Expository Writing

We found 110 articles

What makes a good descriptor?
Cliche is natural; originality, not so much. Pre-packaged phrases like “bring to the table,” “at the end of the day,” or “read between the lines” are overused and now lack their meaning, becoming a kind of automatic thinking, according to George Orwell. But why? Because triggering automatic thinking in a listener is helpful to a speaker if he or ...
Five steps to flawlessly edit your writing
There is no such thing as a perfect essay, but there certainly are imperfect ones. Botched grammar, careless typos, and ineloquent wording will be sure to raise the eyebrows of admissions committees, teachers, and professors alike. When the stakes are high, careful editing can make all the difference.
How to organize a paragraph: the MEAL plan
Composing a clear paragraph is a foundational skill in academic writing. In high school, you may have been taught that a paragraph requires a certain number of sentences – maybe three, maybe five. But paragraphs come in different lengths, and rather than follow strict rules about word count or a requisite number of sentences, it’s important to ...
Top grammar errors to avoid
Throughout the years I’ve spent reading and writing, I’ve seen my fair share of grammar errors. But few are peskier, or more pervasive, than the two I’ll discuss in this post. So common are these two grammar errors that I regularly encounter them in professional writing—sometimes even in articles by full blown professors! These two errors often ...
Sentence structure tips from William Shakespeare
Good writers always plant important words in strong positions. 
How to revise your work
Before anything else, congratulate yourself. You wrote something! That’s huge! Writing is hard. Having something is so much better than having nothing. Something can be revised. And revising can be a lot of fun, as long as you have the right support. Here are some tools to help you navigate the revision process:
Up close and personal: how to prepare for a close reading paper
Close reading? Shouldn’t we already be reading “closely” for class? Correct! But the term “close reading” also describes a very specific type of literary inquiry in which one pays careful, prolonged attention to a small chunk of text (or art object) in order to produce an argument about that text and how it works. Close reading is the ...
How to “find your voice”
You will often hear writers talk about “finding their voice.” It sounds like a simple task, but honing one’s voice can take years of practice, study, and trial and error. When you are putting together your applications for college or graduate school, you are likely facing a fast-approaching deadline—so time is a luxury you don’t have.
Start anywhere: overcoming your fear of beginning to write
I have a friend working in journalism who keeps a Post-it stuck to his laptop that says: “START ANYWHERE.” For him, and for a lot of us who write, the scariest part of writing is staring down the blank page and blinking cursor, wondering how exactly you’re going to get to a finished product. If you’re like me, this is where you slip into ...
What I learned about the writing process from bread baking
Working from home means I can adapt myself to the capricious schedule of bread making. Dough waits for no one (and it will not rise more quickly if prodded!). I’ve loved baking since childhood, but I discovered bread more recently.
Why vulnerable writing is good writing
Writing Should Be Messy Writing is hard. Believe it or not, this statement holds true for even the most experienced writers. When readers see an example of ‘good writing,’ they tend to think about the finished product in front of them instead of the process that went into making it. This engagement with writing speaks to a common, but misguided ...
Using theory to think about history
When writing a history essay, applying a theoretical lens can help you make a sophisticated argument and earn high marks. You always want to be mindful of your essay structure and the substance of any original documents, but, particularly for advanced classes and seminars, bringing in different historical theories can elevate your paper to the ...
Choosing a paper topic: 3 foolproof techniques to go from indecision to a great essay
We’ve all been there - you get an essay assignment and you’re just…not inspired. Stuck finding something to write about? I’ve got your back! First things first, read the book. I’m serious. If you’re low on time, read a thorough summary, and then actually read the important passages. Writing an essay on a text you haven’t read will only hurt your ...
How to think like an AP Rater/Reader on the AP English Language “Synthesis” Free Response Question 1
As someone who tutors AP English Language and Composition (lovingly referred to as AP Lang) and as someone who struggled with timed writing herself, I know how daunting a task it can be to score a 5. Luckily for you, I’ve also served as an AP Rater/Reader and can offer some additional insight into what we are told to look for while scoring a ...
