Tutoring

If you want to become a better writer, or are struggling with writing in general, I can provide tutoring at your site. I have a Mary-Poppins bag of tricks to improve writing, including: making every word count. Precision without pomposity. Using white space to advantage. Avoiding this & that statements. Diction. Professional presentation. Avoiding hyperbole. Logic & logical fallacy. The fourth wall. High-school versus college and professional writing. Incorporating research. Incorporating illustrations. Avoiding plagiarism. Thesis statements. Showing over telling. Clarity. Credible sources. Little So What and Big So What. Grammar. Spelling. Parallel structure. Substance. Avoiding “this and that” statements. Avoiding coyness. Avoiding repetition. Expunging the five-paragraph essay. Understanding edit marks. Using a lens. Apostrophes, colons, semicolons, em-dashes and other punctuation. Overused words and phrases. Avoiding cliché. Whether to use the “I” voice. Incorporating poetic techniques such as assonance and alliteration. Incorporating interesting techniques such as lists or braided text. And so on.

Overwhelmed yet? Let me provide a couple of examples of tutoring breakthroughs:

Example 1: I had a student who started every sentence with a gerund*. This resulted in a series of tangled sentences and obscured meanings. Once we identified the problem, her writing improved dramatically. * Don’t know what a gerund is? You’re not alone. It’s when you make a verb into a noun by adding –ing.  As in “Walking on the beach is fun.”

Example 2: I’ve had several students who thought academic writing had to have fancy, latin-root, multi-syllable words. The harder it was to understand, the smarter they thought it sounded. It’s a relief to everyone to realize that this kind of writing is actually bad writing. Writing should be clear, even if (especially if) the topic of the writing is complicated. If the fancy word is exactly the right word, then use it. Otherwise, avoid!

I’m well-versed in academic writing, including research papers and literary analysis. I was an adjunct English Professor for seven years. I am particularly good at recommending writings pertinent to students’ subjects.

I use examples from great writers to illustrate the fine points. The bonus is getting to read great writers. Reading and writing should be a joy.