Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"Today, the student and I discussed the first draft of her paper on Begum's autobiography. She needed a clearer thesis and needed to relate the example she raises in her body paragraphs back to her argument. We discussed developing a stronger thesis that addresses the question prompt and making a clear argument. We then discussed ways of rephrasing some introductory sentences in body paragraphs to tie the paragraph back to the thesis argument. We discussed particularly incorporating into the body paragraphs discussion about the switch between genres in the text that underlies the student 's argument. We also talked about the importance of stating explicitly why the student is bringing in other texts in her paper and how these other texts relate to Begum's work and the student's analysis. The student is going to continue working on her thesis statement. She is going to revise the section on genres and autobiography to ensure it is an accurate interpretation. She is then going to work on tying back the examples in her body paragraphs to her thesis argument. Finally she is going to rewrite her conclusion entirely so that it refers back to the thesis and ties the paper to larger themes"
"The student and I first started out by talking about what he hoped to get out of our sessions together. He expressed an interest in writing about more abstract ideas and making original points, instead of the humdrum points in history. Because he is interested in American Art, I asked him to then analyze an engraving from c. 1590 of "Amerigo Vespuccio Landing in America," and he did an awesome job of picking out the elements of European sophistication versus native savagery! He also did well in finding elements of the engraving to question, and asked himself what they could represent. We then moved on to looking at a writing tree diagram, and I asked him to find anything that he wanted to work on. We talked about how to properly scaffold original ideas and points within essays. After that, we then spent the majority of our time left analyzing and composing a short four-paragraph essay about Otto Dix's "War Cripples" (1920). We worked on outlining the introductory paragraph, creating and streamlining the thesis, and composing the first paragraph. Next week, we will continue with Dix and write the second paragraph and conclusion. It was a great first session!"
"We covered how to construct an abstract in APA format, and we organized the student's PowerPoint presentation."
"We went over a few books. We did writing exercises, reviewing his spelling words from last week. This took quite a while, so we had to take longer than usual to get through the books he was assigned for this week. We did some handwriting exercises, as well as drawing exercises."
"We went over a paragraph that was assigned to the student in class. It needed to have clear intro and conclusion sentences, excellent grammar and spelling, second person perspective, and verb agreement. I was given a great paragraph to work with, and with a little tweaking and a few commas, I think he will do well on the assignment."
"We went over a position paper the student had composed with a group of coworkers, keeping an eye on the verbiage and syntax as it would be digested by a lay audience. We also edited it for flow and readability, keeping in mind his overarching goal for our sessions to leave him with more fluid, uniform, and comprehensive writing skills."