How to revise anything
The most important part of writing is rewriting. Whether you’re working on a term paper, a personal statement, or a lab report, getting words on the page is just the first step. Even if you’re writing from an outline, the process of writing inevitably leads you to unexpected and interesting places. That’s part of the joy of writing, but it’s also ...
5 Tips to make you a more successful writer!
Like many other tutors, what has been most useful for me is building myself up to writing. I use a lot of “tricks” to get around my anxiety about writing, and it often takes me several tries to get started. And with the pandemic, there are even more reasons to be distracted. Here are some tricks that have worked for me!
The Middle School Writers’ Workshop: 3 Steps to a Great Literary Essay Outline
Writing literary essays can be scary. Learning how to analyze texts through writing is one of the most challenging but fundamental skills that you’ll need in your academic career. Particularly for younger students, this task can be daunting. However, if you follow a few simple steps, it doesn’t have to be!
How To Write More Clearly in Six Steps
Whether you’re writing a medical school admissions essay, a high school book report, a college research paper, or a personal statement for graduate school, clarity is key. But writing clearly is trickier than it looks. In my ten years of experience as a writing teacher and tutor, I’ve found that there are a few steps that students can take to more ...
Revising - Demystified
“There is no such thing as good writing. There is only good rewriting”
Five quick-and-easy English words to elevate your writing
Anyone studying English will at one point or another recognize that the language is quite a hodgepodge. Centuries of outside contact – from Viking and Norman invasions to importations of Latin during the Renaissance – led to what would become the rich vocabulary of Modern English. But what should a savvy writer do with so much variation when ...
Why writing concisely is really, really, really important (really!)
“Omit needless words.” William Strunk, Jr. wrote this succinct mantra in The Elements of Style, the classic writing manual that was later amended to and published by E.B. White (it’s now commonly referred to as “Strunk and White”). He then wrote, “A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same ...
6 Ways to Brainstorm More Effectively
At its core, writing is about discovering and exploring relationships between words and ideas. Your brainstorming process can and should reflect that central goal from the very beginning of the writing process. Here are a series of investigative approaches to help you expose and explore these relationships:
Editing for parallelism: one writing lesson from the shortest literary form
When I teach my students to become their own editors, I often tell them to be on the lookout for opportunities to use parallelism. Parallelism is the repetition of the same grammatical structure in successive parts of a sentence. (Grammatical structure is just a fancy way of saying some combination of nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech.)
Embracing the Messiness of Writing This Summer
The dawn of inspiration is such a lovely, romantic concept. Someone says something or a bird chirps in a funny way; you freeze in your tracks; you slowly intone, “…say that again.” You run to the nearest laptop, and you write down your masterpiece in the matter of hours to the sound of a swelling rock anthem. Alas: if I only wrote my doctoral ...
8 Steps Toward Writing an Effective Research Paper in Any Discipline
You have just been assigned a paper, and you don’t know what you want to write about or where to start. We’ve all been there.
Tone and mood
When attempting an analysis of a text for the IBDP English course, some of the advanced features that students have to understand concern tone and mood. It is customary to associate tone with dialogue and speech, and mood with the setting of novels. However, tone and mood are not just features of fiction and can also be found in non-fictional ...
How to Craft a Successful Curriculum Vitae
Like a firm handshake or a greeting, a CV can oftentimes serve as a first impression – a way for prospective employer to get a sense of you at a glance. CVs oftentimes are gatekeepers for an interview, and as such, are extremely important. It is worth it to take some time to think critically about your CV’s structure and content. Read the ...
Two common grammatical mistakes to avoid in polished writing
There are no hard and fast rules in writing. But even if an experimental poet or an avant-garde novelist has dispensed with capitalization or written an entire novel without the letter E (yes, a novel like this really exists!), this does not mean that you should follow suit. Your personal statement is not the place to defy the conventions of ...
