Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Melinda Knight

Committee Member

Emily Isaacs

Committee Member

Jessica Restaino


This study reports on the changing perceptions of writing consultants at one university (Montclair State University's Center for Writing Excellence) who began working synchronously online in a chat format with students starting in Spring 2011. The one-year study was comprised of a survey and interview with 16 writing consultants who, prior to 2011, had only worked with students in a face-to-face environment. After capturing initial reactions, the same survey and interview questions were repeated with 11 consultants who chose to be the first online writing consultants at the university. The gap this research undertook was to provide a measurement for consultant success online while adhering to writing center philosophies and best practices. The results of the research provided improved training and practices for online consultation. The implications for a wider audience of consulting professionals are the specific areas of success and challenges that can be instituted or addressed in order to serve the student population virtually as well as in person.

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