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Session Summaries by English Tutors

Tempe, AZ English tutoring
We reviewed a few essays that the student wrote and then we looked at the personal statement prompts to transfer to the university. We spent most of the time brainstorming ideas on how to answer each prompt. The student is very sharp and has a lot of great experiences that he could include in his essays. We broke down the prompts and outlined the relevant information for each one. We also identified several ideas that he needed to think more about, particularly why does he want to major in psycho-biology and how the Leadership Development Camp experience helped to motivate his desire to become a medical doctor? If he has time this week, he's going to try to write a first draft for one of his personal statements.
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Tempe, AZ English tutoring
We reviewed for the student's math test that she had the next day in addition to going over a big history paper that she was trying to turn in before break. Overall, the student had an in depth understanding of the material and the concepts.
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Tempe, AZ English tutoring
The student and I reviewed his first draft for his college writing course. I outlined potential pitfalls (primarily repetition, but also a few grammatical points) and asked him to think about strategies to keep certain critical points from becoming too formulaic, as well as ways to round out his conclusion. We also discussed the distribution between "narrative" and "analytical" components of his paper. I asked him to go over the paper again before our next meeting and to try to work through some of these aspects, as well as to think about the overall organization of his argument. It's logical and coherent, but needs to be tied together with a strong thesis statement, and to be emphasized/related back to this throughout to keep the reader on track. That said, he's already pretty much on track. He presented me with a pretty solid first draft.
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Tempe, AZ English tutoring
We went over the first half of a rough draft of the student's essay and also talked through various ways of organizing her ideas around key concepts. This led to a reorganizing of the essay's main points and a new detailed outline.
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Tempe, AZ English tutoring
Today, we continued work on the student's paper on Common Sense. Going into today, he still had to write the sections on how the text connects to his US History class and on whether the text is biased or objective. He had already found some quotes for the question of bias, but as we looked at one of them it seemed rather opaque, so we found a better quote that was representative of Paine's approach to talking about the English king. The student wrote the two paragraphs and I helped him with proofreading and editing them, and provided him with more food for thought that I think improved his analysis from his original attempt.
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Tempe, AZ English tutoring
We covered the student's goals for her English class, the syllabus, upcoming assignments, and grading rubric. She showed me a previous graded essay of hers, and we went over some basic ways to that she can improve her thesis writing. We developed a strategy to get away from the feeling that an essay is a series of dreadfully boring restatements of a thesis. We jumped into The Great Gatsby, and she started plotting what she wants to say in her essay. I helped her organize the images and examples she wanted to use. Together we created a basic outline for the essay. She formed a confident sense of the steps she will take to get a good first draft. The student and I payed special attention to word choice, which will be our major focus next week as well. She will begin work this week on the essay, and we will review her progress next session.
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