Boston University (BFA, Theatre Arts)
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a Boston University graduate (magna cum laude) with over 10,000 hours of one-on-one tutoring experience. I specialize in reading comprehension, grammar and study skills, working mostly with high school and college undergrad students to achieve and exceed their grade goals. In test prep, I have tutored over 100 students in the language arts sections of the SAT and ACT, with several students gaining scores in the 95th percentile or above. I also consult and advise clients on creative writing (from screenplays to novels), personal statements, and college applications and essays.
I come to language arts tutoring and specialization from experience as a proofreader and copyeditor. As a legal proofreader for several years at the top NY law firm Wachtell Lipton, I gained an expertise in grammar, syntax and logic, reading documents of all types for linguistic and grammatical accuracy. Later, as a freelance proofreader and copyeditor, I proofread novels, short stories, screenplays and memoirs, and in many cases served as a creative writing coach for those clients (which I still love doing). When I decided to transition to tutoring, I drew on a background as an au pair of two French children, who I cared for and I taught English to for two years after college. I was trained at and worked for Compass Education, a top-rated test prep company, tutoring students of all skill levels for the SAT and ACT. I have also written curriculum for workshops on playwriting and short story writing and have designed reading comprehension coursework for a No Child Left Behind program for inner city students.
My curriculum addresses the following skills, whether I am tutoring general language arts studies or preparing a student for the SAT/ACT (the skills apply to both!): 1) Boosting overall reading comprehension of non-fiction and fiction by learning how to approach advanced texts and using tools that focus the reader on the author's argument or narrative; 2) Mastering essential grammar and syntax by practicing easy-to-follow exercises and worksheets; 3) Taking supercharged notes for improved retention and sharper critique in less time; and 4) Gaining control of argumentative writing by mastering its core principles and taking ownership of your own voice as a writer. In addition, my students learn how to organize and best use the limited study time they have; how to assess language arts homework before they dive into it; and how to read and critique their homework in ways that suits the material being studied.
All of my students are held to a very high standard. I love what I do, so it's my joy to teach my students and expect the most from them. I have endless faith in a person to succeed at his or her goals, and exceed them. My approach is grounded in patience, mutual respect and fun. To me, education is a bit of a game--a challenging game at times, so it requires some levity to keep at it. There are rules to be learned and, at times, broken! In the end, the goal is to walk away a more enlightened, informed and self-realized person.
My passion for education and my concern over the decline of reading proficiency in America has led me to write a book, due out next year, on how to improve reading comprehension, organize study habits, and enjoy and take full advantage of the process of self-learning. Preparation for this book has strengthened my belief that students must be empowered to learn how to study in ways THAT BEST SUIT THEM while having access to THOSE PRACTICES WHICH HAVE BEEN TESTED AND PROVEN TO WORK.
For new students, I provide a 2-hour trial session at a reduced flat rate of $150 (a $50 savings). This initial session provides time to meet with the parents and the student and to lay out a specific plan based on the student's needs. This session also allows time to begin a lesson to build a rapport with the student, while laying a groundwork for our lessons moving forward. I live in the West Hollywood area and am happy to travel within about 5 miles, including Fairfax/Beverly Grove, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Mid-City, Miracle Mile, Beverlywood and Cheviot Hills neighborhoods.
For online students, please contact me regarding special online rates and setting up a trial session.
There is no charge for cancellations made in advance of 24 hours. Cancellations made 2 to 24 hours before the scheduled session are subject to a $20 rescheduling fee. Cancellations made within 2 hours of the scheduled session are subject to the full cost of the scheduled time.
Here is a quote from a past client:
"Dan was an outstanding tutor for our son, Nick. Not only did he help our son get a superlative score on his ACTs, but the two of them had such an open and easy relationship that we asked Dan to help Nick write his college essay. Nick ended up receiving a partial scholarship to the school of his choice." -- Cynthia C., Los Angeles
I look forward to hearing from you! Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a Boston University graduate (magna cum laude) with over 10,000 hours of one-on-one tutoring experience. I specialize in reading comprehension, grammar and study skills, working mostly with high school and college undergrad students to achieve and exceed their grade goals. In test prep, I have tutored over 100 students in the
See profile for discounted trial session for new students.
In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.
The ACT English section tests students' mastery of standard English grammar and syntax. This section is highly teachable. There are about 25 grammar and syntax rules tested on the section. I have tutored dozens of students on this section, teaching them organic ways of remembering and mastering these rules (for they are helpful to know and use far beyond the ACT), and use worksheets and practice tests to prove proficiency and time management before going into the test itself. If you can pass the California driver's license test, you can score big on the ACT English section!
The ACT English section tests three things: 1) your level of reading comprehension, 2) your ability to choose answers logically, and 3) doing both those things in a limited amount of time. Many students are not aware of the second part, which blocks their way to a perfect score. They also feel like there can't possibly be enough time to finish the whole section. The reason for this is students are oftentimes not used to reading in the way the section demands. I work with students to adjust they way they approach reading passages, which not only improves accuracy, but speeds up the overall process. In actuality there is plenty of time to get a great score!