Writing: Knowing Your Audience
“Where do I even begin?” is probably the most common question students ask me about writing—and understandably so! Many writing projects can seem almost impossible to visualize, much less to get started on. So what to do when facing that blank screen?
Crafting a Strong Thesis Statement
There are few concepts in essay-writing more important—and confusing, to the uninitiated—than the thesis statement. Let's start out with what it's not:
Confronting commas on the SAT writing and language section.
You see commas everywhere when you're reading, and you may put them everywhere when you're writing, but do you really know when to properly use this tricky punctuation mark? The SAT requires you to know exactly when a comma is either necessary or obstructive, so it is important to take the time to learn comma rules as you prepare for the writing ...
Two Common Stylistic Flaws of Undergrad Prose Writing
Over the course of nearly fifteen years as a full-time academic, I have edited and graded thousands of pieces of writing from undergrads and grad students alike. Over these years I have identified a range of common mistakes that I would say are typical of undergrad writing. As an instructor and editor, I have a range of stylistic rules and best ...
Betwixt and between: difficult grammar rules explained
English is not the easiest language to learn. This may be because of the many exceptions to its rules or because the same combinations of letters can be pronounced in many different ways. English also has one of the largest vocabularies of any recorded language, which means English speakers can say what they mean in a lot of different ways, but ...
4 ways to beat writing anxiety
Writing is a daunting task. To transform your nebulous thoughts into a linear string of words requires a special kind of concentration. And when it comes to writing personal essays, like those required for most undergraduate and graduate applications, you are asked to not only concentrate but also be introspective. It’s no wonder that many of us ...
Five strategies to improve your writing
Writing is at the center of our daily lives. From coursework to communicating with colleagues or loved ones, writing is how we share our voice. Here are five simple strategies to improve the quality of your writing:
Four ways to become a (better) writer
The title of this post might seem presumptuous to you. Surely you don’t become a writer: you’re born one. That’s a common assumption about artists. We believe that people who write or sculpt or sing are born with an innate ability for their craft, that perhaps their education had less influence on their artistic success than the capabilities ...
5 tips to improve your writing
I was recently helping someone with a comparative essay they had to write for school. This person did not like writing—a common enough state of affairs. They felt that they had no talent for it. The process frustrated them. I could see that they were struggling in part because they were trying to do everything at once (come up with ideas, write ...
It’s All Greek to Me—How to Build Vocabulary from the Ground Up
A meritorious lexicon is imperative for perspicacity. Or, in plain English, a good vocabulary is important for understanding things. It helps you in your education and your career—and, for our immediate purposes, on standardized tests. But it can be tricky to memorize a slew of words you don’t understand, especially if you don’t see or hear them ...
How to Draft an Essay in College in 4 Easy Steps
Making the switch to college-level writing can be tough, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Aside from the fact that papers in college are often long (although the short ones with strict word limits can be tricky, too!), the subject matter is often complicated and requires a good deal of analysis. Professors often expect that you already have a ...
What’s a Thesis Statement?
Every paper you write in college should have it. Sometimes professors call this a “thesis statement,” sometimes a “claim,” and sometimes they don’t really specify what it is. But it’s essential — and sometime elusive. But it shouldn’t be! 
Tips for Writing an Exam Essay in 80 minutes
We've all been there.  The teacher is at the front of the classroom with a pile a blue books.  She begins handing them out.  You scrawl the name and date on the front, and wait for her to start the timer.  As you open the first page, an overwhelming white page stares back at you.  And you panic. Luckily, there are ways to prepare for essay exams ...
Writing a thesis and topic sentences in your personal statement
Every applicant who needs to write a personal statement for their high school, college, or graduate admissions struggles with structuring their personal statement.  It is hard enough to muster the courage to brainstorm your most salient life experiences on paper; now, the most important part is structuring your personal statement with your thesis ...
