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Private In-Home and Online College Essays Tutoring in Austin, TX

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Session Summaries by College Essays Tutors

Austin, TX College Essays tutoring
Met with the student to discuss his final assignments for this year and a paper his English teacher had returned on Macbeth. He received an "A" on the paper, a passage analysis that we had discussed last session before he completed it. His final exam in English will be another passage commentary on Macbeth, probably from the end of the play (he 'll have a choice of two passages) so we focused on how to tie the language and themes of those climactic passages back into the play's main themes and metaphors. I urged him to use the specific language of the "life is a tale told by an idiot" soliloquy to elucidate and enlarge the meaning of whatever passage he decides to choose from the options given. For the second half of the session, we discussed a contemporary US History project he and small group need to finish over the weekend on the history of Vietnamese in the Bay Area. I urged him to look at the bigger picture of where and when Vietnamese immigrants had settled in the US after 1975 -- and also to see what information was available about the Vietnamese in the Bay Area before 1975. He has been pleasure to work with!
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Austin, TX College Essays tutoring
The student had a skeleton outline of what is to be covered on her English final (the items she'll have to identify and explain when doing analyses of passages, grammar: clauses, compound-complex sentences, etc.). I asked her to give me a rundown of the checklist and to talk to me about the areas she was less sure of so we could take some time with these. She felt she grasped compound-complex sentences well and, as it turned out, could verbalize the necessary ingredients well. We spoke about compound in terms of two main clauses and something bringing them together (a coordinating conjunction like "and", "or" or a semi-colon) and defined complex as independent clause + dependent clause. As we discussed differentiating factors, the student took notes -- putting my definitions in her own words. I then gave her some practice: identifying the independent and dependent clause in various complex sentences, reviewing sentences and identifying them as simple, complex, compound, or compound-complex, etc. She sailed through this and I'm not surprised she did. She does well when she already has the sentences and has to label them or consider them against definitions. After this, we started organizing a philosophy assignment/project that will take us through the next week or two. The first step was for the student to take two online quizzes on personal philosophy. She will get an opportunity to use these results to craft an informal/research essay on her personal philosophy in the weeks ahead.
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Austin, TX College Essays tutoring
Today, the student and I went over plot, themes, and essay topics from The Great Gatsby. The student outlined three possible essays and she will write one of them over the next week for us to review in the following session.
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Austin, TX College Essays tutoring
Overall, great session. Focused on essay construction and organization, in addition to time management and outlining skills. Left student with two sample prompts, essays under 500 words. Looking forward to our progress.
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Austin, TX College Essays tutoring
In this session, we continued the editing process to finalize her three writing portfolio pieces. I think the revision process is something that she will benefit from greatly as she practices editing. She has a clear knack for organization, but the clarity and flow of her arguments need to be worked on. The changes she made in this session demonstrated that she understands the weaknesses in her writing, which should point to long term improvement in her writing overall.
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Austin, TX College Essays tutoring
I started off our session by asking the student some questions about her academic goals, interests, endeavors, strengths, and weaknesses, just so that I could get to know her and have an idea of how to approach the material with her. We proceeded to discussing what I call the "central prompt" of literary analysis (namely, "analyze the relationship between form and content in this text") and I showed her several examples ranging from simple onomatopoeic words to short poems to entire Shakespearean plays. Then she verbally analyzed the forms and contents of several other examples of poetry with the help of my prompts. She seemed to have a few "aha!" moments during this section, which was heartening. Finally we discussed an essay she had recently written, and I gave her instructions for an essay template that has been effective for me as a student for many years. As we went over the essay, I showed her moments where her arguments were clearly and eloquently related to the prompt, and I pointed to other sentences and asked her to suggest ways we might improve them. I advised that she make sure to stay conscious of her choice of subject in her sentences because sometimes her use of the passive voice would weaken her argument and make it difficult to understand. I look forward to meeting with her again, since she is bright and eager to learn!
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