Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student and I met to work on a second revision to her nonfiction piece, the one she hopes to publish. As we'd spent much of our previous sessions crafting basic storytelling elements for this piece -- the setting of its scenes, the building of its climax, the broadening of its character-based context -- we took a new tack for today's session: tightening and trimming. Much of her professor's feedback centered on this concept. Our goal was to cut the paper by at least several pages. So we went through her revised copy line by line, eliminating every word, phrase or sentence that didn't serve to enhance the narrative or its characters. After a page or two, she seemed to be channeling my thoughts. She's picked up on basic editing and proofreading principles quickly. We plan to finish the edit on Saturday. She didn't struggle with any facet of today's session; in fact, she seemed to be enjoying the work as it became easier for her."
"He had traced a motif through the book he had been reading for his English class, so I tried to get him to think about the author's intentions and what the repeated images added to the story. He had a history essay coming up as well, so we talked about this at length; he was having trouble forming a thesis, so I tried to help him tease out possible lines of thought to follow. Lastly, I had prepared a list of literary terms for him, so I gave that to him and went over some of the major terms that would be useful in any English papers he has to write. It was our final session, so I ended with a quick recap of our program. I recommended that, as he moves forward with his classes, he try as much as possible to outline his papers and then save revision for after a draft is complete."
"For tonight's session I emailed the student a list of grammar websites for us to review. We spent tonight reviewing the first site and doing the exercises for all the different verb tenses. This is a great resource because it very succinctly defines each type of verb tense and provides several good examples. We just completed the exercises orally and got into a few discussions about how people speak vs. what is correct. I told him my goal is to increase his confidence in his skills and to build a group of resources to reference when he has questions or wants to confirm he has written something correctly. He's made great progress and I feel that we've been very productive. He told me that he has much more awareness and notices errors with commas and mechanics!"