The importance of keeping it simple: clear and concise writing
When I was a high school AP Biology student, my teacher used to walk by my desk during multiple choice exams and whisper, “You didn’t really mean to circle B there, did you? Keep it simple.” He knew I was an overthinker. Instead of circling the simplest and most obvious answer—which I often knew to be the right one—I would overthink the question, ...
Taking Essays To The Next Level: How To Write In Your Own Voice
It’s not unusual to get an essay back from a teacher with the feedback, “write in your own voice,” scrawled across the top. But it’s easier said than done. Here you are, writing your own thoughts and your own opinions, all according to the directions of the assignment; how can it not be in your own voice? What your teacher is actually telling you ...
How To Strengthen Your Writing In One Easy Step
Very few rules of good writing are without exceptions, and this one is no exception, but I think it might be close:  You can always — or nearly always — make your writing stronger, clearer, and sharper if you follow the word “this” with a noun.*
Fake News: How To Make Sure Your Research Papers Are Fact, Not Fiction
I’m going to tell you something embarrassing: I… sometimes… get my news from Facebook! I know, I know, I’m supposed to be better than this. I’m a tutor! I should be waking up three hours early to read every single paper from around the world while looking through a reference dictionary. I’m not perfect.
Turn Back the Clock on that Grade! How to Revise a Bad College Paper
After you receive your grade and read your professor’s comments you might have a lot of those “if only” thoughts. “If only I had looked up that concept.” “If only I had taken extra time to proofread that.” “If only I had read the assignment more carefully.” “If only I had started earlier and done more research.” “If only I had realized I was ...
What is the Difference Between Then and Than? Allusion and Illusion? To, too, and two? A List of Common Homophones and their Differences
What is a Homophone? There are many more words in the English language than one might expect, given how similar their pronunciation and spelling can be. They're usually nouns and adjectives, except for those that function as conjunctions or contractions. Once you accept that English contains many pairs or groups of deceptively similar words with ...
One for all and all for none? Grammatical rules for one, neither, and each!
  In this blog post, our resident grammar girl reviews the impossibly confusing rules for singular subjects that refer to plural groups; subject-verb agreements involving"each", "all", and "none"; and last (but not least!) "neither", "neither", and "nor" and how they relate to your verb choice.
Semi-colons, colons, and commas: how and when to use them
One advisory that students hear a lot, especially in earlier years of English class, is "avoid a comma splice." A comma splice is an excessive use of commas without the proper elements of a complete sentence to justify the commas. When to use a comma versus a semi-colon depends on the type of sentence you have. Below are the sentence types that ...
Three Essential Things to Remember When Citing Parenthetically
For a lot of students, parenthetical citations may seem like the bane of existence. You've just written a ten-page essay, you're happy with your argument and the conclusion you thought of in the middle of the night before it was due to submit, but you still have to check all the quotes. Especially in today's digital age, in which reading and ...
Solving a mystery: A new way to think about writing a research paper
Research papers are a staple of many high school and college history classes, and indeed are miniature versions of the work real historians do. If you’re a history nerd like me, nothing excites quite like historical research.
Punctuate Your Point, Correctly: How to Punctuate Dialogue
They may seem small, but punctuation marks can make all the difference in how we read and understand the English language. The title of what has become an iconic little book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, exemplifies the level of ambiguity that can result from the presence or absence of a comma. This chapter focuses on several oft-mistaken categories of ...
You Could Care Less About Grammar, But Maybe You Could Care More?
"I could care less where we go to dinner." "It was really unique." "Between you and I, that movie wasn't very good." To many, there is nothing unusual about the statements above. Indeed, most of us use some variation of them frequently. But to a grammarian or someone with a depth of knowledge about the rules of English, these utterances can be ...
Did I Read The Same Text Everyone Else Did?!
