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Private In-Home and Online Writing Tutoring in Torrance, CA

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Session Summaries by Writing Tutors

Torrance, CA Writing tutoring
Today was my first tutoring session with the student. We covered Module 5 in her English literature course for her online high school. We completed all required assignments for the module, which focused on poetry, syntax, and 20th century American history. English is not her first language, but she is exceptionally fluent. She struggles with written English and often stumbles across words she does not know in this specific course. We worked on how to write/structure a 3-paragraph essay and how to analyze poetry. We are meeting again on Friday, and I have asked her to do the readings for Module 6, as that is what we will be working on. In terms of strategies or study skills, I plan to suggest casual reading (magazines, news articles, etc.) every night before bed for consistent practice. She found today's tutoring session helpful and she asked plenty of questions throughout the session and remained engaged. I look forward to our next session.
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Torrance, CA Writing tutoring
The student and I read chapter 1 of the book together. We took down the words she did not know and found their meaning. She summarized each section we read and answered the comprehension questions at the end of the chapter. She did very well for her first time.
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Torrance, CA Writing tutoring
I was glad to see that the student had started writing his essay on the poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," as it gave us a good starting point for discussion and working through the various paragraphs together. We had worked on a detailed outline during our last sessions, including some quotes from critics, topics for discussion, and some examples from the poem to use as evidence. For future essays, I would like to see him do a little more preparation ahead of time, so that we can spend our sessions moving forward with the ideas he's already prepared. He does a really wonderful job of talking through the points he wants to make and asking questions to clarify next steps and help craft clear sentences, and that willingness is going to be a big help in carrying him through the work.
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Torrance, CA Writing tutoring
We first reviewed chapter 4 vocabulary answers, and I passed out chapter 5 for next week. The student does an outstanding job on filling in the sentences with the correct word, and I am trying to get him to incorporate some of these better words into his writing to improve the level of diction. We reviewed the grammar quiz he took yesterday for his AP English class and discussed the 10 most frequent errors made. For each of the grammar errors, I made sure he understood what the definition was and gave him verbal answers. Lastly, we discussed a handout I had given him last week. The handout is on the dos and don'ts of the SAT writing portion. We then discussed several of the questions I had given him and began to strategize on how to answer them. For homework, he is going to brainstorm how to answer one of them and write the opening paragraph.
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Torrance, CA Writing tutoring
We had a very good session. As we discussed, the student did a fantastic job on the Language Arts questions. For that section of the test, he seems very well prepared and shouldn't need much studying practice for these skills to be ready for the test.
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Torrance, CA Writing tutoring
Today, we reviewed the definitions of the rhetorical devices on the student's handout from school and briefly reviewed pathos, ethos, and logos since he had a good grasp of those terms. He had some quotes underlined in passages assigned from school, and we talked about which of those would best support the tagline he developed. We finished by talking about how he would structure his presentation, and I gave him some strategies to make his argument feel urgent and persuasive as well as clearly argued. Overall, he did a great job. He sometimes struggles with figurative language, but I think with more practice unpacking and deciphering it, he'll definitely improve.
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