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Private In-Home and Online College Essays Tutoring in Hendersonville, TN

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Session Summaries by College Essays Tutors

Hendersonville, TN College Essays tutoring
This was my first session with this student. We spent the lesson writing an essay together on the model of something she is working on for her class. I focused on the importance of specificity and on trying to avoid repetition. She seemed happy and applied herself to the task at hand throughout the lesson. Her writing was well-organized, though a bit colloquial for an essay. I left her with an assignment: she is to practice free writing (writing with no prompt and with no self-censorship) for 10 minutes 3 times during the week. She doesn't have to turn these in and can throw them away when she is finished (this is to encourage freedom of expression, since she will not feel that she has to show her writing to anyone). The aim of this homework is to simply practice stringing words together spontaneously, and thereby to get a feel for language.
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Hendersonville, TN College Essays tutoring
Today we revisited the passage from last week. We started from the title and applied reading strategies. At the end, she was successful with the questions. Afterwards, we briefly discussed behavioral and physical adaptations.
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Hendersonville, TN College Essays tutoring
The student and I read through a reading on the Byzantine Empire together, and I helped him fully understand the material by taking it apart with him one paragraph at a time. We also worked on a writing assignment together, which he has demonstrated improvement upon week by week. We also began to study for his Math test on Friday, focusing on turning fractions into decimals and finding ordered pairs on a graph.
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Hendersonville, TN College Essays tutoring
The student came to today's session extremely prepared, and I was glad to see that we were back on track. To start out the session, I gave him a spelling quiz, and he did a lot better than usual. After the quiz, I had him do another self reflection, and then we worked on another "Fix the Errors" handout. He seemed to recognize most of the mistakes, but he still struggles with plural and irregular plural possessives. However, when he and I moved on to editing his writing assignments, he recognized most of the mistakes he made regarding plural possessives and was able to change those errors before we went through the essay. In reviewing his essays, we started out with Essay #1 and went through it for a third time. He was very comfortable with that essay, and I think that next week he will be turning in the final product. As we moved on to Essay #2, I noticed that the student had dramatically improved from Essay #1 to Essay #2. He still had trouble with spelling and grammar, and I think he may be relying too heavily on his computer's spell check and grammar check, but I did notice great improvement in essay structure, main ideas, supporting evidence, and directness. By the time he and I moved on to his free write about his favorite season, he was much more comfortable with the process. I've noticed that he's begun to correct his own errors before I bring his attention to them. He's also a lot less shy about telling me what he intended to say with a specific sentence. Overall, we still struggle the most with grammar and spelling, but I am noticing improvement. He had a great attitude about everything we went over, and I truly believe he is starting to enjoy the writing process. To me, it seems that he no longer sees his errors as a flaw, but almost a challenge that he can and will overcome. On the first day we met, I gave him a quote by C.S. Lewis that I have grown to love. This week, I noticed that he had pasted the quote to the front of his writing folder. He is a dedicated student, and I am certain he will become a great writer. I also reminded him that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. I encouraged him to keep on practicing, because each week, we get closer and closer to that 10,000 mark. For next week, I asked him to revise Essay #1 and Essay #2. I also asked him to study for our next spelling quiz, which will contain new misspelled words from Essay #2.
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Hendersonville, TN College Essays tutoring
We had a pretty wide-ranging discussion of Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground, the different essay prompts her teacher provided, and different themes in the book. We focused on existentialism and the narrator's irrationality. We talked about the framework of the essay, worked on an outline, and established a general thesis statement. Given the complex, ambiguous nature of the material, the student did really well. She is going to work on her rough draft before our next session tomorrow.
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Hendersonville, TN College Essays tutoring
The session continued with the student's entrance exam preparations. We specifically covered reading comprehension by practicing reading passages and answering multiple choice questions about them. The student improved, with some progress. I emphasized the process of elimination and other test-taking strategies. He should continue to read to expand vocabulary, quicken reading speeds, and improve general comprehension. Another test-taking strategy that he should consider is reading questions before reading the passage in order to better pre-filter information.
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