Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"The student has a grasp of writing that is well above average and requires only a boost in confidence and some suggestions for handling punctuation and other mechanics. Her abilities in the areas of sentence structure, word use, grammatical construction and other writing essentials are strong. Today, we worked on punctuation, comma use in particular, and reinforcing her confidence in herself as a writer. We focused on "the rules" and attempted to tackle her concerns about some of the less helpful guidelines, such as those regarding prepositions, conjunctions, the use of "because" to start a sentence and others. The purpose was to help her relax and trust her own instincts when writing. She seemed happy to be able to send some of the rules she was taught years ago packing."
"He is an excellent student; I am more a guide than a teacher. A lot of the grammatical points he already knows as he has studied several semesters of ancient Greek. We are presently continuing looking at all aspects of the sentence and we are looking at nouns and verbs."
"I first spent about 15 minutes on why writing is so important and how the student could and would benefit from learning a correct structure for any writing assignment and for any course. We then covered 20 vocabulary words I gave him to work with out of a vocabulary workbook. He will compete the drills for next week. Learning to use a higher level of diction will only add benefits to his writing. We then reviewed a paragraph consisting of numerous writing errors and he revised this. He was practicing the 3rd step of writing , which is the revision process. Lastly I reviewed with him the criteria needed for writing a good essay introduction, but will review this heavily over the next several sessions. I left him with a writing assignment of writing an introduction on an editorial I left him. I will critique this next session and show him an example of how an introduction is written."
"In addition to quizzing him on definitions, subtypes and examples of each part of speech, I had the student do some writing exercises to ensure he could use them in a real-world application. I tasked him with composing complete sentences that had at least one example of each of the eight elements. I thought he did well. I also made sure to dedicate some review time to other composition-based rules and concepts -- subjects and verbs, phrases and clauses -- and took time to introduce a couple new elements, such as the direct and indirect objects. I tried to strike a balance between discussion and execution; he seemed to have a positive attitude toward this approach. In addition to broadening his reading, I've strongly encouraged him to pencil in some time each week to review what we covered in our sessions. I made especially sure to leave him with this advice today, because we need to move on to more grammar-based concepts, and have slated spelling and punctuation as our next points of concentration. I've also assigned a short writing sample for homework (on a topic of his choosing), wherein he's meant to focus on crafting complete sentences, integrating the various parts of speech in the proper way and incorporating the major types of punctuation marks. I suggested he leave his spelling untouched so that we include a discussion on phonetics during our next session."
"The student and I discussed his Harrison Bergeron essay for a final time. He had some interesting ideas and was able to develop some of them well. We then discussed the overall process and how he felt about reviewing his own work. We agreed that his essay improved a lot between the first draft and the third draft. He also seemed to have a better understanding of how to approach his own work to edit it. We then went on to discuss the next essay. I gave him a quote, "Modern technology, Owes ecology, An apology." Alan M. Eddison (the quote is a short poem). We discussed what he thought it meant and his reaction. I asked the student to write an essay or letter discussing the quote and his reaction. He had a lot of opinions about it and seemed to be interested in the rhetorical style in addition to the content. We also discussed some things he could use as examples in his piece. We ended the session with a short lesson on grammar- when to use dashes between adjectives."
"We looked over my comments on her most recent draft and polished her section on men. We talked through some of the places in which she had incorporated some new scholarship. We also rewrote the roadmap in her introduction so that it more accurately reflected the course her paper has taken. For next time she will have a complete draft of the paper with all of the scholarship incorporated."