Tutor profile: Jessica M.
How do I write for a class prompt when I have no ideas?
Do you really not have any ideas or do you believe that you don't have any "good" ideas? Many students talk themselves out of ideas that aren't "perfect" or "good enough." However, there is no such thing as a perfect prompt idea or even a perfect paper. Ninety percent of writing is in your execution, and that is strengthened when you write about things you genuinely care about and things that are authentic to you. The next time you don't think one of your ideas isn't good enough, remember that someone once walked into a Hollywood meeting and said, "Let's make a move about a tornado full of sharks." That idea doesn't even make sense. However, the script still got the green light, and they made five sequels.
How do you study classic literature for school when you don't like reading classic literature (and it puts you to sleep)?
Pick an animal and imagine all the characters as animated versions of that animal. Shakespeare's Hamlet? Imagine everyone as cute little piglets. Yes, read out the whole "To be or not to be" speech as coming from a little pig. Romeo and Juliet? Pigeons. "What light through yonder window breaks..." Squawk. Squawk. Squawk. Crime and Punishment? Otters. Why not? Reading classics in this way relieves some of the anxiety around reading "serious literature" and can make it kind of hilarious.
What can I help you with today? What do you want to gain from our time together?
This will be the first question I ask you in our tutoring session, and we'll spend a few moments clarifying your request. For example, if you tell me you'd like to improve your English writing skills, we'll talk about what that means to you. When assigned a paper, do you need help organizing your ideas? Do you need assistance with introductions and conclusions? Do you struggle with adding descriptive adjective and adverbs to punch up your writing and give it your own voice? Do you struggle with writing complex sentences? Are you an English Language Learner, struggling with present and past tense? Even if you don't know precisely what you want, we'll figure it out together and use it as a roadmap for our session.
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