Advisors and Advising - Graduate Writing Center

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Advisors and Advising workbook

Building the Student–Advisor Relationship

Students: wondering what to expect from your thesis advisor?
Faculty: want to improve your working relationship with your advisees?
​​​​​​​The GWC offers resources and materials to help strengthen the student–advisor relationship and improve communication, including tips and tools to support asking for and providing feedback on a thesis.

The Student–Advisor Workbook: Questions to Optimize Thesis Advising

This workbook is a flexible tool for students and advisors to fill in together early in the advising process to set expectations and establish procedures. The questions cover a range of topics: strengths and challenges, personal factors, communication, collaboration, and feedback.

The PDF includes fillable fields and checkboxes for print or electronic use:

Portions of the workbook can be downloaded by theme. Within each theme, questions are targeted at students, advisors, or both:

To view all the questions on one page, see Questions at a Glance.

Advisors and Advising students

Students: Working with Advisors

Thesis writers often have questions about how to find advisors and second readers and how to work effectively with their advising team. The following resources outline important best practices:

Help your advisors help you! Being strategic, considerate, and constructive in requesting the feedback you need can make the process more efficient and effective for both of you.

Advisors and Advising faculty

Advisors: Working with Students

Distance and time constraints are just some of the challenges that impact advising. Direct your students to resources under Students: Working with Advisors. Explore the following resources as you tailor your approach to fostering student excellence:

Use the customizable Thesis Chapter Feedback Framework as a quick and straightforward way to provide students with an overview of the major sections of a thesis or research report. The matrix breaks the thesis down into the most common sections and subsections and provides criteria that students can use to guide their work.

See a recording of the July 2022 TLC Faculty Forum in which faculty discussed the challenges and rewards of advising, and the GWC gave an overview of the helpful tools provided on this webpage:


Many of the mentoring skills learned through the traditional classroom experience can be effectively applied in a distance-learning environment: