your tutor will ask questions about your project and set goals for the session. Your appointment will be more productive if you can explain three core aspects of your project: 

  • PURPOSE: What is my project trying to achieve or accomplish? 
  • AUDIENCE: Who is my project for and what might it need to be considered “successful” by this audience? 
  • GENRE: What are the key structural and stylistic characteristics of projects in this genre? 

Before your session, jot down a quick answer to each question above and be prepared to discuss them with your tutor. If you aren’t sure how to answer these questions, or if you need help getting started with your project, that’s ok too! Just skip this step and make sure you bring with you the items listed below.  

What to Bring to your Appointment 

Here are few things you will want to have on hand (either physically or digitally) for your appointment: 

  • Assignment sheet or prompt 
  • Copy of your project  
  • Something to take notes with 
  • One or two questions or concerns you would like to address in your appointment 

Depending on where you are in the process, you may also want to bring the following: 

  • Brainstorming, outline, or other process materials 
  • Source materials you may want to reference during your session 
  • Feedback from your peers and/or instructor 

Preparing for Specific Types of Appointments

We see students for all kinds of reasons, and certain appointments demand different things. To help you prepare, please consider the following:

Brainstorming appointments

Come with your assignment sheet, initial notes, and a way to make notes. These appointments tend to be interactive, sometimes using a whiteboard or other organizing system, but having a way to track your own notes is helpful.

Interview Practice

Interview practice appointments need some setup. Most importantly, we need to know what you are prepping for. We also ask that you bring a bank of questions associated with your event/interview/field in mind. Any additional information about the interview context will also help us to create an authentic interview experience or help us to workshop interview questions effectively.

Presentation Practice

These appointments are active and may need a little time to set up, if you have slides, etc. We will likely work in a breakout space, so please identify if you will need a screen. You will also want to come with a dongle or USB if you are using your own laptop, as we do not have any for use. We ask that you also know how long your presentation should be, if you want help with pacing.

Professional Materials

We are happy to assist you with all your professional materials and can help you with content and formatting. In-person appointments might benefit from two printed copies of resumes and cover letters so we can mark them up, side-by-side. If you prefer to do this digitally, create a copy to share that we can mark up and mess with. We ask that you generate any shared digital documents in some version of Word, since the markup features are more universally accessible.


For those seeking assistance with dissertations and theses, we advise you to plan ahead, regardless of where you are in the process. These sessions may be conversations about approaches to writing, but they can also be locally oriented. Local, task-oriented sessions will focus on just a few pages at a time. For each of these sessions, we suggest that you select one chapter section or identify one specific topic to address. Some common topics include visual components, theoretical framework, citations, and flow between sections

Visual Materials

For visual materials, like slide decks, posters, charts, graphs, etc. we ask that you check ahead and make sure we can access the platform/software through which you are working. You may also elect to bring your laptop. Even if you are early in the creation process, having images, text, or themes pre-selected, where applicable, will help us make the most of our time.

Video Appointments

To help reduce setup time, make your documents available to share via a link in the chat, or have them open so you can share your screen. If you have multiple documents (say a draft and an assignment sheet), we can view those on a split screen.

Asynchronous Appointments

Generally speaking, submitting a Word document is best—that ensures that the tutor is able to open the document and leave detailed feedback using the review and comment features. If you are most interested in feedback on document design and images in your text, you should submit a PDF.