Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"For our third session, the student and I picked up our progress with the Issue Task. After a quick review of the importance of linear progression of logic, diverse and well-developed supporting evidence, and other basic must-dos, we dove into an exercise that involved some actual writing. Using a list of Issue prompts -- the common themes of which we also touched on -- we chose one that was accompanied by a sample response. So we had a good point of reference for what we needed. The exercise involved crafting a clear thesis, a two-sentence synopsis/preview of where each supporting paragraph was going and what examples it would entail, and a resounding conclusion that addressed a larger, big-picture issue. The main goal was to get her in the habit of thinking along the kinds of creative and critical channels that are crucial to the test, and which, in firmly ingrained, can save time on the actual writing. Because this was her first time doing any real writing in quite some time, and because she's re-training her brain to think in these modes, I helped with the idea formulation and word choice. I found that she was able to build excellent foundations for each portion of her essay, but struggled more when trying to expand upon them, specifically by bolstering them with specific examples of social, historical, or economic significance. I think that reading more sample essays that have scored well will be instrumental in facilitating this kind of thinking. It's tough, but can be mastered with enough practice. We plan to keep doing these kinds of exercises, as she is definitely someone who learns by doing, as she puts it. I think she was very responsive to the general idea of improving her writing, something that can only be beneficial in whatever line of work she lands in. In closing, I stressed the importance of finding a little time in between our sessions to work on this stuff, mainly to ensure that it stays refreshed in her mind as the test draws nearer."
"Today, we continued to work on the Issues essay, focusing on the intro to make sure he can launch into a good intro quickly. In addition, we spent a lot of time looking at claim/reason prompts."
"We began with discussing the format of the test and completed a diagnostic test. We reviewed the diagnostic test."