Online Interactive Thesis or Dissertation Reading

A trained graduate Writing Lab assistant will meet you on Google Hangouts to discuss your thesis or dissertation. This service is essentially the same as our face-to-face thesis and dissertation reading service, but it is accessible to distance learners.

What should I consider before scheduling an appointment?

  • Determine how many appointments you'll need for your paper. On average, graduate Writing Lab assistants can read between two and ten pages an hour, depending on the quality of the paper and the experience of the reader.
  • Keep in mind that Writing Lab assistants will not write your papers for you, nor can they help you produce error-free, publishable papers.
  • Visit the "Hangouts System Requirements" webpage to make sure the Google Hangouts software will work on your computer.

How do I schedule an appointment?

  • Either call or visit the Main Writing Lab;
  • Make sure you have the following to expedite the scheduling process:
    • your UWF Gmail address,
    • when you plan to submit your thesis or dissertation (Note: Writing Lab assistants will not read a thesis or dissertation on the day you plan to submit it),
    • the name of your thesis or dissertation coordinator;
  • Keep in mind you can make only one two-hour thesis or dissertation appointment per day;
  • Check your e-mail for messages confirming your appointments.

How should I prepare for my session?

  • Create the best draft you can. The time for a paper reading is limited, and the last thing you want is the Writing Lab assistant correcting things that could have been corrected before the paper reading began;
  • Convert your thesis or dissertation to a Microsoft Word document if you're not already using Microsoft Word (If you don't have Microsoft Word, then consider accessing this Office suite for free through UWF's My Desktop software);
  • If you need to cancel your appointment, contact the Main Writing Lab at least twenty-four hours in advance.  If you need to cancel your appointment while the Writing Lab is closed, you may either call and leave a voicemail message or e-mail us.  Please give us your name, the date and time of your appointment, and the name of your paper reader;
  • Note: If you do not cancel your appointment twenty-four hours in advance, then your appointment will count as a no-show). 

How does a Google Hangouts session work?

  • You should receive a link to the Google Hangouts session at least 10 minutes before the session is scheduled to begin. Contact the Main Writing Lab promptly if you haven't received the link;
  • E-mail a copy of your thesis or dissertation at least 30 minutes before the session is scheduled to begin, and make sure the thesis or dissertation you e-mail us is a Microsoft Word document (A Hangouts session is the only circumstance under which we allow a student to e-mail a paper to the Lab);
  • Join the session before it is scheduled to begin.  If you don't join the session within 10 minutes after the session is scheduled to begin, you will lose your appointment, and your appointment will count as a no-show;
  • DSL/Cable connections are preferred over wireless connections;
  • In addition to visiting the "Fix Problems with Hangouts" webpage, you may contact UWF Information Technology Services (ITS) at 850.474.2075 if you run into issues. If you call ITS after 5:00 PM, you will have to leave a message on their voicemail;  
  • The Lab reserves the right to count your appointment as a no-show if you can't join the session because of technical problems;
  • Because of the time it takes to speak versus the time it takes to type messages in a chatroom, microphones are highly recommended; howerver, a microphone is not required in order for you to participate in these online sessions.  You must be able to hear audio whether you use a microphone or not;
  • Wearing headphones throughout the session may improve sound quality;
  • Make sure your environment is free of noise so you can hear your paper reader and so your paper reader can hear you if you use a microphone;
  • If you are having audio problems, visit the "Fix Audio or Video Call Problems" webpage and browse the solutions before contacting ITS;
  • Have the sources you used on hand.

What is my role during the session?

  • You must sit in front of your computer while the Writing Lab assistant reads your thesis or dissertation in front of his or her computer. You will be able see every revision the reader makes as he or she makes it, so be prepared to be fully engaged throughout the reading, just as you would be during class. You will have to be present for the entire session;
  • Each appointment lasts two hours, but the paper reader will work on your paper for only 105-110 minutes.  The paper reader will spend 10-15 minutes completing a Paper Reading Report for your professor.  The Paper Reader will scan your paper into Navigate to show your professor that a paper reading took place;
  • You do not have to accept every revision that your paper reader suggests, but the reader does have to mark the recommended revisions on your paper so that there is a record of said recommendations;
  • Your paper reader will use Microsoft Word's Track Changes feature to make mark-ups on your paper.

What should I do after my thesis/dissertation reading?

  • Use the marked-up copy you and your paper reader revised as a guide to help you change your thesis or dissertation;
  • Although the Lab isn't responsible for the rejection or acceptance of your thesis or dissertation, you should still keep track of the marked-up copy until after your thesis or dissertation has been accepted or rejected.