Posted in Child, children, Education, K-12 Tutoring, Learning Activties, Parent, Parent and Child, Parent Help, Parenting, school, student, Studying, Tutoring, Uncategorized

10 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed In School

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey

Education is a valuable tool that can set children up for a successful future.  As a result, children getting the best out of their education is vital.  So, how, as a parent, can you come alongside your children and support them in their education?  Here is a suggested list of ways to help your child succeed in school.

#1: Set Up a Morning Routine

Rushed mornings can carry over into your child’s day.  We all know that there are days when hurried mornings cannot be helped, but for the most part, establishing a morning routine will help your child’s day start off right.  Just like children benefit from a routine at school, so too can they benefit from a predictable morning.

#2: Get to Know Your Child’s Teacher

This may seem like an obvious step, but it can be easy to become preoccupied with other priorities.  However, taking the time to meet and get to know your child’s teacher will open up the lines of communication.   When concerns or questions arise, having already developed a rapport with your child’s teacher will make possibly difficult conversations a lot easier.

#3: Volunteer at School

Furthermore, getting involved at your child’s school can be helpful in your child’s success at school.  You will be directly engaged with your child’s education by volunteering for field trips, after school activities, or in class help. With your help, your child will benefit from a more meaningful school experience.

#4: Stay Positive about Education

School is hard work, and when your children are feeling overwhelmed they are going to feel like their school experience is a negative one.  What they need is an education advocate.  By focusing on the positives of education and continuing your education through schooling, reading, and other learning activities, you will show your children why education can help them go a long way in life.

#5: Read Together

Children need to be able to read fluently, comprehend what they are reading, and analyze the text in order to excel in school.  Reading together provides you with the opportunity to help develop these skills.  Read together and talk about what you are reading with your child in order to build these skills and aid him or her do well in school.

#6: Talk to Your Child

Talking to your children about their day and what is going on with them is an important step to helping your child succeed in school.  This way, you will know what is going on with their friends, schooling, and other activities.  Even if your child is in the stage where his or her answers to your questions are “fine” and “good”, at least they know that the lines of communication are open, and they can come to you when they are ready to talk.

#7: Provide a Study Space

It is extremely helpful for students to have a quite place to study and get their homework finished. This can be as simple as a desk with a few office supplies on it.  What this does is provide a focused learning environment that children can consistently go to to get their assignment done.

#8: Prioritize Study Time

Make sure that your children are studying and getting homework done before moving on to other activities like TV and video games.

#9: Continue Learning over the Summer

Ever heard of the summer slide?  This can really affect a child’s learning as studies show that children can lose a full month’s worth of school learning over the summer.  Combat this with continuing education over the summer through reading, classes, and tutoring.

#10: Hire a Tutor

This may be last on our list, but it most certainly should not be a last resort.  Tutoring is a great opportunity for your child to get ahead, catch up, build confidence, and even more.  Check out our latest blog to find out why tutoring can help your child.

Conclusion

These are just some of the many ways you can support your children in their school.  Can you think of any other ways to help your children with their education goals?

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Oxford Tutoring

(949) 681-0388

Posted in children, Education, K-12 Tutoring, teaching, Tutoring, Uncategorized

10 Ways to Teach to Each Learning Style

At Oxford Tutoring, our teaching method means teaching the way each individual student learns.  It is important to incorporate various teaching methods that reflect your child’s learning style.  Which is why we want to give you the tools to help reach your child based on their individual learning style – whether that he or she is a visual learner, an auditory learner, or a kinesthetic learner.

Here is a basic breakdown of the three learning styles:

Visual Learners – These types of learners do best when they see information.  They are adept at recalling objects, shapes, and pictures. Ways they learn are through reading, films, videos, or demonstrations.  They have the ability to see pictures in their minds.

Auditory Learners – These individuals have to hear information.  With a “good ear”, they can hear differences in tone and rhythm.  Something that will help these children is if they are read aloud to.  They are capable of remembering what they had heard in lectures.

Kinesthetic Learners – These are the children who learn best by doing.  They require hands-on, interactive learning.  They will tend to learn best when they are physically active and have strong coordination skills.

The above is a basic overview of the learning styles.  To determine the learning style of your child, administer this quiz.

Check out this list of 10 ways in which you can accommodate your child’s learning style.