This has happened to all of us in high school, in college, even in graduate school. You did the reading but then the questions the instructor asks don’t make sense to you or you can’t answer questions about details she seems to think you should know.
5 Habits for Improving (and Maintaining) Reading and Writing Skills
The first few months after my college graduation, I began my 9-5 job and was disappointed by how much less time I had to read.  After majoring in English and becoming accustomed to finishing multiple novels a week during the semester, I wished that I could dedicate more time to that hobby.  Furthermore, after a few months of working 40-hour weeks, ...
The Best Ways to Prepare for an Essay Exam
College students are often intimidated by essay exams, a common final exam format for courses in the humanities and social sciences. Because the exam itself provides so little structure for your answers, it can feel impossible to get all of your thoughts on paper in an organized way without running out of time. As someone who has graded a lot of ...
How to Close Read a Passage of Text
Whether you are an incoming freshman in your first expository writing class, studying for the SAT, or simply a lover of literature, close reading a passage of text is one of the most essential skills a critical reader can master.  Close reading requires us to read beyond the immediate or superficial meaning of the text by forcing us to interpret ...
Four types of questions and when to ask them
source: Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat When a toddler asks why to an infinite regress, their line of questioning inevitably becomes annoying. The reason is not that their questions individually are inherently uninteresting—or if answered seriously will not illicit fascinating information—but rather that the line of questioning that ...
It's Not What You Say But The Way That You Say It: Tips For Developing Voice
Have you ever accidently texted the wrong person? Sent a text meant for your best friend to your dad or to your boss? I have; it’s horrifying. Horrifying because I was being a person that this other person didn’t know.
Proofread Using the Top Five Most Useful Techniques
Ouch! Follow the rules below and you're sure not to end up in the same position. Proofreading is a drag—after having come up with a thesis, found evidence to support that thesis, and structured the essay to best support your ideas, you have to find and fix all of the mistakes you made along the way. I also find proofreading stressful; I worry that ...
How to Write and Edit a College Paper: A Roadmap
Step 1: Write your paper. Step 2: Graduate. Step 3: Roadtrip across Australia. [image source] Why is college-level writing so hard? Making the switch to college-level writing is tough, and doesn’t happen overnight. Papers in college are often long (although the short ones with strict word limits can be tricky, too!). The subject matter is ...
Homework Help: How Do I Write a Good Thesis?
Writing a good thesis is simple: pick a position, then defend it like crazy. Your English teacher likes to talk about writing a thesis. You've learned about this every year, it seems, and yet somehow, when you get your paper back, your teacher has always marked all over it, and said that your thesis is "not an argument" or "not specific enough" or ...
Writing Tutor: Transitioning from One Paragraph to the Next
You can't make a rainbow connection without connecting
Philosophy Tutor: The Delicate Dance of the Outline (Pt. 1)
  Today, our Philosophy Tutor breaks down that most essential--and all-too-frequently-neglected--part of the essay-writing process: the Outline.
The Writing Tutor: What Level of Writing Do US Schools Require?
You don't have to be James Bond to be a writing tutor, but it helps.
Academic Tutor: The Perks of Being an English Major (and a Drawback)
  Here at Cambridge Coaching (a company entirely run by former English or Comp Lit majors), we take a very dim view of the “good luck landing a job with that degree” brigade. You know who I mean: people who cannot so much as carry on a conversation with an English, History, Philosophy, or Psychology major, etc., without saying something like, “so ...
Writing Tutor Tips: Rules, Breaking Rules, and Finding Your Voice
As a writing tutor in Boston I try to keep track of various resources that give advice on writing. One thing I've noticed is that, more often than not, advice on writing takes the form of rules. Often these are lists of rules. If you google "writing advice" you'll come up with Walter Benjamin's "13 Theses on Writing," Henry Miller's "11 ...
