Effective Practices for Faculty Mentors, Program Directors, and M.A. Advisees


Faculty Mentors and/or Program Directors (depending on the program’s division of advising responsibilities)

  1. Introduce advisees into the professional practices of the discipline (e.g. the nature of original research, networking with organizations, publishing, conference attendance)
  2. Encourage and guide student participation in professional conferences
  3. Suggest pertinent bibliographical sources and approaches for students’ research, and advise on accepted citation practices
  4. Provide editing advice on grammar, style and structure, and success of the overall argument
  5. Read and return written work to advisee promptly and with useful comments
  6. Communicate with faculty and staff regularly and as appropriate regarding students’ progress and specific matters as they arise
  7. Provide timely and thoughtful letters of recommendation
  8. Meet with advisees individually to discuss applying to Ph.D. programs or preparing for the job market Provide support to advisees beyond graduation

M.A. Advisees

  1. Initiate a timetable of regular meetings with the adviser and attend meetings at the agreed-upon time
  2. Define coursework and research goals with adviser
  3. Make an agenda and use a calendar to organize time and effort to meet deadlines
  4. If appropriate, submit drafts of written work with questions for adviser as needed
  5. Give ample time to faculty to read and comment on drafts of written work
  6. Respond fully to adviser’s comments and critiques, including incorporating agreed-upon changes and revisions
  7. Proofread and edit so that the final version of papers and thesis is as finished as possible
  8. When requesting a letter of recommendation, offer adviser and other faculty an updated c.v. or résumé, a copy of the proposal, statement of purpose or cover letter, and a memo or outline on the state of work in progress; if applicable, also a list of courses taken with the faculty member, as well as titles of papers and topics of presentations made in class; allow ample time (at least three weeks) for faculty to write a letter of recommendation
  9. Consult adviser on significant academic and professional decisions
  10. Keep adviser informed of academic and professional development after graduation