 

Visual Learner Oxford Tutoring.jpg

Visual Learners

  1. Use maps, flow charts, or webs to organize materials.
  2. Have students color code books/notes to organize materials.
  3. Write out checklists of formulas, commonly misspelled words, etc.
  4. Write out and use flashcards to review.
  5. Draw pictures or cartoons of concepts.
  6. Write down material on slips of paper and move them around into proper sequence.
  7. Use a whiteboard to note important information.
  8. Highlight important key terms in different colors.
  9. Replace important words with symbols or initials.
  10. Create visual storyboards for memorization purposes.

 

Auditory Learner Oxford Tutoring.jpg

Auditory Learners

  1. Engage the child in conversations about subject matter.
  2. Question children about the material.
  3. Ask for oral summaries of the material.
  4. Have them record lectures and review them with you.
  5. Have them record themselves reviewing the material (or a summary of notes) and listen to it together.
  6. Read material aloud to them.
  7. Have them put material to a rhythm or tune and rehearse it aloud.
  8. Have students explain their notes back to you.
  9. Use repetition for memorization.
  10. Read aloud to students and have them read aloud as well.

 

Kinesthetic Leaner Oxford Tutoring.jpg

Kinesthetic Learners

  1. Write out checklists of materials to be learned or looked for.
  2. Trace words and diagrams on paper.
  3. Use textured paper and experiment with different sizes of pens, pencils, and crayons to write down information.
  4. Use role play or dramatize concepts. Students can move objects around or act out a concept themselves.
  5. Ask students to envision a scene in which the material to be learned is being used or acted our somehow. For example, imagine a student being a character in a novel.
  6. Have the student take notes while reading or listening.
  7. Use some form of body movement (snapping your finger, mouthing ideas, pacing) while reciting material to be learned.
  8. Use real life examples, applications, and case studies to summarize difficult concepts.
  9. Use pictures and photographs that illustrate your ideas.
  10. Have students draw diagrams of the information they are learning.

 

We hope that this list allows you to help your children with their schooling.  Because we incorporate these various teaching strategies into our tutoring method, you can count on Oxford Tutoring to teach the way you learn.  Call us to schedule an appointment today! (949) 681-0388.

Posted in children, Education, K-12 Tutoring, school, student, Tutoring, Tutoring Sessions, Uncategorized

Students Ask the Darnedest Things

In the last few minutes of a session, I had a student hit me with this question, just out of the blue:

Does anyone have one googol dollars?

For those who aren’t familiar with “googol”, it’s actually not a misspelling of everyone’s favorite verbed search engine. It’s this very large number:
10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
… or, with commas:
10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
… because those commas, of course, make all the difference.

It’s probably for the better I wasn’t taking a sip of water when this question came up, since I almost did the dry version of the classic spit-take, but I caught myself in time, paused, and instead said, “… Ok, well, let’s have some fun with this.”

1-zillion-dollars
Hint? You’re going to have about as much luck cashing one of these…

The average dollar bill weighs 1 gram. For ease of transport, dollar bills come in “straps”, or bundles of 100. We’re going to do ourselves a couple favors and say (1) that we’re only going to use $100 bills, to minimize the number of dollar bills we will have to create, and (2) the paper strips holding the straps magically have no mass. Sure, this is entirely wrong, but, trust me, we’re going to need all the mass we can have available for $100 bills.

 

According to the US Federal Reserve, there were 38.1 billion currency notes in circulation in 2015. While this doesn’t just mean dollar bills (it could include other valid notes of value), this provides us our first estimate: If we convert all of these notes up to $100… we’re nowhere close. That would give us $3.81 trillion, which gets us a paltry 3.81 x 10^-88 percent of the way there. In numbers?
0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000381%

This clearly won’t do, not if we’re trying to become the richest person ever known, and quite possibly in past, present, and future, at that. So, let’s do something mathemagical here.

Our home, good old Planet Earth, has a mass of 5.972 × 10^24 kg, or in grams like our money, 5.972 × 10^27 g. I’ll spare you writing out the big number, but that number, in grams, is also exatcly how many $100 bills we could have if we could turn every single atom of the Earth into $100 bills (this is where we put the “magic” in “mathemagical” – this would take ridiculous amounts of energy that we’re going to magically ignore the need for right now). By doing so, we get a grand total of $5.972 × 10^29. We also now lack for a place to store all of these $100 bills (one of the downsides of no longer having a planet), but I’m sure we can just grab a spare black hole for a wallet. Unfortunately, we need 70-and-a-half more zeroes, so we’re going to need some more mass…

… so we’re going to use the entire Solar System!

