Students benefit from my background as a professional writer (non-fiction) and teacher because I provide PRACTICAL techniques for improving their skills. Most students are expected to prepare fact-based, non-fiction essays -- the writing environment in which I was trained. My goal as a teacher in the 21st century is to make certain the student understands the essential requirements of an academic essay (including citations) and is able to move on to higher-level skills of word-choice, emphasis, varied sentence structure, transitions, and effective conclusions.
Reading for information is another area in which students often need specific development. Most of a student's formal instruction in reading concentrates on fiction and literature. Textbooks in the early grades focus on locating the answer. Often students lack training in the next steps -- getting the main idea, summarizing the facts, drawing conclusions, and identifying inferences. These are necessary skills for progress in any field of endeavor.
As a teacher, I start at the student's comfort level and work to the next level of competence. My academic degree is in history; prior to completing a master's degree in teaching, I worked in advertising and public relations. In addition to academic writing (the 5-paragraph essay form and research papers), my experience includes advertising, public relations, and business writing in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.
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