Hello and Welcome!
My name is Karen and I write professionally for a living. As an engineer (retired), my work has been published in national scientific journals. As a former admissions officer at one of the world's top engineering schools, I have reviewed and evaluated thousands of college essays and personal statements. Writing and evaluating writing skills have feature prominently in my life.
My life experience offers me a unique perspective and an expansive skill set that I pass on to those students I tutor. Students who statistically do not score well on the verbal section of the SAT general test have defied the odds and excelled.
When low self-expectation is replaced by self confidence and pride in a job well done, I am ecstatic! My students learn that you define yourself: the first step is self efficacy; the second is perseverance.
Karen is a great tutor. She makes sure that my son is focused during his sessions and stays on task. There is always homework for him to complete for the next session. My son's writing, grammar and punctuation show marked improvement and his confidence grows stronger every day. Verbal communication and organization skills are improving as well. I am very satisfied with her services.
English and Grammar students
First ten minutes:
I create opportunities for the student to speak and pay close attention to responses. Student is not notified that this initial exchange is an oral diagnostic, and is encouraged to speak freely within a stress-free setting.
Next half hour:
Student is asked to answer five written questions that may include reading comprehension, grammar and punctuation, and/or sentence correction. Student then discusses how they arrived at each answer and what rules apply.
For essay writing
Student writes a short essay based on a given prompt. Student later critiques a sample essay. What would you have written differently and why?
For college essays
In addition to the above, student discusses academic life, personal accomplishments, passions, extracurricular activity and family life.
This is how I typically begin working with a new student. Since no two students have exactly the same needs, instruction is tailored towards each individual's strengths, weaknesses and goals.
As far as formal training goes, many of the college courses I have taken at the undergraduate and graduate level include formal writing. My work has not only been published in campus-based forums, but also in national scientific journals.
I hold a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering and am currently writing study guides and workbooks that teach STEM topics to elementary and middle school children. Expressing myself through written and verbal communication is a vital part of my life.
As a former admissions officer at one of the world's top engineering schools, I have reviewed and evaluated thousands of essays and personal statements from some of the finest high school students in America and from around the world. On the flip side of this coin: I have used my expertise to guide college-bound students through the essay-writing process. Many have gained entry to MIT, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and the Ivy Leagues.
As an all-round "good neighbor", I have helped local 5th grade students gain entry to one of New York City's most prestigious public middle schools via the Creative Writing Talent.
Essay writing, English and grammar starts at $55 per hour.
College Essays start at $85 per hour.
Billing includes face-to-face sessions, remote sessions, and editing.
From grade school. I was the student everyone came to for problem-solving and for clarifiction of ideas. This carried on through my college years and into adult life. I worked as an office temp during my undergrad years and assignments almost always morphed into employee training sessions. Management at Company A would request that I teach software, systems and procedures, and even statistical analysis to permanent staff. At several Fortune 500 companies, I was commissioned to create employee training manuals.
I have worked with students as young as 2nd grade, adults at the Masters level, and everything in between. I have worked with students who just need to polish their skills, and I have worked with kids who felt totally lost.
Many times I function as ad hoc psychologist, reshaping self image and self expectation. Sometimes it is necessary to work with the parent in order to help the child. CASE IN POINT: a 4th grade young lady who had zero self-confidence, performed poorly in math, and could not read the simplest problem statement without asking "what does this mean". The parent: at the beginning of each session, walked the student into the study room, took off the student's coat, opened her backpack for her, took out her books and set them on the table, and asked if there was anything else she needed. While parents have their unique way of interacting with their sons and daughters, I sometimes walk a fine line explaing to parents that even the best intentions can have adverse psychological effects. Sometimes overhelping sends the message "I don't have any confidence that you can perform on your own" and the child lives up to that expectation. I constantly affirmed to the student "go back, read the problem carefully, use the rules you know, and solve it. You can do this. You are capable of doing this." The student's overall math grade rose from "2" to a "4" in two short months.
Helping a student defy expectation.
Some families speak absolutely no English at home. Even though they speak only English with friends, and school is essentially language immersion, such students tend to struggle with formal English and creative writing. It was my greatest pleasure to help a 5th grader in this situation defy the odds and gain admission to one of New York City's most sought after middle schools. Together, we took the notion of "perseverance" to new heights and emerged victorious.
You are seeking someone who will challenge you and keep you just outside of your comfort zone. Ask questions of your prospective teacher and avoid those who just supply answers and do little to make you think.
1. Did I study the material thoroughly?
2. Did I test the depth of my knowledge by quizzing myself?
3. Do I need to spend more time working on a particular question or assignment?
4. Reasoning: am I overlooking something? Did I pay enough attention to details?
5. What is the connection between the assigned question and the material I learned in class?