But it turns out this doesn’t actually help too much more. The Sun, all the planets, every moon, and all sorts of other objects like asteroids and comets and other items (oh my!) comes to a collective mass of 1.991 x 10^33 grams, or $1.991 x 10^35 dollars, and we’re still just under 65 zeroes too short. Can we go bigger?

Of course! Our Solar System isn’t just floating around in space. It sits on a far arm of the Milky Way galaxy, which has a mass of 1.153 x 10^45 grams. I’m going to guess now though, my savvy reader, that you’ve caught on to the pattern – the number of dollars is two more than the number on 10^##. At $1.153 x 10^47 dollars, we’re just under half the number of digits!

And this is where we reach the point of impossibility. Best estimates state that there are on the order of 100 billion galaxies, and even if we take all of these into account, we’re going to need some of that as-yet-undiscovered dark matter to get things to work – converting every single galaxy, with generous estimates, only gets us to approximately $1.153 x 10^58 dollars. To put this titanic number into perspective, compared to our $1 googol? Halfway to $1 googol would be $5 x 10^99.

At this point, it’s safe to say we’re not going to get $1 googol. If we somehow could get this to work though, we wouldn’t have a planet to put it on. We might be able, somehow, to arrange in space, but this much money just might make for the strangest galaxy of them all…

Money Galaxy.png
Money Galaxy

 

About the Author: Jason Orens – a Math and Computer Science Instructor, has been tutoring with Oxford Tutoring for over nine years.  Utilizing the student’s existing knowledge and a touch of humor, Jason strives to remove students mental barriers between themselves and the difficult, technical materials.  He combines his years of tutoring experience and expertise in the fields of Math and Computer Science to give his students the tools they need to succeed in these challenging classes.

Posted in ACT, Education, English Language Arts Tutoring, Individualized Tutoring, K-12 Tutoring, Private Tutoring, student, Tutoring, Tutoring Sessions, Uncategorized

The Power of “We” – Tutoring Stories

by Julia M. – tutor at Oxford Tutoring

She sat across from me, completely defeated.  Tears slipping through the cracks of her calm demeanor.

When I first began tutoring her, she wanted to study the writing section of the ACT, and she wanted to study it at rapid speed.  She is a visual learner, so once she viewed the standards of grammar she needed to know, it was imprinted in her memory, utilized easily when she answered questions.  We whizzed through that section, my voice relaying information at the speed of an auctioneer just to keep up with her alert, competent mind.

Approaching the reading section I anticipated more of the same.

Yet, I quickly learned that she is a perfectionist. Hard on herself in school, sports, and life.  She demands a lot of herself.  I admire her work ethic and willingness to push herself in order to complete her goals, however, in this case, her high expectations were holding her back.  She could not finish the reading section in a timely manner, while still maintaining respectable marks.  The ACT is a test that requires students to think critically, move quickly, and work efficiently. In a desire to do well right away, she overwhelmed herself, not realizing that it takes time to build up the stamina and skill necessary to complete this task well.

It was my job to show her.

I spent much of the weekend thinking of a way to reach this sweet, intelligent girl.  I wanted her to feel bolstered and help her to realize that with time, she would be able to master the reading passages.  I had tried to explain this to her on our last session, but her emotional state made it impossible for her to process any new information.  She was simply too entrenched by discouragement to hear me.

I needed to find the words to reach her.

Then, I remembered a few years back when I was going through a particularly difficult situation, disappointment encircled me in the same manner.  A friend of mine was helping me through this challenge.  I will never forget what she said to me as I sat across from her feeling defeated.  She said, “Julia, we are going to get through this together.”  We.  She said we.  That meant that I was not alone in my troubles.  I had someone supporting me and with her help I would be able to make it through to the other side.

Remembering this pivotal moment, I realized that this is exactly what my student needed.

At our next tutoring session, I hoped that these same words would bring the comfort to my student that they had brought to me.  Calling upon the student’s background as a gymnast, I asked how she knew when she was ready to attempt a new move.  She explained that her coach served as her spotter, teaching a new technique and not letting go until the coach was certain her gymnast could handle the new move on her own.

