I'm a PhD candidate in the English department at Brandeis University, studying American Literature and History. I've been fortunate to be a University writing tutor for five years now, helping undergraduate students build college-level writing and rhetoric skills, polish essays and term papers, and prepare writing samples for scholarships and grant programs. In this capacity I've also proofread and edited Masters' theses, PhD dissertations, and one very long book manuscript on the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The result of these experiences is that I have learned to work productively with every level of writing, from international students struggling to communicate in a second or third language to well-established academics. I have also, for the last two years, worked as a Teaching Fellow in the Brandeis English department, lecturing and leading discussion groups in classes on film, literature, and history.
My philosophy as a tutor is that students learn best when they actively engage with the material. While I am willing, and quite happy, to proofread or edit documents myself, my experience is that students best learn when we go through the material together in a systematic way. Not everyone learns well through lectures; I understand my role as presenting students with a problem or question, and then guiding them through the process of solving or answering it. The resulting sense of achievement--of having understood and mastered difficult material, rather than merely memorizing and regurgitating a series of facts--creates a positive-feedback that encourages more curiosity and exploration.
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