“He’s very bright, but he just can’t seem to get his thoughts down on paper.” 

“He gives up before he even gets started.”

“She has great ideas, but she just can’t organize them when she writes.”

Students struggle with writing for many reasons. Some students have trouble organizing their thoughts, others have trouble generating ideas, and some struggle with writing because they just don’t understand what the assignment is asking them to do.

 

But most students struggle because they are not receiving any direct writing instruction in school. In fact, over 70% of American English teachers report that they have had no training in writing instruction,  that they don’t directly teach writing, they don’t know how to effectively evaluate student writing, and that they avoid writing whenever they can.

 

What this means is that students are getting inadequate writing practice and inadequate feedback. Consequently, a whopping 75% of American students in eighth through twelfth grade lack basic writing proficiency

 

Yet competent writing and reading skills are essential for school and college admissions success. Because writing practice improves critical thinking, develops mental flexibility, strengthens problem-solving skills, and helps students evaluate and remember learned material, writing practice improves performance in all subject areas, not just language arts. In fact studies show that developing strong writing skills also helps students succeed on the SAT, ACT, and AP Language and AP Literature exams; promotes college application success; enhances college performance; boosts career possibilities; and improves essential communication skills for life.

 

WCP’s writing tutoring program is adapted from Harvard University’s first-year writing seminar and is designed to improve analytical thinking and expository writing skills. Our goal is to help students read critically and write about ideas with complexity and sophistication.

“Our daughter worked with Susan throughout high school. She was always positive, focused, and engaging; Tiffany loved working with her! It is rare to meet a tutor who has so much experience and who is so approachable.”

Xiu C., West Windsor, NJ

SERVICES

ASSESSMENT

Professional evaluation of your child’s writing strengths and weaknesses, attack strategies, and writing process. In addition, Dr. Osborn assesses your child’s reading strategies and close reading skills, both essential to good writing. This includes a formal assessment of your child’s ability to write cohesively and to detail and elaborate a written response. Because students often struggle to understand what teachers expect of them, Dr. Osborn also evaluates the teacher’s writing instruction.

After evaluating your child’s writing skills, Dr. Osborn identifies a plan of action within the context of your immediate writing goals and your aspirations for your child’s academic career. 

BASIC REMEDIATION

Basic remedial work targets areas of weakness and is aimed at quickly  improving writing performance and grades. Special focus on mastering grammar and punctuation basics, improving reading comprehension, identifying strong evidence, and improving motivation and confidence.

In addition, Dr. Osborn shows your child how to advance basic inferential thinking skills and how to improve ability to organize, detail, and elaborate written responses.

MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL WRITING SKILLS

Practice includes advancing critical thinking and organizational skills, and improving students’ ability to show connections between ideas. In addition, Dr. Osborn focuses on enhancing students’ ability to write in detail and to elaborate written responses. Special attention paid to improving reading comprehension and close reading skills, and preparing for the rigors of advanced level courses.

Besides helping your child improve depth and clarity of writing, Dr. Osborn works to develop the hallmarks of writing sophistication. This includes practice writing complex and varied sentences, and practice using parallel structure, coordination, and subordination to boost your child’s writing performance and grade.

If your child is taking AP Literature or AP Language,  Dr. Osborn shows your child how to develop college-level reading and writing skills and how create template essays that ensure success on the AP exam.

In addition, Dr. Osborn offers AP Language and AP Literature Boot Camps. Curriculum introduces students to the AP curriculum, fundamentals of AP-level essay writing, strategies for approaching multiple choice questions, techniques for improving vocabulary, and study tips. Click here for more information.

COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY WRITING

Dr. Osborn works with your child at every step of the essay writing process,  from brainstorming ideas that will best market your child to all the colleges on the list through every step of the writing process including organizing, drafting, rewriting, editing, polishing, and proofreading. Special focus paid to developing narrative arcs that are compelling, cohesive, and distinctive without compromising your child’s voice and intention.

In addition, Dr. Osborn shows your child how to exploit the opportunities presented in the supplemental essays to make sure that your child’s responses increase value and boost admissions chances.

CREATIVE WRITING

Instruction includes plot and character development, point of view, dialogue, setting, tone, and atmosphere. Special focus on creative nonfiction, memoir, personal essays, short stories, novels, and poems.

For a grade-by-grade list of our writing tutoring services, click here.

Schedule your free 20-minute phone consultation with Dr. Osborn to learn how The Writing Center of Princeton can help advance your child’s writing skills.

What Makes Us Different from Other Writing and English Language Arts Tutors?

1.  Experience

Dr. Osborn is a veteran educator and college counselor who has worked in the Writing Program and English Department at Rutgers University, in the lab at The New Jersey Center for Research on Writing, in Admissions at Vassar College, and as a private tutor.

In addition to her degree work, she has completed graduate work at Columbia University’s Teachers College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Bank Street College of Education.