After hearing her response, I looked at her and explained that, just like in gymnastics, the ACT required time and practice in order to be able to master it.  And, I was going to be her spotter.  We were going to work on the new techniques together, and I was not going to let go of her until I was positive she could handle the ACT on her own.  I paused, trying to read her expression to see if I was getting through to her.  Her mind was busy processing; she stayed silent.

“You know,” I added, “We are going to get through this together.” She breathed.  Her shoulders relaxed.  She sighed, relieved, “Okay, good!”

Ahead we moved, student and tutor together.

Meet the author:  Julia M. is an ELA instructor at Oxford Tutoring who has been working with students for over 10 years.  She builds up her student’s confidence in the subjects they struggle with through encouragement and support.  Striving to make her students ready to tackle even the most difficult concepts as they move up in their education, she motivates her students to take their education into their own hands and thrive.

Posted in children, Education, K-12 Tutoring, Tutoring, Tutoring Sessions, Uncategorized, website design

The Light in Their Eyes – Tutoring Stories

by Nuria T. – ELA, Graphic Design, Math, and Social Studies Tutor at Oxford Tutoring

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At Oxford Tutoring, there are many different types of students. Some students who are advanced, some in the middle, or others who just need a helping hand. Regardless, one thing has always been the same: when students finally grasp an unknown concept, their faces light up!

This summer I began to teach website design. The subject is in my area of studies, and I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to teach it.  I spent time writing the curriculum and doing extensive research on new program updates. I was greatly looking forward to putting all of my efforts into application and having the opportunity to teach the class.

When the class started, I noticed that even though my student did not want to pursue a career in the area of website design, she was still interested in the material. She asked as many questions as she could, gobbling up the information I presented. What impressed me the most is even though there were moments where she was having a hard time, my student would often ask if she could try it out on her own before my stepping in to help.

We went over Photoshop and Dreamweaver.  To learn two programs in four weeks is not easy on any student.  The student picked up Photoshop relatively easily, but Dreamweaver proved to be more challenging for her.  This is because the program has a very different interface. She often would ask me for “hints” when attempting to work with this program. Even though she struggled in class, she never failed to turn in the homework I assigned.  Not only would she complete what I assigned, but would also work on extra work that she assigned herself. When I asked her why this was the case she simply stated, “It looks so cool when you do it! I want to try too!”  As an tutor, it’s always fantastic to see and hear your students desiring to learn more.

The last class was my proudest moment. My student admitted that she was slightly overwhelmed, but was ready to learn the final steps. For the quiz I gave her thirty minutes to design one page of her website. She sighed but she told me not to help her throughout the quiz no matter what! I knew that she would succeed and agreed to let her handle it all on her own. And she did it! Not only did she complete the quiz, but even excelled at various font changes, DIV boxes, DIV color changes, margin spacing, padding spacing, navigation, links, and creating a footer.

The student proved that although there may have been many difficult moments, it was still worth it to try. Students often think that when an instructor assigns a harder task it’s for no reason. That’s not the case; a tutor challenges a student because he or she is confident that the student can rise to meet the challenge.

At Oxford Tutoring, when a student and tutor come together striving to learn, the sky is the limit.

Posted in ACT, Child, classes, College Planning, Courses, Education, Homework Help, Individualized Tutoring, K-12 Tutoring, New SAT, SAT, SAT Test Prep, Studying, Uncategorized

6 Steps to Prepare for the SAT

The dreaded SAT: a challenge that all high school student with dreams of going to college must face.  Success on this test begins with understanding the SAT test and facing it with courage and determination. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, an American politician, diplomat, and activist, “You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”  The SAT may seem like a test too big to tackle, with some basic, manageable steps, you will find yourself on the way to not only taking the SAT, but conquering it.

 

Step #1 – Select an SAT Date.  Register!

It may seem like common sense, but with so many other activities, sports, classes, and studying, it is easy to let SAT test dates slip by without registering.  So, stop what you are doing right now.  Pick a test date, and go register here .

SAT Test Dates

The SAT test is offered a number of times during the school year.   Tests are offered on Saturdays.  Be sure to select a test date that you can feasibly prepare for. Be sure to take your other obligations into consideration, like finals, AP exams, sports tournaments, college applications, etc.

 

Step #2 – Set Score Goals.

