Focused Test Prep
- SAT, ACT, PSAT, SSAT, ISEE, HSPT, Walls test
- writing (see "On Writing" below)
- math (through algebra I and geometry)
- study skills
- exam preparation involving planning, study, and memorization
- US history
Skill building and coaching
- AD/HD coaching
- time management, daily and weekly organization
- advanced reading comprehension
- planning and editing for college application essays
“The great art of writing is the art of making people real to themselves with words.”—Logan Pearsall Smith
“Another damned thick book!
Always scribble, scribble, scribble!
Eh, Mr. Gibbon?”—Duke of Gloucester upon receiving Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
My goal is to help students think and write clearly. Facility with language, acquired through reading and writing, is a skill, a pleasure, and an asset. In my own schooling, I never had a teacher sit down with me and show me, step by step, how to organize a paper (not until graduate school, anyway). Perhaps because I was getting good grades on papers, teachers didn’t feel the need to explore this skill with me. So what does a student writer do to get better?
Clarity in essay writing comes with the understanding of argument. A good argument relies on clear structure in which each sentence grows out of the last. There is a progression of thought that is transparent and satisfying. In fact, the teaching of argumentation, or rhetoric, is the basis for the teaching of academic writing.
Good writing can be taught—or rather, the building blocks and foundations for good writing can be taught. One learns to be a good editor first, and over time, the editor learns to edit his or her own writing. With time, one develops an eye (and ear) for a good word, sentence, or paragraph—and, most of all, an eye for a good argument.
Good writing also grows out of a passion for reading. In high school I had an English teacher who tied discussions of books to his students’ questions about life’s choices and problems. Somewhere between reading The Scarlet Letter and The Return of the Native, I was hooked; I wanted to think about what I read, about how it was constructed.
As a tutor, I enjoy helping students discover a similar appreciation for good writing—and love for literature.
“In composition, I do not think second thoughts are best.”—Lord Byron