Graduate Writing Program

The MCC graduate writing program provides a valuable resource exclusively to MCC MA students: free one-on-one sessions with a professional writing coach. In these sessions students receive constructive feedback from a writing coach and editor who is also a graduate of the MCC MA and doctoral programs.

In addition to providing an assessment of a student’s writing and suggestions for improvement, the writing coach can help students develop strategies for all stages of the writing process—from outlining and prewriting to editing and even publishing.

Specific areas of assistance include:

  • adapting to the genre of academic writing
  • working through writer’s block
  • identifying passive voice and writing for clarity
  • combatting wordiness and writing with concision
  • overall coherence/structure of a paper/argument
  • using correct citation styles
  • tips for healthy writing practices and for surviving and thriving in academia

Types of documents students can bring to coaching sessions include:

  • article abstracts
  • presentation or conference papers
  • journal articles
  • term papers
  • sections of a thesis (such as literature reviews, case studies/ethnographies, textual analysis, etc.)
  • cover letters and resumes/curricula vitae (cv’s)
  • personal statements for doctoral programs
  • writing samples for fellowships, scholarships, PhD, or job applications

Students must email their document to the writing coach 24 hours in advance of their appointment. Appointments will run approximately 45 minutes. Extended sessions available upon request for longer documents like theses (and, in some cases, dissertations).

The writing program also offers group workshops throughout the semester. Workshops cover the topics listed above.

Get to Know the Writing Coach: Kari Hensley

Kari Hensley is the Writing Coach for MCC’s graduate students and the co-founder of the department’s Writing Program along with Shima Gorgani and Winnie Wu. Kari holds a PhD (2013) and an MA (2007) from MCC at NYU, and a BA in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley (2000). She has over five years of teaching and writing coaching experience. Additionally, she is a professional academic developmental and copy editor with a roster of clients ranging from graduate students to tenured professors. As a researcher, she has worked with the research institute Data & Society investigating the social implications and political economy of data mining in consumer finance, criminal justice, housing, education, and employment; and at the Debt Collective (formerly Strike Debt) researching the intricacies of student debt and the financialization of higher education. Prior to her career in academia, she ran a non-profit arts organization based in San Francisco with artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña. Outside of work, you'll probably find her teaching someone how to rock climb.