It is important to set a goal for yourself.  That way you have a score that both you and your Oxford Tutoring SAT instructor are working towards.  This helps you develop a realistic expectation and provides motivation for you to do your best.  If you need help setting an SAT score goal, meet with an Oxford Tutoring SAT Counselor for free.

 

Step #3 – Track your progress.

Use the following chart to keep track of how you are doing.  That way, you can see where you started, take note of the areas that are still causing your trouble, and decide which subjects you want to continue tutoring in.

Track Progress

Step #4 – Study! Go to class, take practice tests, and do your homework.

While practice is helpful, practice does not make perfect if you are practicing incorrectly.  That’s where Oxford Tutoring comes in, with classes that cover content, teach strategies, and prepare you to achieve your SAT score goals.

Furthermore, when it comes to studying, treat the SAT like eating your vegetable.  Eating a few vegetables a day is manageable, helpful, and even good.  Studying is the same way.  Studying everyday is much more manageable and effective than trying to do it all at once.

Don’t try to do a week’s worth of studying in one day, just as you would not eat a week’s worth of vegetables in one day.  You will be healthier, smarter, and happier with consistent study.  And your SAT score will thank you! Consistent study builds long-term memory.

Step #5 – Focus extra study time on trouble spots.

Spend extra time on those areas that you are still struggling with.  This is especially helpful for critical reading and essay writing.

The following texts have been used by the SAT to construct SAT reading passages.  Thus, these readings are your best choice for practice of the reading passages.

Literature and Personal Narratives

U.S. Founding Documents (the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers.

The Great Global Conversation (Edmund Burke, Henry David Thoreau, Gandhi, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Martin Luther King Jr.

A speech delivered by Congresswoman Barbara Jordan of Texas on July 25, 1974, as a member of the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives.

Federalist No. 65, an essay by Alexander Hamilton

Richard Florida, The Great Reset

Social Science and Physical Science

Economics, Psychology or Sociology resources

Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics resources

Step #6 – Succeed! Take the test with confidence!

Oxford Tutoring comes alongside you to help you achieve your SAT goals.  Sign up for an SAT or ACT test prep course today! (949) 681-0388.

If you follow these steps, you will be well on your way to conquering the SAT and achieving your score goal.  Don’t forget, Oxford Tutoring is here to help offering SAT classes that come with a score guarantee and SAT private tutoring.  Call us today to schedule a free SAT Consult to learn more!

 

 

 

Posted in Book, Child, classes, Courses, Education, ELA, family, K-12 Tutoring, Learning Activties, Orange County, Orange County Events, Reading, summer, Uncategorized

Required Reading Summer Course at Oxford Tutoring

Don’t let your summer go to waste! Try our Required Reading Book Club course to study the novels you will be reading in the upcoming school year.

Sign up for an Oxford Tutoring summer course today! (949) 681-0388

REquired REading.jpg

http://www.oxfordtutoring.com/summer/irvine-schedule.pdf

 

Posted in Child, classes, Education, family, Homework Help, Individualized Tutoring, K-12 Tutoring, Learning Activties, summer, Uncategorized

Activities for Active Minds

With summer coming up, there is an old saying that comes to mind – “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”  Regardless of grades and class performance, the vast majority of students I see are bright people who are looking for a challenge to which they can rise.  As someone who was once a student bored in classes, I very much understand the need for something to keep the mind active and engaged.  To stamp the word “OLD” on my forehead, many of the options below were not available to me when I was the ages of my students, thanks to the evolution of the Internet, but all are great options for minds that need a little more engagement.

Project Gutenberg

For readers with voracious appetites, Project Gutenberg is going to be your new library.  All of the books on the website are in public domain (no longer have copyright protection), and the library is still growing, to include readable versions of the stories, as well as audiobook versions of many stories, and many works in languages other than English, for the multilingual reader.  While you won’t find the latest fad book on Project Gutenberg, you will find everything from classic stories that have more than stood the test of time, such as the Sherlock Holmes stories, to stories about the myths and legends for various cultures, perfect for children.

