A photo of Shonda, a tutor from Loyola Marymount University

Shonda

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For the last 25 years, I have helped thousands of students write better essays, study for exams, and deepen their understanding of literature, ideas and concepts. I have helped students become better critical thinkers, develop confidence in their reading and writing, and gain an appreciation of all things English. I have helped students write personal statements for high school assignments as well as write graduate admission essays, and I know I can help you!

Currently Interim Chair of the Department of English & Foreign Languages at Hampton University, where I have been an assistant professor since 2004, I am a Composition expert, Creative Writing and Professional writer. An MLA and APA expert, I teach students the process of writing, how to write poems, fiction, nonfiction, and research papers. I help students learn the 8 parts of Speech, gaining grammar and punctuation knowledge to increase their verbal, writing and reading skills.

Because I love books, reading and writing, you couldn't find a better tutor for all English subjects ranging from Composition, Literature, and Creative Writing to Research, Editing, and Revision.

Also, I love to travel (my profile picture shows me in Melaka, Malaysia), cook, hike, shop, attend cultural events, and museums. I can help with international topics as well, as I am the Adviser of my Department's study abroad in Bath, England program. I have taught in England, and conducted lectures in Greece and Malaysia.

I graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. and M.A. in English and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University. I also have a background in magazine writing and editing. Before becoming an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Hampton University, I was a Teaching Fellow and Lecturer at Loyola Marymount University.

My teaching style is simple: I like to get to know my students, finding out what my students care about in order to help them connect to any subject matter. When students care about a topic, they they are more motivated to succeed. I help students care about learning, and to feel confident in their work and gain fluency as a writer and reader.

Do you have a fear of writing? Do you need help writing better essays and developing your ideas or writing thoughtful thesis statements or conclusions? Online or in person, I can help you meet and exceed your reading and writing goals.

Shonda’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Loyola Marymount University - Bachelors, English

Graduate Degree: Loyola Marymount University - Masters, English

Hobbies

Reading, singing, visiting nature centers, beach walks, cultural events, movies, shopping, traveling.

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

Literature

Public Speaking

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Student-centered, student-focused. I will go at the student's pace.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Find out who they are and what they like to do, hobbies, etc. I would then establish the pace of our sessions.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Encourage them from their successes.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Play a game to help them understand the concept or skill better.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I will find books that interest them, stories with characters who are struggling to overcome something, or accomplish something. The student will identify with the character.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Simply talking out ideas first, then writing them down, or reading about the idea.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I'd make them become an explorer in the learning, trying to help students, in steps, discover their true potential and ability to grasp a concept or skill.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Repetition and discussion are two of the biggest ways to make sure students understand a concept.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I make them feel at ease in the learning so they don't feel threatened.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Talking with a student first helps me ascertain their understanding but also hearing a student read allows me to gauge their reading and comprehension abilities.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I go at the student's pace.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Notebook, pens, pencils, books, and sometimes we might play a game to help with easing students into reading.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Give them assignments to complete before they come back to the next tutoring session.