Coaching FAQ

What does a writing coach do? Writing coaches stand by a writer or student, offering assistance and support either from the start of a writing project or somewhere during the writing process. A coach helps a writer organize a work that’s not yet begun and suggests ways to approach a project, or a coach can help after that first draft is done, offering advice and suggestions to the writer. A coach delivers detailed comments and is there for conversation about the writing process and your content.

Who uses a writing coach? High school, college, and graduate school students can use coaches as they work on their academic writing assignments. Writers and professionals use writing coaches to assist with organization and motivation as well as to stay on task provided detailed comments on their writing project.

Will you write my assigned paper for me? Absolutely not. I’ll coach, teach, encourage, advise, and otherwise support your efforts, but the writing is all up to you. Ideally, you exit a coaching or tutoring arrangement a stronger writer. Professionals and writers may make use of my copy editing services when polishing their writing projects, but in the coaching relationship, I’ll provide comprehensive feedback about what you can do to make your work stronger.

How do I start? After you contact me via the form on the right or by emailing me at contact@writewithsarah.com, we’ll schedule a consultation via phone or email. We start where you want to start. That may be at the planning stages, meaning we might meet via Google Hangout or by phone. If you have a first draft ready, we can start there, passing drafts back and forth until you call the assignment done. Where we start (and when we stop) is up to you.

What can I expect when you read my paper that’s been assigned from someone else? You can expect a careful reading for content, organization, style, mechanics, and, if you’ve provided the assignment guidelines, adherence to the assignment guidelines. I’ll leave you copious notes in the margins and at the end of the paper about what is effective and what could be stronger. I’ll make suggestions for revision that fit the level of writing in the draft you’ve submitted. If your first draft lacks a clear thesis or has weak organization, I’ll address that, saving notes on sentence structure and mechanics until the next draft, if you plan to work through two drafts with me. As you move along, so will I, working from the big picture to the small details. We’ll work together until you’re satisfied.

So how many drafts of my assignment do I need to submit? Submit as many as you need to feel the assignment is done to your satisfaction. For most writers, this is at least two drafts, and for longer works, it may be far more. I’m glad to look at what isn’t finished, and I’m delighted to look over outlines. The earlier in the project we begin to work together, the better the outcome, especially if you’re uncertain about writing.

How should I submit the drafts? I’ll accept drafts via Google Drive or Word. You can email me when a draft is ready.

May I ask questions while writing, even if I’m not ready to have a draft read? Of course. During the week, I will return your email within 24 hours.

How long does it take you to return a draft with comments? I’ll have notes to you within four business days of your submission and often sooner. Rush services are at an additional cost when my schedule allows.  You’re best off, however, not leaving writing until the last moment.

Will you check if my works cited/bibliography is properly formatted? No. While many instructors and professors either tell their students to use MLA or APA style guides while citing sources, some have their own specific styles. That page and its accuracy is up to you.  Also, because I don’t have your original source with me, I’d be guessing if you accurately included all you needed to include.  However, if your paper is written in MLA or APA style, I’ll check that you’ve correctly formatted your citations within your text. I’ll also note when it seems a citation is needed. I won’t run a plagiarism checker, but your instructor might. If I think you might have inadvertently not given another author his or her due, I’ll let you know.

Will you guarantee me a good grade/the job/publication/admission into the school of my choice? Nope. I’m here to help you produce a stronger essay, research paper, or other writing project. I make no guarantees at how that work will be received by others. I will, however, let you know if I think a paper is ready for submission or not.

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