Project Euler

For the more analytical mind, Project Euler is a way to test your meddle against mathematical and algorithmic problems.  Many of the problems are designed so that thinking about the puzzle can take some time, but, with a good method, the actual process of getting the answer will take less than a minute.  Some of these can require some programming savvy to solve, but that just means it’s time to…

Learn a new skill

Be it picking up programming, or starting a little carpentry, learning new skills and picking up new hobbies not only fills time, but provides a great brain-boost – studies are showing that learning new, challenging skills boosts memory.  There’s a number that floats around, that it takes 10,000 hours to master a new skill, but don’t let that daunt you – that’s if you’re looking to master it to the level of doing it professionally.  Thinking about learning the ukelele?  It only takes about 20 hours of good practice, in any skill, to get to the level of doing it as a proficient hobbyist, which is little more than maybe a few weekends before you start serenading friends!  (Unless you’re like me, and don’t have a singing voice.)

TED Talks

Looking for a good new word?  Here’s one: “portemanteau.”  It’s the term for a word created by mashing two other words together, like “education” and “entertainment” to make “edutainment.”  (Fun fact: Portemanteau is itself a portemanteau of “porter” and “manteau”, both French, respectively meaning “to carry” and “coat,” meaning “coat hanger” or “coat rack.”)  Edutainment is a great way to pass the time, and I find TED Talks to usually be very mind-opening and a good place to find new perspectives on things.  The videos range from the methods used in human beatboxing, to ways to revolutionize 3D printing, to how pickpockets get away with their thievery.
Also, that number in the previous section, 20 hours?  Learned that from another TED Talk!

The Moth

Like a good story, but want something a little more “real” than the works of literature? Storytellers at The Moth present true stories told live at events around the country without the aid of notes.  The stories can be streamed online for free from their website, and can range from hilarious to dark, but all of them keep it real.

What If?

A personal favorite of mine, “What If?” takes the absurd questions people have, and answers them with science!  Randall Munroe, the author of the xkcd webcomic and (at the time of this posting) two best-selling books, addresses such varied topics as “What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?,” “If every person on Earth aimed a laser pointer at the Moon at the same time, would it change color?,” and “What if New Horizons hits my car?”  Often infused with the question of “What if we tried more power?” to ramp up just how much the questions can push the boundaries of reality, these “Seriously Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” are sure to delight!
… despite how many of them, as we add more power, turn into doomsday scenarios.

Summer classes at Oxford Tutoring Center 

According to the students reading this post, I just wrote the most evil thing I could – I’m encouraging classes during vacation time.  However, Oxford offers more than just preparation for the next school year.  We have new classes for Speech and Debate, Building a Computer, and an Introduction to Programming course with some very cool design work that many of our employees want to take.  If any of those topics sound interesting to you, be sure to sign up before they take all the spots!
Contact us at 949-681-0388.
Posted in English Language Arts Tutoring, essay, Individualized Tutoring, K-12 Tutoring, Orange County, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Tools

Elements of an Essay: Editing and Revising

Writing an elegant, thorough, well-written essay is a necessary skill that any student will use all the way to college and even beyond.

If you cannot put together an essay that is organized, despite the argument you are making, you will be at a disadvantage.

That is why we at Oxford Tutoring have created a simple, yet helpful, outline for the elements of an essay.

Visit any of our previous blogs to learn how to write powerful thesis statements, bold body paragraphs, relevant details , insightful commentary, intriguing introduction paragraphs, and strong conclusion paragraphs.

Good writing is rewriting, rewriting, and rewriting so don’t be discouraged that your essay needs editing.  Every writer from a professional to the high school student goes through the revising process so that they can write a complete, grammatically correct, and relevant piece of writing.

Today, we will wrap up our elements of an essay blog series with an often overlooked, but entirely necessary step in essay writing – editing and revising. Look at the following questions about each element of your essay and answer them truthfully.

Introduction Paragraph:

The introduction paragraph has all of the following elements:

– A hook 

– Background info

– A thesis statement

      If not, what elements are missing?

The hook uses one of the methods learned in class:

      If so, which one?

The background information shows why the hook and thesis statement are relevant:

If not, how should the writer improve the background information?

 

Thesis Statement:

The thesis statement is easy to identity?

The thesis statement makes it clear what the subject of the essay will be?

The thesis statement tells what the writer of the essay thinks about the subject?

The thesis statement has at least 2 points of support or contention?

What elements of the thesis statement are strong and clear?

What elements of the thesis statement are missing or unclear?  How can the writer                                                make their thesis statement stronger?

