Tutoring and Workshops

I’m available for hire as a writing tutor in both one-on-one and workshop formats. These tutoring sessions are fully customizable, tailored to the student’s needs and interests in order to foster engagement with the writing process.

Why Study Writing?

Writing is the 21st century’s most fundamental skill. With business and personal communications largely conducted online (and archived forever) people who can write in a clear, thoughtful manner hold a significant competitive advantage. While it’s true that STEM fields are major growth areas, employers consistently rate communication skills as the most desirable quality in a candidate. Being able to present and defend a hypothesis is central to every field from business to engineering.

In 2011, MetLife polled a thousand business executives about the most important skills for career readiness. An overwhelming 97% rated the ability to write clearly and persuasively as “absolutely essential/very important.” That’s more than double the number who said the same for higher-level math (40%) and science (31%).

Revisiting Fundimentals

Many problems students encounter are things professional writers struggle with–like thesis statements, structure, wording, pacing, and tone. The only difference is professional writers recognize and fix these problems before publication. As a tutor, I revisit these fundamental aspects of writing to ensure the student internalizes them.

Skill Focus: Outlining and Structuring

Professional writers use outlines every day–but students assume it’s a useless classroom exercise. My sessions present outlines in a practical manner, as a tool to ease the writing process and help organize thoughts. By shifting focus from theory to practice, students realize that outlines actually reduce their workload.

Understanding Process

Have you ever said something, then wished you could take it back? Good news: writing allows you to do just that.

Many students dislike revision. That’s understandable. Self-criticism isn’t easy, and we’ve been raised to think our mistakes are embarrassing and shameful. But in writing, mistakes are an opportunity–recognizing them means we can turn a misstep into a triumph.

Good writers don’t do everything right on the first try, they course-correct toward success. My instruction emphasizes this principle, teaching students that using the wrong words is a crucial step to finding the right words. This practical, objective-based approach to revision takes the fear of judgment out of the process, teaching students that only the end result matters.

Skill Focus: Conquering Fear

Fear is a major part of writing. Students often fear an empty page, or that they’ll say the wrong thing. Rather than starting, they waste time by putting the task off. By understanding that writing is about improving a product rather than creating a perfect draft in one go, students cut through the blank-page anxiety. Get it Down, Change it Later is our motto–you can’t fix something until you have something to fix!

Engaging Passion

Nothing drives you to write like passion, but passion often isn’t a part of students’ writing life. This is a shame, since the fundamentals of writing apply equally whether you’re writing about a historical event, a personal experience, or a video game.

While my tutoring services can focus on assisting students with school assignments, I also have the ability to tailor lessons to their interests. Students can learn structure while writing about favorite films or sports figures, and refine their analytical skills by dissecting science fiction short stories. Far from being off-topic, students pick up skills faster by using them in areas they enjoy.

After all, a bibliography is still a bibliography whether it’s about fighter jets or the Opium Wars.

Skill Focus: Research

As a journalist with a heavy focus on research, I’m adept at teaching students how to find, vet, and use sources to support arguments. This is an area where engaging students’ passion pays dividends, since the joy of self-directed learning can carry them through the process.

Publishing and Writing Projects

This course of study will include a capstone projects at regular intervals–goals for students to work toward. This could be an academic goal like completing a college essay or research paper, or a personal goal like successfully publishing an article. As a published writer, I can guide students through the process of creating a product and sharing it with the world, whether it’s a blog, a website, or an artistic portfolio.

Skill Focus: Managing Deadlines

Working on deadline is a skill that transcends writing. As part of our capstone projects, students create schedules that help them manage their project and ensure all stages in the process–concept, outline, rough draft, structural edit, language edit, polish, and final draft–happen before the deadline. More than time management, students learn the steps necessary to produce a high-quality product under time pressure.

Rates and Bookings

For inquiries, rates, and bookings please contact me: robrath [at] gmail [dot] com

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