“Susan Osborn is, simply, a superb instructor.”
Barry Qualls professor emeritus and former vice president for undergraduate education, Rutgers University

Whether you are preparing for the SAT, ACT, or AP exams, writing college application essays or independent school admissions essays, Susan Osborn, Ph.D., provides you with the skills you need to put you in control of your academic career and get the grades you want.

At The Writing Center of Princeton, Susan combines traditional research-based methods with innovative instructional techniques to prepare your student for academic excellence. Her strategic approach goes beyond content to teach you study skills, organization and time management strategies, and test-day readiness. Each student receives an individualized and ongoing instruction and each program is tailored to your unique learning needs and academic goals. We then use your learning strengths to maximize your scores, increase your confidence, and prepare you to excel in all of your academic pursuits.


Unlike untrained, part-time tutors, Susan has devoted her entire career to teaching students. As such, she brings decades of experience, a range of expert resources, and personalized client support designed to maximize student success to every tutoring relationship.

Susan uses research-based and classroom-tested methods to help students improve test performance, enhance critical thinking and writing skills, and increase academic stamina so they can perform at the top of their class.

Susan understands that every child is uniquely intelligent. As such, she uses each student’s inherent strengths to address areas of need to ensure that her students succeed in school, on tests, and get into the colleges of their choice.

Not just a teacher, Susan is also professional writer, and she uses both her educational smarts and writing smarts to help students get top test scores, succeed in the college admissions process, and expand critical thinking and communication skills.

more about susan

Susan Osborn, Ph.D., a long-time English and writing professor at Rutgers University and an award-winning writer and educator, uses both her educational experience and her writing talent to help students get top test scores, succeed in the college admissions process, and advance critical thinking and writing skills. As such, she guides students and parents through all aspects of test prep, school writing, and the college admissions processes as a tutor, adviser, and personal coach.

Susan approaches tutoring from a unique perspective. As a test prep instructor, she knows that students need targeted reading techniques and ready-to-use response formulas that can be deployed quickly and efficiently. As a college admissions tutor, she shows you how to distinguish yourself from your peers, and how to represent yourself as an ideal candidate for the colleges to which you are applying. Her students have gained accepted at Cambridge University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Columbia University, Vassar College, University of Chicago, Brown University, MIT, Stanford, Dartmouth University, George Washington University, NYU, Trinity College Dublin, University of St. Andrews, University of Michigan Dental School, and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Susan also works extensively with international and ESL students and has tutored students via Skype who are living in or recently arrived from Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Kolkata, Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta, and Amsterdam.

As an educator, Susan has received awards from Rutgers for her research into writing pedagogy and instructional design and delivery methods. Her scholarly articles on writing and literature have been published in numerous academic journals. As a writer, she has published over 15 books of fiction and nonfiction, and over one hundred essays, articles, and reviews in The New York Times, Village Voice, Washington Post, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, and many others. Her last novel was praised as “a work of genius” and her recent scholarly book was acclaimed a “tour de force.” As a writer, she has been awarded residencies and grants from The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the New Jersey Council on the Arts, Brydcliffe, and Dorset Colony House. Susan is also a frequent speaker at academic conferences.

Susan knows that all students are different and have different learning strengths and areas of weakness. During the first lesson, Susan assesses each student’s learning profile and designs ongoing lesson plans to target deficiencies, build on strengths, and advance academic performance. Her instructional methods are informed by her knowledge of Universal Design Instruction techniques, and she is familiar with The Hochman Method, Wilson Reading System, and Orton-Gillingham. At the end of each tutoring session, Susan shares a detailed progress report with parents.

Formerly, Susan served as research director and development coordinator for the New Jersey Center for Research on Writing and as an admissions interviewer for Vassar College.  Susan offers one-on-one instruction at The Writing Center of Princeton or in your home. Online tutoring is available via Skype. All lessons customized to meet the unique needs of each student.

All instruction is conducted in a private, distraction-free environment.



Elizabeth Bowen: New Critical Perspectives (Cork University Press)
Surviving the Wreck, novel (Henry Holt & Co; Econ Verlag, Berlin; iUniverse.com)
American Rustic Furniture (Crown)
The Book of Country Living (Holt, Rinehart and Winston)
Cornerstone Collector’s Guide to Glass (Cornerstone Library)
Dial an Expert (McGraw-Hill)
Free Things for Teachers (Perigree)
Free (And Almost Free) Things for Teachers (Putnam)
The Great American Guide to Diet and Health (McGraw-Hill)
The Information Age Sourcebook (Random House)
Kitchen Antiques (Harper & Row)
Pine (Harper & Row)
Real Clothes (Morrow)
The Redhead’s Handbook (Penguin)
What’s in a Name? (Pocket Books)

Short Stories, Poems, Plays

Premiered at the Broom Street Theater, WI
Published in Exquisite Corpse, Kelsey Review, Orchid, and Paterson Literary Review


The Boston Globe
The Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Tribune
Cleveland Plain Dealer
In These Times
Louisville Courier-Journal
New York Arts Weekly
The New York Times
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Princeton Packet
The San Francisco Chronicle
The San Francisco Examiner
The Trenton Times
The Village Voice


Country Living
Garden Design
Kirkus Reviews
New Jersey Life
Publishers Weekly

Scholarly Publications

American Book Review
The American Scholar
Belles Lettres
The Irish Literary Supplement
Literature & History
Modern Fiction Studies
Rhetoric Review
Vassar Quarterly
Collected in The Sixties Without Apology (University of Minnesota Press) and Writer’s Craft, Teacher’s Art: Teaching What We Know (Boynton Cook/Heinemann)

Awards and Residences

Byrdcliffe (fiction)
Dorset Colony House (playwriting)
New Jersey State Council on the Arts (fiction)
Princeton Research Forum (scholarly research)
Rutgers University (scholarly research)
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (fiction)