I love helping students express themselves through words, no matter what the writing task or school assignment. I have taught College Composition, Creative Writing, American Literature, Reading Drama, and basic grammar and punctuation at several community colleges in San Diego county. As a tutor in the Writing Center at SUNY, Albany, where I did doctoral coursework, I helped students with college and job application cover letters, SEM papers requiring writing, and a wide variety of assignments in the Letters department. I am unusually adept at "critical thinking" and at teaching the persuasive skills I used to get several articles published in a variety of publications. I am also skilled at editing expository, creative, and persuasive writing and have helped students write both a grammatically and thematically coherent and expressive single paragraph and a 150-page dissertation.
My tutoring style is to first assess what each student's particular writing assignment or goal is, then ask questions that will allow his or her best "voice" to come through. The biggest hurdle for many students, besides "I can't write" or "I hate writing," is generating ideas to write about. Freewriting exercises often help with this problem. To help students who have touble forming an opinion on an assigned issue, I have them respond to several articles on the issue until their own stance eventually forms. If the assignment calls for a refutational argument, I present angles and perspectives they (and their instructor) may not have thought about.
Once the ideas are generated, editing for coherence, structure, and correct sentence structure and grammar becomes fairly easy. For the student who wants to learn basic grammatical usage, I find that identifying the "parts" from an actual published article helps them see the same patterns in the exercise workbook they may be using.
In short, I aim to make writing not an obstacle, but a useful tool for helping students convey what they really want to say.
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