Gunther A.

Fort Madison, IA


English Composition and Comprehension

In-person lessons
Background check passed as of 2/18/13


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About Gunther

All my life I've had a love for writing. Though I'm not much of a storyteller myself, I have an easy knack for composition. In the same way that the Periodic Table of Elements makes perfect sense to a chemist, proper spelling, grammar, and syntax as well as appealing, nuanced, and meaningful sentence structure are things I have always understood and employed. In school I often found myself the teachers' unofficial aid. When they'd finished with the lesson, whether it was math, science, history, or English, I always seemed to end up explaining the finer points and answering questions at least as much as the teacher was. Perhaps more even, since my peers found me decidedly less intimidating to approach.

Rather than simply training you to memorize the relevant information by rote via flashcards or some such, I endeavor instead to help you understand WHY the correct answer is what it is. This empowers you to more easily find answers on your own. If you are familiar with the rules of any given subject then the answers you seek will come more readily to you, even when moving into unfamiliar territory for the first time. You're undoubtedly familiar with the phrase, "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." To that, I would add, "teach a man ABOUT fish, and you'll feed his entire village." What I mean by that is this: learning to bait a hook and drop a line in the water is all very fine, but if you understand the fish's diet and behaviors you will better know which baits to use, where, and when for much more success as a fisherman. I believe the same theory applies to any subject.

I have practical experience in composing, editing, and publishing poetry, lyrics, speeches, editorials, essays, theses, resumes, articles, and periodicals. Currently, I work primarily with a local labor union in creating content for their monthly newsletter and editing the newsletter prior to publication. I am also perfectly happy to provide examples of my published work upon request.
All my life I've had a love for writing. Though I'm not much of a storyteller myself, I have an easy knack for composition. In the same way that the Periodic Table of Elements makes perfect sense to a chemist, proper spelling, grammar, and syntax as well as appealing, nuanced, and meaningful sentence structure are things I have always understood Read more

8 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 40 miles of Fort Madison, IA 52627
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons
Test Preparation:
ACT English,
ACT Reading
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math,
Public Speaking

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

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.

ACT English

The ACT English exam tests your knowledge of the finer points of the English language. Not just which words to use and when, but also what various words mean and how the use of this word or that one can change a sentence's meaning without technically making it an "improperly formed" sentence. You will also be tasked with recognizing how the inclusion or exclusion of various phrases may improve or reduce the clarity of a sentence or passage, or even change their meanings entirely. Naturally, proper punctuation is also tested, including how it too can change a sentence's meaning entirely.

ACT Reading

The ACT Reading exam does not simply test your ability to mentally translate groups of letters into words. It is a test of how well you comprehend the meaning behind those words. Meanings which are both plainly stated and subtly implied. During my senior year of high school I purchased a study book to prepare myself for my ACT exam. The first time I took a practice ACT Reading exam from that book I flunked it. I was used to much more straightforward reading tests, and the ACT Reading exam is anything but. I can show you what sorts of things you'll need to look out for, at what manner of questions you might expect to see.

Elementary Math

At work I often calculate my overtime and taxes in my head, while performing my job, to figure what my next paycheck will come out to. But as a young child I struggled with math. My parents hired an all but useless tutor who did little more than hold up flash cards for me, so I have more cause than most to know which teaching techniques are effective and which are not. One day though, it all just clicked in my head and mathematics became as straightforward to me as spoken language. After all, it is the only subject where the question IS the answer, you just have to phrase it differently.


A thorough understanding of the various word forms, when to use them and how to use them, as well as the classifications of the words themselves and how they might be properly combined to form sentences is the foundation for effective communication. Every aspect of our lives revolves around our use of language; learning to use it well will benefit you not just in school, but in life.


Proper grammar is absolutely crucial if you want your spoken and written communications to be clearly understood. In your professional life, proper grammar is vital if you want your peers to take you seriously.


Books and stories, well written ones, are layered with subtle meaning and themes. The ability to recognize these things can enhance your enjoyment of the work and enable you to employ similar techniques in your own works.


Proofreading never seems to be a simple matter of merely rereading what you've written. Even if you know what to look for, and especially if you know how it ought to read, you'll find that as soon as you think it's been polished to perfection another error suddenly jumps out at you. Then you can't help but stress over how many more mistakes will lie in hiding until it's too late. I can show you a myriad of techniques to make your typographical errors, malformed sentences, and other slip-ups reveal themselves to you. I'll also give you a foundation for just what exactly it is you're looking for when you proofread your own or someone else's work.

Public Speaking

As a wedding officiant I find myself composing and delivering formal, semi-formal, and informal speeches with regularity. I can teach proper pacing and proper breathing (more important than you'd think!) to improve delivery, as well as memorization techniques and even proper body language which is also vital to an effective speech.


Our very society is based almost entirely around this one skill. The ability to effectively read is so much more than just looking at a word and knowing how to say it. You must also be able to comprehend the meaning behind the combined words quickly and accurately.


Many people struggle with spelling, but once you understand a few simple rules you'll find that most words practically spell themselves. Understanding the words' meaning and origins is a tremendous help in spelling proficiency. I would aim to teach you WHY any given word is spelled the way it is, rather than just forcing you to memorize the sequence of letters.


I began playing trumpet at the age of ten and continued with daily lessons, exercises, and practice for eight years. I also play the Baritone/Euphonium. I spent a year as a trombone player, though I had to transpose my sheet music from bass clef to treble clef.


An broad vocabulary is a tremendous aid in keeping your speech and writing from becoming repetitive and dull. However, much more important than simply having a wide range of words at your disposal, is the ability to know when to use them and to use them properly.


Engaging writing requires more than just putting your thoughts into words. To truly draw your reader in you must have uniformity of structure and an expressive style. I can help you become more familiar with the styles that work best for you, and how to make subtle adjustments to your writing in order that it might better suit your intended audience.

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $30.00

Cancellation: 8 hours notice required

Travel policy

Gunther will travel within 40 miles of Fort Madison, IA 52627.