As an English Professor and a tutor of young adults in high school and young adults in their freshmen year of college, I have become aware that students must be reminded of the basic rules of writing. Grammar, style, and the use of active voice are the areas that students struggle with when writing an essay or research paper.
As a professional writer, my goal is to become a better writer by helping others to become an excellent reader and writer.
Disappointed and concerned that her son would drop out of college during his freshmen year, Stephon’s mother encouraged him to get a job and transfer into a technical school because he could not pass his English 1101 class. He, too, became discouraged and depressed; his thoughts were that he wasn’t college material. I became intrigued with Stephon’s story after talking to his mother one day at a grocery store. I needed to help, as I understood his challenges based on his mother’s explanation. He needed to go back to the basics.
Stephon and I began working together a week later. After reading a couple of his school assignments, I designed a learning plan that supported his unique way of learning. Even though Stephon’s writing exuded confidence in terms of storytelling, he needed support in three areas of grammar: subject-verb agreement – pronoun agreement – misplaced modifiers.
In order to support Stephon’s comedic personality, I introduced him to Grammar Bytes! It’s an interactive and fun website for anyone who needs a refresher course in grammar. This website makes it easy and exciting to engage students with its quirky sounds, photos, and explanations. It is also teacher-student friendly because of its interactive ability; handouts, online testing, and presentations are valuable and easily accessible.
Stephon became engaged and enthusiastic about writing after two weeks of receiving tutoring. He enrolled in English 1101 in the fall semester after two months of tutoring, and I am proud to say, to date, that he received A’s in all of his English courses, including a world literature course. Two years later, he decided to major in Journalism. A summer trial period has grown to be a permanent platform for several students to grow academically, socially, and with a level of pride and confidence, and I am proud to have had the opportunity to see their growth and development as writers.
I am excited about the idea and possible opportunity to further support and encourage others to achieve their writing and reading goals, and I am dedicated to providing precise instruction and individualized expertise to those who need it and those who are striving to be high achievers of writing composition. The first step for a student to reach her goal is to return to the basics of writing.
back to top