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Whether you need help with reading comprehension or writing with clarity, I can help you feel more comfortablemaybe even at homein the English language. Currently a law student at UC Hastings in downtown San Francisco, I am also an experienced teacher and tutor of the language arts: I hold Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, where I taught poetry workshops, literature seminars, and college composition.

As a writer, proofreader, and tutor, I believe in a hands-on approach. "Hands-on" refers not only to the attention and feedback I give all of my students' writing; it refers also to the way my students engage with the books they read and the essays or creative pieces they write. Too often, students can become overwhelmed by words they don't know, an unusual sentence structure that leaves them feeling dizzy, or even a sentence they've written themselves that just doesn't feel right. I believe it's my job not only to teach students whatever particular lesson may be needed, but also to teach them how to teach themselves. For instance: If a paper becomes bogged down by a grammatical issue, I will ask the student to look up the correct usage and explain to me what went wrong. I may even ask him or her to revise the sentence a number of different ways and tell me how the meaning has changed. I want students to understand that, far from being something you're either born with or you aren't, writing is a craft, something worked at and refined. With enough practice and enough repetitions, students become capable of turning each of their words over in their hands as if it were a block of wood or a piece of clay.

I believe that assigning brief creative-writing exercises can be a sneakily effective way of engaging students in everything from grammar to history to argumentative writing. It offers the student crucial practice while allowing me to tailor lessons to that student's particular needs. However, I understand that not every student is interested in writing the Next Great American Novel. Whether you are simply looking to improve a current grade or preparing to apply to your dream school, I can help you become a sharper and more confident reader, writer, and thinker. (And yes, I can give pointers on that novel, too).

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John’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Florida - Bachelors, English and History

Graduate Degree: University of Oregon - Masters, Creative Writing—Poetry


Poetry, Piano, and Learning to Speak Mandarin

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

Creative Writing


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

Introduction to Fiction

Introduction to Poetry




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