Dr. Osborn is also an acclaimed and award-winning fiction, popular, and academic writer.

2.  Personalized Service

Dr. Osborn helps you identify and clarify your child’s writing goals. At the same time, she nurtures and designs a plan of action and curriculum based on what best fits your time frame, your child’s personality, your schedule, and your child’s aspirations.

3.  Set Your Own Schedule

Dr. Osborn doesn’t like package plans and she knows you don’t either. WCP doesn’t offer them and never has. You are free to schedule as many or as few appointments as you wish.

4.  Unlimited, 7-day a Week Text Support with Dr. Osborn

Once you sign on with Dr. Osborn, you are welcome to text her whenever you wish, about whatever questions and concerns you have related to your child’s school work, essays, your college application strategy and plan.

5.  Emotional Support

One of Dr. Osborn’s most important responsibilities is to be here for you and your child and she takes that responsibility very seriously. Whether you need to vent or just need to talk things over, you can rely on her.

GRADE-BY-GRADE GUIDE TO WRITING SERVICES

Elementary School Students

Starting in 3rd grade, we help your child:

• Master grammar and punctuation
• Develop an advanced vocabulary
• Improve thinking and organizational skills
• Develop inferential skills
• Develop confidence and motivation
• Prepare for the writing challenges of middle school

 

Middle School Students

Starting in your child’s first year of middle school, we teach your child how to:

Improve close reading skills
Break down a prompt
Advance inferential thinking
• Improve reading comprehension
• Write a coherent thesis statement
• Find evidence that supports claims
• Clarify connections between ideas
• Detail and elaborate a written response
• Develop sentence variety
• Improve performance and grades by working with and around learning disabilities (LD)

 

High School Students

Starting in ninth grade, we show your child how to:

• Advance close reading skills
• Improve organizational skills
• Improve depth and clarity of thinking and writing
• Detail and elaborate a written response
• Develop sentence flexibility and variety
• Write advanced-level persuasive, narrative, argument, and literary analysis essays
• Write high-scoring AP, SAT, and ACT essays
• Improve performance and grades by working with and around learning disabilities (LD)
• Prepare for AP exams and the PSAT, SAT, and ACT
• Write high-scoring AP, SAT, and ACT essays
• Prepare for the challenges of college-level writing
• Write college admissions essays that are strategic, compelling, and memorable

 

COLLEGE APPLICANTS

Starting in ninth grade, we show your child how to:

• Identify ideas that can be turned into stories to illustrate who you are and how you stand out
• Develop compelling, cohesive, and distinctive narrative arcs without compromising your original voice and intention
• Strategically writing, rewriting, editing, and polishing essays to ensure they will leave a lasting impact on college admissions officers
• How to exploit the supplemental essays to make sure that your responses increase your value and boost admissions chances

For a detailed description of WCP’s college admissions services, click here.

Dr. Osborn is also always happy to meet with you, your child’s teacher, guidance counselor, and school administrators to discuss your child’s progress and learning situation

What to Do Next?

Schedule a complimentary 20-minute consultation with our founder and head tutor, Dr. Susan Osborn.

I look forward to speaking with you about the many ways we can advance your child’s writing and English language arts skills and improve your child’s college admissions chances!

Susan Osborn, Ph.D.

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

The Writing Center of Princeton works with students and college applicants from all over the world via Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, Google docs, and phone.

FROM THE PARENTS
“Susan’s dedication and support for our son was boundless. Words don’t express the appreciation and respect we have for her. While working with her, our son gained confidence not only in his writing but in himself.”
– Padma and Aarav S., parent of 8th grader
“Susan is awesome. She really cares about the kids she tutors and it shows in their performance.”
– Anaya D., parent of 9th grader
“Susan is an exceptional tutor. She has a great passion for what she does and that passion helps motivate the kids who study with her. Her engaging techniques helped my son organize his thinking and put his thoughts on paper in a meaningful way. I highly recommend her.”
– Susanna L., parent of 10th grader
“When we called Susan, we were frustrated by my son’s English grades and by his teacher’s comments. But Susan broke everything down. She quickly ‘diagnosed’ our son’s areas of frustration and translated the teacher’s comments so that we finally understood what the teacher wanted and how to help our son.”
– Jackie S., parent of 8th grader
“My son was getting high Bs and low As in English, but I knew he could do better. Susan engaged him in a stress-free program to accelerate his writing strengths and develop the areas where he struggled. My son loved working with her, and he’s now getting solid A’s.”
– Devi A., parent of 8th grader
“Susan is talented, respectful, and compassionate. She creates individual lesson plans for each student, and gently shows students how to exceed their own expectations. She really cares about their intellectual growth and their emotional growth.”
– Amy D., parent of 11th grader
“Susan is an inspirational writing tutor. She builds skills and confidence.”
– Sandy R., parent of 11th grader
    
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