SAT Timing Tip for March 13 Tampa SAT Students

Posted on 12th March 2010 in Tampa SAT Preparation

First of all good luck to all of my students taking the SAT tomorrow. It’s been a pleasure helping you prepare for SAT writing and SAT reading comprehension. All of you will do well!

Great Hall image on Tampa tutor blog / CC BY 2.0

This image of the National Portrait Gallery’s Great Hall is the work of DB King.

One small tip to help you time the sections. SAT proctors are usually diligent about giving you reminders of remaining time, but one way to make sure you stay on pace is to wear an analog watch and set the hands to noon at the start of each section.
That way, it’s easy to see exactly how much time you have left to finish any SAT section.

Eric Anderson is a Wesley Chapel, Florida-based history, language arts, and SAT reading and writing tutor. He tutors students from grades 6-12 and adults and has worked extensively with students from the Hillsborough IB program. Contact Eric at 813.787.8959.


Wesley Chapel, FL Language Arts Tutor’s Tips for Writing a Good Book Report

Posted on 12th January 2010 in Tampa Language Arts tutors

Although I love to read, I have never liked writing book reports. If you’ve been assigned one, try these tips for writing a good book report.

Tip #1:  Read the book.  Don’t try to fudge by reading only the book jacket and summary on the web.  If your assigned book is dull, read it out loud, or have your parent read parts of it to you.  Start on the assignment early so that you have plenty of time to finish the book and write, revise, and proofread your book report.

Tip #2:  List the characters.  Write down your impressions of them.  Be sure to pay attention to the point of view of the story. Is the story narrated from the point of view of one of the characters? Is it told by an all-knowing narrator?

Tip #3:  Set the scene.  As the author describes the places where the story is set, make notes and think about why the author chooses certain settings.

Photo of Roosevelt Island and Manhattan / CC BY 2.0


Tip #4:  Summarize each chapter as you read. Keep track of the key events of each chapter. Keep it short.

Tip #5: Review the format for the book report supplied by your teacher. Make certain that your report is written in the correct format. Plan your work so that you can show your teacher a rough draft before the book report is due and get some advice on ways to improve your report.

Tip #6:  Put it all together.  Once you have your notes completed, you are ready to write the book report.  Book report formats vary, but many include a summary, the main characters, the setting and an evaluation of the book.

Eric Anderson is a freelance web copywriter. He lives in Wesley Chapel, FL and tutors students in grades 6-12 and adults in English, Language Arts, essay writing, grammar, and SAT reading comprehension and SAT writing. To reach Eric, call 813.787.8959 or email him at tampatutor at tampabay dot r r dot com.

Tampa Language Arts Tutors Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

Posted on 5th January 2010 in Tampa Language Arts tutors

If you are a high school student, you probably have to write regularly.  From homework to term papers to college application essays, you get your share of writing assignments.  Even good writers sometimes have difficulty writing. At times you may feel as if you have nothing to write about a particular topic.

You have writer’s block.

Writer struggling with Writer's Block photo / CC BY 2.0

Here are a few tips to help you overcome writer’s block.

  • Don’t procrastinate.  Procrastination can make writer’s block worse, but it can also cause it.  The pressure of a deadline can be paralyzing.  Try to get a draft done well before it’s due.
  • Don’t worry about the details.  The most important part of writing is to simply write.  Avoid focusing on spelling, grammar, and punctuation as you get your ideas down on paper.  Fix those details during editing.
  • Write about what you know.  If you are facing a creative writing assignment, write about something you know about.  Ann Lamott, a novelist who writes about writing in her book Bird by Bird, suggests writing about experiences in the school cafeteria.  It sounds strange, but her point is that when you write about a personal experience, you can sometimes get the momentum to overcome your writer’s block.
  • Read or go to the movies.  If you are really at a loss for writing material, reading will be an immense help. Read about your topic; read something that has nothing to do with your topic.  Reading opens the mind and invites new ideas. Isaac Asimov’s answer to writer’s block was a trip to the movies. Sometimes the best thing to do to get the words flowing is to let the world tell you a story.
  • Do a body check.  While this may sound like part of the new TSA screening procedure, it’s not. When I’m tired, I find writing harder. Check yourself and make sure that you are eating well and sleeping enough. Create the conditions that will let you do your best writing.

If you are stuck and need help writing an AP History DBQ or essay for English, call Tampa Language Arts tutor Eric Anderson’s tutoring hotline at 813.787.8959 or reach Eric by email at tampa tutor at tampa bay dot rr dot com.

comments: 0 » tags: , , , , ,

Tampa English Tutor Letter Writing Tips

Posted on 9th December 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

I’m a big fan of Today they posted something that certainly will help students write better business and personal letters.

One of my students is working on that in his Language Arts class, so I think it’s worth linking to these letter writing tips.

If you are looking for employment, Ali Hale’s post has some excellent information about the proper format for cover letters and thank you notes.

Photo created by Tobias (Chaos in June on Flickr). See more of his photos in his photostream. Photo licensed under Creative Commons generic 2.0 Attribution Only and no derivative works license.

Need help with Language Arts, writing, or English grammar, contact Tampa English Tutor Eric Anderson at 813.787.8959. Eric tutors 6-12th graders, college students, and adults.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 9/10/2009 9:24 PM


comments: 0 » tags: , , , ,

4 Tips to Help Your Child Study Better from Tampa Private English Tutor

Posted on 3rd November 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

If your child is struggling at school, you can help him or her develop more effective study habits using these simple tips:

Tip #1:  Create an effective study environment – A study space should be free of distractions.  Ensuring that the television is off is extremely important, as is making sure that your child isn’t checking email or text messages constantly.  Set up a study area away from the Internet and cell phones.  Set up an uncluttered workspace with a comfortable desk and chair and with adequate light.

Photo of Benedictine monastery by Reinart de Pintor de Fuego. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Only.

Tip #2:  Make a study schedule – Helping a younger student create a study schedule can be a tremendous help. Some middle school and high school students are hard-core procrastinators with the ability to underestimate time required for any project.  Sitting down with your son or daughter once a week and helping him or her make a plan for the week fosters the kind of discipline that leads good academic performance.  Try to set aside a regular time each week for making the weekly study plan.

Tip #3:  Hold your child accountable – The plan means nothing if you don’t hold your child accountable for performing the tasks that make it up. Creating a checklist and ticking off items as they’re finished can be a great way to make certain each task gets done. Use the online system provided by schools to track your child’s progress and reinforce the connection between good study practices and good grades.

Tip #4:  Provide homework help – Many middle and high school students need extra help from parents.  Because my step-daughter is an advanced math student, she is taking courses that neither my wife nor I ever took. When she had trouble in pre-calculus, we hired an excellent New Tampa Calculus tutor and quickly got her back on track.

If your child is having difficulty in a subject that isn’t your strong suit, you may wish to hire a professional tutor. In many cases, however, you can help your child review and master the material.

Being proactive and determining what your son’s or daughter’s class is going to study next and pre-viewing the material is another way to help your child become more effective at studying.

If your son or daughter would benefit from some one-on-one help, contact Tampa English and history tutor Eric Anderson at 813.787.8959.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 11/3/2009 3:50 PM


comments: 0 » tags: , , , , ,