Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"During our second session, we reviewed common "College Writing Tips" from both university and education news sources. We then took a second look at the challenge of knowing where to start writing when we are assigned a large writing assignment or when there is more than one answer to an essay prompt. We used an example from her Senior Thesis, and examined ways that she can break down an essay question so that it becomes more manageable. We then tackled the issue of what to do if she has written a piece that she is satisfied with, but the piece falls short of the assignment's page length requirement. We discussed strategies for expanding an essay without negatively impacting the quality of the essay or straying away from the main point. We concluded our session with establishing time management strategies for balancing course load and assignments with extracurricular activities and daily life. Before next week, she is going to find one additional writing tip to add to her list."
"The student worked on creating a five paragraph essay with research and cited sources. We will work on editing and including more detail to the essay next week."
"We began the session with the student reading aloud her new essay draft. She and I took a fine-toothed comb and went over all of the essay except the conclusion, looking for unnecessary words or phrases. One example is we eliminated every extraneous use of the word "again" or "bike," as these words tended to crop up given the content of the essay. We spent most of our session discussing the conclusion. I had the student talk extemporaneously about how her story affects her life and worldview while I took verbatim notes to show her later. We discussed some themes that became apparent as she spoke. She then wrote a rough conclusion based on the thoughts she had, and we discussed making the conclusion flow seamlessly and dynamically. We ended with going over the entire essay one more time, paring down any and all unnecessary words and phrases. Her essay shows fantastic narrative structure, analysis, and growth. With the tools that we have been honing, including concision, relevancy, and analysis, she will be able to improve her future writing as well. Her plan is to let her essay "marinate" for about a month before returning to it to make any more edits before she uses it in her final college applications."
"The student and I continued to work on introductory paragraphs. After writing a thesis statement from a prompt that I provided, she practiced using different strategies to write hooks that related to the prompt. We then practiced writing transition sentences to connect each of those hooks to her thesis."
"The student and I continued to work on setting up his essays due this summer for the previous semester. We outlined one essay, and began creating a list of resources for another. We plan on meeting some time in the next two weeks to check in and begin working on the final essay that is due."
"The student and I continued to work our way through his summer reading throughout this lesson. This time, however, he'd done a bit of reading on his own and taken good notes as well, so I spent the first few minutes having him verbally recap the latest plot developments and sketch some of the new characters. His work ethic on this has been quite sound, although it's clear from reviewing his notes that his grammar and spelling have gotten a little sloppy in the absence of repeat attention to them. We also did some reading together, knocking out a couple more chapters, stopping frequently to discuss the significance of certain events and narrative devices, such as foreshadowing and the use of irony."