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My love of tutoring grows out of a love of the power of language to communicate ideas. I'm always energized by the exchange of ideas that takes place during a tutoring session, and by the challenge of discovering how each student's mind can best grasp a concept. As a writer of fiction and screenplays, my favorite tutoring assignments involve helping students with their own writing projects. It delights me to see them overcome mental blocks and discover the joys of language and self-expression. I've helped thousands of students construct essays of every kind, from academic to admissions to the essays associated with standardized tests. Through a question and answer process, I help each student to unearth what he or she has to say on a given topic, then the two of us structure and revise their drafts line by line until we're both happy with every word of the final result.

I have over twenty years' experience as a tutor and a writing coach. I worked for a major test-prep company throughout those years, specializing in the SAT, ACT, GRE and GMAT. My specialties as a student were British and American literature, but I delved extensively into philosophy, psychology, and history as well. I've pursued my interest in these subjects to this day, and enjoy including elements of them in my tutoring sessions. My other great love is film. When not tutoring, I can be found watching movies, writing them, or making them with Portland's X-Ray Film Collective.

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John’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Berkeley - Bachelor in Arts, English

Graduate Degree: Seattle Film Institute - Master of Fine Arts, Film Production


My favorite pastimes when I'm not tutoring are filmmaking and film viewing, writing, mix-tape making, exercise, meditation, and lively conversation with good friends.

Tutoring Subjects

ACT English

ACT Reading

ACT Writing

American Literature


College Application Essays

College English

College Level American Literature

Elementary School English

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing


Essay Editing

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Analytical Writing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

IB Film

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing



PSAT Critical Reading

PSAT Writing Skills

SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Social Sciences

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep


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