Writing is a skill that will help students in all subjects and eventually in the work environment.
Composing essays is often a very challenging and paralyzing experience for students of all ages. I frequently hear the statement:
“I have these great ideas in my head, but I don’t know how to organize them and put them on paper.”
Developing confident and capable young writers
My goal is to help students feel more comfortable with and excited about the process of writing. Students generally need grammatical support with maintaining consistent tense, point of view, parallel construction, noun/pronoun agreement, spelling and punctuation.
I teach advanced students how to write persuasive essays, rhetorical analysis essays, reflective essays, synthesis essays, private school and college application personal statements, research paper/projects and AP history document based questions (DBQs).
Teaching students to write:
Simple paragraphs to full, thesis-based essays
With younger learners, I focus on how to write simple paragraphs with topic and concluding sentences and how to vary sentence structure. Once these concepts are mastered, I move the child toward a more sophisticated kind of writing. I teach the student how to “show, not tell” by including imagery and sensory details to make the writing more captivating and vivid. Everyday “meh” sentences soon transform into original, dynamic ones.
With middle schoolers and high schoolers, I place a strong emphasis on the five paragraph essay. I guide each student through the process of developing an essay with a strong thesis statement and introduction, supporting paragraphs, transitions and a solid conclusion. As students advance, I teach them how to effectively support their ideas by embedding quotations with proper MLA citations.
Filling in the learning gaps to ensure a solid writing foundation
Before students attempt an advanced style of writing, I make sure the proper foundation has been laid for success. If this is missing from early instruction, I fill in the gaps. I teach the writer how to create a brainstorm web, develop an outline, generate a thesis, use transitions and write a strong conclusion.
Guiding students through the process of editing
Editing is the final stage of the writing process. I encourage students to always proofread their assignments before handing them in to be graded. For each essay, we make sure there is sentence fluency, fully developed ideas, a clearly developed thesis, a logical order to details and a satisfying, solid conclusion. My ultimate goal is for students to feel comfortable enough with the writing process to have the skills and confidence to write independently without my step-by-step guidance.
Parents occasionally ask me to review their own application essays for their children’s private school admissions. I am available to provide editing support for both students and parents.
Lindsay’s method of teaching forged a connection with my son where other methods we had tried with him failed. I credit Lindsay for the improvements and newfound confidence in writing Alex had by the end of senior year.