SAT Tutoring: Strategies for the SAT writing section
The essay component of the SAT writing section is so hated by high school students, I think, because it’s just so difficult to measure improvement.  Practice is crucial to getting better at any skill, and unlike all the other sections on the SAT, you can’t just grade a multiple choice test to tell how well you’re doing.  The key here is to find an ...
SAT Essay Part III: Vocabulary and Sentence Structure
 In my last two posts I discussed broad strategies for the SAT essay section, and then some specific tactics to help you write the essay quickly, efficiently and without panicking. In this post I want to focus more closely on the actual sentences and the structure of your prose, and give you some idea of what the graders are looking for.
Making the SAT Essay Just a Little Easier
No one, but no one, enjoys the SAT essay.  That's unfortunate, because the secret to doing well on it might just be to have a little fun writing it.  Here's how to change your approach to improve your score and make you hate it a little bit less.  The Popular Approach to the SAT essay The essay component of the SAT writing section is so hated by ...
Writing the SAT Essay: The First Few Steps
In the last blog post, I discussed the overall strategy for writing the SAT essay, which is based on recognizing that this essay is not like other pieces of writing. It is specifically designed to test your ability to pick a point of view on any given issue, develop it and express it with good language skills, and to do so quickly, with little ...
Cracking the SAT Essay: Breaking Down the Prompt
On Test Day, the SAT essay prompt is the very first thing you see when you open up your test booklet—and a dismal sight it is. 25 minutes to answer a deliberately and often irritatingly simplistic question (“is good moral character essential for sound leadership?” What are you going to say? “Nah?”). But the secret of the SAT essay is that with a ...
Study Skills: How to get the most out of a writing tutor
A private tutor can be a great way to improve your writing, or your scores on standardized tests. A tutor can give you new techniques and tips you weren't aware of, point things out to you that you wouldn't have noticed, give you good practice exercises, and generally help with your discipline and motivation in writing or standardized test prep.  
What's Better, a Writing Tutor or a Writing Textbook?
Back when I was in high school, I was lucky enough to have an English teacher so dedicated to making sure his students would not go forth into the wild and merciless world without good grammar that, along with a colleague, he wrote an entire textbook and filled it with the most entertaining, memorable sentences he could devise. Why go to all this ...
The Writing Tutor: How to Rewrite an Essay Without Losing Your Sanity
The secret to good writing isn't fancy vocabulary or acrobatic syntax--it's good editing.  All writers, even the most confessional, verbose, and conversational, spend immense amounts of time rewriting, honing, cutting, and polishing their work.  This holds doubly true for academic essays.  The best writers live by a simple truth: first drafts are ...
Writing Tutor: Writer's Block & Finding Your Voice
A blank page intimidates people. Time and again as a writing tutor working in Boston I have had the following experience: I meet a student, I read their paper, and I come across an unclear passage.
Writing Tutor: Clarity and Garden Path Sentences
Writing is essentially about communicating something to another person. You have an idea in your head, and you want to put it on paper so that when another person looks at the paper, they know what your idea was. As a writing tutor, I know that a number of factors can interfere with this, and putting your idea into words is only part of your task. ...
Writing Tutor Tell-All: The Two Fears in Expository Writing
Nothing is more frightening to a writer than a blank page. When you sit down to begin an essay, and as you go along, you can often feel anxieties that cause the writing process to be more painful or difficult than it needs to be. As a private writing tutor in Cambridge I've seen a variety of difficulties, but for the most part they all boil down ...
Study Skills: Keys for constructing a high-level history essay
I’ve been a history student and history tutor for more years than I’d like to count.  So needless to say, I’ve written (and graded) many papers.  And as an academic tutor in New York City, I’ve worked with many students who have trouble getting enthused about any kind of research paper, let alone in turning that paper into a clear, well-argued, ...
An Academic Tutor's Process for Large Writing Assignments
Hello, faithful readers! The Writing Wizard is back with another tip to help you organize your ideas for papers and projects.