Reading and language proficiency are the core skills of my tutoring focus. In my view, too many students struggle to write concisely and clearly, in their own voice, because they do not know how to fully read and understand the voices of others. I teach writing skills with a focus on better reading: seeing how great writers command language to their personal style and point of view (see my Reading blurb). Written language is the expression of inner thought, and while there are necessary rules to help shape those thoughts (see my Grammar blurb), what many writers lack is a full embrace of their own voice and their ability to provide a fresh point of view. Many don't even see that they possess both! It's a great joy of mine to help all writers find that voice and point of view and help them get it on the page to be enjoyed by the reader.
Grammar and syntax are among the most overlooked, and yet easiest and helpful, things to learn in language arts, especially as a high school or college student. And they are essential for the SAT and ACT. Proper grammar and syntax shape your written voice to make it clear and concise. Overall, there are about 25 essential grammar and syntax rules to learn. I use real life examples to teach my students those rules organically, so they are easy to remember for next time.
Literature can be a particular challenge for a student, and many students devise ways of "getting through" a book rather than reading it as it needs to be read for proper understanding and assimilation. By no fault of their own, most students don't even have a skill set for approaching the literature homework they are assigned. As a reading comprehension and study skills specialist, I provide my students with tools for improving overall reading comprehension (and speed) and organizing their studies to maximize efficiency while increasing retention and understanding.
As a legal proofreader at top NY law firms for many years, I have an expertise in grammar, syntax and logical argumentation. I thoroughly enjoy reading a text with an eye towards helping it achieve its intention by identifying typos, grammatical and spelling errors and opportunities for syntax improvement.
I have tutored dozens of high school students on the PSAT with a great deal of success. Several have qualified for the National Merit Scholarship Program. While clearly my strong suit is the language arts sections of the test, I am well versed in the math skills tested on the PSAT and have developed straightforward techniques for teaching those skills. Remember, the PSAT like the SAT is a logic test, and reasoning skills above all are used throughout to obtain a top score.
Reading proficiency is the core skill of my tutoring focus. Too many students in my experience, even those with a perceived advanced level of reading ability, struggle to truly comprehend what they are reading. A majority of students use one approach to tackle all of their language arts coursework, no matter the genre or subject. Furthermore, they possess no skill set for organizing and completing the rapidly growing amount of reading homework they are assigned. In its place, students develop their own ways of getting their work done quickly, which leads to shortcuts and empty strategies that leave their education full of holes. As a reading comprehension and study skills specialist, I provide my students with tools for improving overall reading comprehension (and speed) and organizing their studies to maximize efficiency while increasing retention and understanding.
The SAT Reading section tests three things: 1) your ability to understand and interpret advanced levels of reading material, 2) your ability to choose answers logically, and 3) doing both those things in a limited amount of time. The biggest obstacle that students oftentimes face is that they are not used to reading in the way the section demands, and they do not have appropriate experience with logical answering. The SAT in particular is a REASONING test, and it is designed to require the test taker to use process of elimination. I work with students to adjust they way they approach reading passages, which not only improves accuracy, but speeds up the overall process. In actuality there is plenty of time to get a great score!
The SAT Writing section test students' mastery of standard English grammar and syntax. This section is highly teachable. There are about 25 grammar and syntax rules tested in this section. I teach students organic ways of remembering and mastering these rules (for they are helpful to know and use far beyond the ACT) and use worksheets and practice tests to prove proficiency and time management before going into the test itself. If you can pass the California driver's license test, you can score big on the SAT Writing section!
I have a BFA in Theater Arts from Boston University, a top conservatory program in the US. I have appeared in several professional theater productions Off Broadway and regionally.
In my ten plus years of experience as a reading comprehension specialist, I have never subscribed to the belief that drilling vocabulary cards is the only way to improve advanced vocabulary. Students encounter words they don't know all the time, and yet they frequently miss those opportunities to learn those words in context. In my reading comprehension curriculum, students learn and practice increasing their vocabulary while reading (and that doesn't always mean grabbing the dictionary). In short, using words in context is the key to vocabulary improvement.
Creative writing consultation is one of my favorite activities. I have worked with dozens of writers, professionals and hobbyists, on bringing to life their screenplay, play, novel, or short story. My approach is rooted in a love for storytelling and a belief that every author's unique voice is the key to writing something truly extraordinary. I like to dive into the intentions of the author, find out what they mean to say, and then provide guidance on opportunities of how to better say it. Here is a quote from a former student: "Dan has an exceptional talent in helping you discover your writing voice. His patience, astute observations, and questions allowed me to consolidate what I had be trying to say in the clearest and simplest possible terms" -- Gustav L., Los Angeles