 

Body Paragraphs

There are at least two body paragraphs:

Topic Sentences

There is a topic sentence in each body paragraph?

The topic sentences refer to the points of support or contention from the thesis      statement?

Details

There are at least 2 details in each body paragraph?

The details fall under one of the categories discussed in the details blog:

If so, which ones? If not, which ones do you recommend the writer use?

The details support the topic sentence: ?

If so, how?  If not, why?

Transition Words

Each Detail sentence has a transition word?

The transition words are appropriately varied?

Commentary

The commentary fall under one of the categories found in the commentary blog:

        Which ones?

The commentary makes the details clearer and easier to understand:

      If so, how?  If not, why?

The commentary uses the what and why method:

      If not, what is missing?

There are at least two sentences of commentary for every detail?

Concluding Sentence

The concluding sentence closes out the body paragraphs well?

If so, why?  If not, why?

The concluding sentence transitions into the next topic well?

If so, why?  If not, why?

 

Concluding Paragraph:

The conclusion paragraph has all of the following elements?

– Restatement of the thesis:

– Recap of what the reader learned in the body paragraphs:

– Sum up sentence:

The sum up sentence is powerful?

  If so, why? If not, why?

General:

What is your overall impression of the piece?

Does it feel complete? If so, why? If not, what is missing?

What did you learn about your writing by editing this essay?

What did you like about the essay?

 

Now that you have answered all these questions, rewrite your essay with the new edits and revisions.  Or give us a call and we can edit your essay with you!

We hope this blog series helped you feel empowered to take on the intimidating essay.  If you need additional help, feel free to book a session today!

 

 

 

 

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Elements of an Essay: Conclusion Paragraphs

For the last several weeks, we have broken down the format of an essay into easy to understand parts.  There is a basic formula for writing a well-structured essay.  Ultimately, it is the writer’s job to plug their words into the formula effectively and correctly.

However, having the tools to put an essay together in an organized manner can go a very long way to writing a successful essay.

Structure is one of the key elements in essay writing, and with the conclusion of today’s blog, you will have all the elements needed to present a well-structured essay.

Speaking of conclusions, today we are going to look at conclusion paragraphs.  As a reminder, let’s briefly look at all the components  of an essay.

The introduction paragraph is the heart.

It is designed to catch my reader’s attention.

Next, the thesis statement is the glue.

It holds my entire paper together and is placed at the end of introduction paragraph.

The body paragraphs are the meat.

They are the largest portion of my essay.

Then, the details of my body paragraphs are the key.

They unlock my argument.

Also, the commentary is the treasure.

They make the paper shine.

Lastly, the conclusion paragraph is the bow.

It ties my whole essay together.

 

Since the conclusion paragraph wraps everything up, we need to learn how to write one well.

Let’s take a look.

Your conclusion paragraph is your chance to remind the reader of your thesis, points you made in your body paragraphs, and leave the reader with a powerful closing statement. It should be made up of three parts.

Restatement

 

Use different words to remind the reader of your thesis statement.

 

Recap

 

Remind the reader of the main points from each of the body paragraphs.

 

So What

Your last sentence of your paragraph should be powerful. It tells the reader why they should care about your essay.

How to Write a “So What” Sentence

Your “So What” sentence will change based on the type of essay you are writing.

Informative Essays

Consider writing an objective truth.

If your paper was an informative essay on the devastation of the Black Plague, your sentence could look like this:

As society continues to develop and grow, it is necessary to remember that maintaining health standards is just as important now as it was in the 14th century.

Persuasive Essays

If your essay was persuasive, try writing a call to action.

For instance, if you were writing a persuasive paper on how Peeta is better for Katniss than Gale, your last sentence could look like this.

Show your support for Peeta by liking the Facebook page “Team Peeta.”

 

Analysis Essays

Write an expression of why your analysis improves the reading the text.

For example, if you are writing about how Fitzgerald develops Daisy’s character, your last sentence could look like this:

Fitzgerald allows the reader to see different sides of Daisy in order to create sympathy for a character who might otherwise seem thoughtless and unkind.

 

Your conclusion paragraph is the last thought your reader will be left with. So, it is important to make the conclusion powerful.

Now, we suggest you put your own essay together based on the elements of an essay that we have discussed.

Then check back in with us next week for proofreading.

 

As always, give us a call if you need help with essay writing.

(949) 681-0388.