Evocative vs explicative language
We’ve all been subjected to that lecture in middle school Language Arts class about the differences between “showing” and “telling” with our writing—about the stylistic separation between providing sensory details around a piece of information and just stating that piece of information outright. In the context of seventh-grade compositions, this ...
Writing Tutor: Narrative Methods
Greetings from the Writing Wizard! Continuing the thread of posts related to minimal language, maximal impact, today we’re going to talk about two editing strategies that may help you in your travels through the worlds of homework, papers, admissions essays, cover letters, etc. Both originate in popular culture, although I can only definitively ...
Tips from a Writing Tutor: How to Beat Writer's Block
I don’t know of a single person who hasn’t fought writer’s block at one time or another.  And as an experienced writing tutor in New York City, I’ve seen the best strategies and the worst in the fight for momentum during essay writing.  Whether the piece is for college applications, history homework, or the SAT or GRE writing sections, the most ...
The Writing Wizard: The Arsenal of Adjectives
Happy New Year from the Writing Wizard! Today’s short post will introduce you to an important concept for all sorts of writing projects: The Arsenal of Adjectives. Don’t be put off by the intimidating title; you won’t need a background in military strategy or nuclear arms proliferation theory to master this simple idea: have lots and lots of ...
An Academic Tutor's Two Cents: Read for Pleasure
As someone who has worked with numerous students on standardized test preparation and supported college coursework as an academic tutor, I know that the week after finals period brings major relief. So, congratulations! You’ve made it!
Writing Tips: Happy Thanksgiving from the Writing Wizard!
Today is Black Friday, that infamous day in consumer culture marked by deep discounts, long lines, and equal demonstrations among Americans of civility and barbarity.  Although I am not in a position to offer you flat screen TVs, flannel sheet sets, or iPhones at incredibly low prices, I do want to partake in the spirit of the season and give you ...
The Writing Wizard: Expository Writing & Crafting your Argument
The Writing Wizard is back again with a strange but useful tip for breaking through your mental blocks and clearing the cobwebs from the furthest reaches of your brain when you prepare to write.  Other people may think that you are a crazy person for doing this, or perhaps you do it already, but here it is: have a nice, long conversation with ...
Help with midterm season & exam essays
Need writing help? It’s midterm season, so I am here with tips about writing exam essays. 
Academic Tutor: Time Management & Taking Breaks
Hello out there in TV Land!  The Writing Wizard is back with some short pieces of advice about time-management and self-confidence during the writing process.  All too often, I hear students bemoan the time they “waste” on “unproductive” habits while working: generating sloppy first drafts that just end up in the trash bin; doing too many other ...
The Writing Wizard: Academic Skills & Your Outline -- Supersized.
                                          
The Writing Wizard: Sound and Noise
Hello! I am the Writing Wizard, and I’m thrilled to be joining the Cambridge Coaching blog to discuss focusing tools, organizational skills, and editing tricks for better writing in academic and admissions contexts.  In my first post, I want to talk about something that every writer, everywhere must confront: the blank page.  More specifically, ...
Middle School Maze V: Homework Help & Note Taking Strategies
In the Middle School Maze, we offer homework help tips and adacemic support strategies. When confronted with a large homework assignment, knowing where and how to begin can be a challenge, especially for middle school students. Today, we turn to note taking, the foundation of any strong essay or academic project. Find a quiet spot - say the ...
The Middle School Maze V: Learn to Write Early
The middle school years are an exciting turning point during which students start to develop tangible academic skills. Middle school patterns set the stage for long-term academic interests and intellectual passion. Between 11-15, the imagination is ripe, unfiltered, curious…It's prime time to start writing with gusto and abandon. 
The Expository Writer: An Introduction
We are excited to introduce the Expository Writer, a new blog series at Cambridge Coaching dedicated to the process of writing expository essays.  Over the next weeks, I will be thinking aloud in this space about every granular step of writing an expository essay, as well as different writing strategies that work for different people.  I will also ...