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I have always enjoyed helping students excel in their studies. I began tutoring in community college, where I worked with students on mapping out their research papers, preparing for algebra exams, and developing the basic skills needed to succeed as a scholar. I developed a good eye for grammar while earning my B.A. in International Affairs and History, writing multiple 20-page papers each week and defending them orally before peers and professors. I know what it takes to write a quality research paper, the background work that makes the difference between earning a B and reaching for the A, and a few trade secrets on what some of the toughest teachers and professors look for in great writing.
Earning an M.A. in International Affairs allowed me to approach my studies from a multi-disciplinary approach, where I took courses in subjects ranging from political science to religion. In other words, my expertise is broad enough to be a likely fit for your educational needs. Different subjects require different approaches, and my graduate studies have helped me to adapt my messages to fit a targeted audience. Whether you need help in English, history, geography, anthropology, religion, or any other subjects, most of which I have studied extensively, I can work with you to help you succeed. I do not demand perfection, but I expect commitment. If you are dedicated to doing your best and reaching your full potential, contact me and we will get to work.
English is an all-encompassing discipline that binds academia together. Good writing is critical to being a successful student, regardless of his or her focus. Good grammar, a foundation in literature, and the development of one's own writing style are the keys to being proficient in English.
Grammar forms the building blocks of good writing. Without a fundamental knowledge of how words form sentences, how sentences form paragraphs, and how paragraphs create a message, there is no way to move forward in one's English studies. It is a study of verbal architecture, where one word or phrase can have such an impact in the overall structure of a document that to remove it would create an irrevocable flaw. Remove a comma, and there is no flow. Remove a period, and the reader is instantly confused by a run-on sentence. Grammar is essential to English, for it makes the language truly remarkable in its superior organization.
A foundation in literature gives English students a broad base from which to grow into learned scholars. Reading the classics from Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, William Shakespeare, and others provides a firm basis from which to judge all other literature. Poetry dissection is a fundamental skill, forcing students to look beyond printed words to decipher hidden truths. Reading quality writing gives students the ability to draw on past experts to develop their own writing styles. If grammar forms the building blocks of good English, literature is the corner stone, the true strength behind this discipline.
Once a student has a firm grasp on grammar and literature, the development of his or her own writing style is the inevitable byproduct. However, this takes hard work and logging in long hours keeping a journal, drafting essays, and submitting work for peer and/or faculty review. Constructive feedback and criticism is essential for a good writer's development, as these components continuously sharpen a student's skills. Over time, enough mistakes have been made and learned from to where good writing becomes habit, almost instinctive. But English is a continuous work in progress, and a good student must always strive to learn from his or her mistakes.
English is important because it touches every facet of a student's work. From constructing a history research paper to scheduling a meeting with a professor via email, strong English skills are fundamentally important. Once a student understands grammar and builds on literature, he or she will have the tools to be a successful writer in today's world.
Study skills are essential to having a focused academic life. One is not born with the ability to study, but acquires these skills over time through discipline, hard work, and an inner determination to succeed. The objective is to align one's personal goals with those prescribed by a particular course; once these goals come together, a student can accomplish anything.
I have extensive experience working with students to discover what study skills fit their needs in the classroom. High school students have generally found it helpful to keep a consistent weekday schedule, studying around sports and other afternoon activities. This level of consistency fits nicely with their classroom needs, and they usually find that what motivates them outside the classroom can be a driving factor in school, too.
College students operate a little differently. While tutoring students in English, history, and algebra, I found that most use their drive to become something in life as fuel to push themselves to study harder. Research papers sometimes take weeks of library preparation before the first page is even written, so a large amount of personal discipline was required when browsing seemingly endless catalogues for useful sources. Exams, however, were more straight forward. Long hours practicing reading comprehension, memorizing algebraic equations, and focusing on the five W's (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) for history essay exams were the best tactics for achieving success.
Study skills involve a number of different components, but I have found the key factor to be flexibility. In regards to test taking, adequate preparation is vital but the nature of that preparation depends on the student. Some need only to review the night before an exam, while others need a week or more to study the material. There are no established rules, only guidelines meant to steer students toward success.
There are, of course, general rules that apply to all. Getting enough rest before an exam is essential to maintaing clear thought processes. Exercise is often recommended as a good way to keep the mind sharp, along with eating a well-balanced meal on test day. Note taking and attention to detail during classes and lectures will pay off during the test, and one should always arrive prepared with pencils/pens and extra scrap paper if applicable.
The most important thing is to discover an inner drive to exceed expectations and discover one's full potential. If a student knows what he/she needs to do to earn a B grade, and has no motivation to attain the A grade, there is little anyone can do but continue offering outside encouragement. Ultimately, it is the student who must walk into the classroom on test day and turn in the finished product. The student must find a way to align his/her goals with that of the course to discover the will to achieve the ultimate level of success.
As a student, establishing goals should come naturally. Graduation is a natural goal. But something outside of academia should be found as the driving factor towards success. It may be sports or weekend privileges while in grade school, and a desire to work in a choice field for college students. Whatever it may be, these goals give students a purpose to put in the extra library hours, to write that last page before going to sleep. By the time it comes down to taking the test, most students will find that the drive to study was almost as important as the act of studying itself.
Study skills are acquired through discipline and hard work. A student discovers these skills as he/she develops as a scholar, personalizing them to fit the needs of any particular course. In the end, it is the drive to succeed that will determine how prepared a student is for an exam. By setting goals beyond the classroom, a student will find that the desire to achieve the A grade ultimately comes from within.
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