Category Archives: Newsletter

Online Writing Coach Now Available

Does your student make these common writing mistakes?

subject-verb agreement:  “One of my friends are going to come over today.”

I see this in student writing all the time.  The correct way to write this is “One of my friends IS going to come over today.”  One is the subject of the sentence, and it’s singular, so the verb must also be singular.

run-on sentence:  “My dog likes to eat, my cat likes to nap.”

This is a mistake I continue to see in high school students as well as younger students.  In order to correct a run-on, students must join those two complete sentences with a semi colon:

“My dog likes to eat; my cat likes to nap.”

Alternatively, they can use a comma and a conjunction such as and or but:

“My dog likes to eat, but my cat likes to nap.”

These kinds of mistakes not only hurt your student’s grades, but they also reflect poorly on college entrance essays, cover letters for jobs, and business correspondence later in life.  The earlier students can learn to recognize and correct these errors, the more natural it becomes, so they can be good life-long writers.

As a writing coach, I work with students of all ages to correct common mistakes and improve overall writing skills and performance.  I don’t just edit student work; I work one-on-one with the student to discuss problem areas and how to fix them.  I find that discussion and working together creates much more effective learning than simply doing the editing for the student.

I now offer on-on-one writing coaching online.  I work with students via Facetime, Skype, or over the phone, going over their papers and discussing/correcting errors.

For more information about one-on-one writing coaching for your student, contact Holly at holly.dodson@verizon.net (usually the best way to reach me without playing phone tag) or 951-302-0540.

Vary Sentence Length

One of the best ways to improve on boring, choppy writing is to simply vary the length of sentences in a paragraph.   Many students fall into the habit of writing short, choppy sentences, or too many long, complex sentences in a row.  This example shows how varying the length of sentences can make a big difference in the way writing sounds.  Encourage students to practice writing a combination of short, medium, and long sentences in their paragraphs.

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Why a Writing Class?

When was the last time you used algebra?

The answer for most people is high school math class.

But when was the last time you had to write something?  An email?  A cover letter?  A report for your boss?  A letter to your child’s teacher?

Writing is a skill we use for our entire lives, and it’s one that often gives someone their first impression of us.  It’s something many people dread doing, for fear they can’t do it well.  It’s something many people weren’t taught well, didn’t practice enough, or didn’t receive enough feedback and direct instruction to improve.

Excellent writing requires excellent instruction, consistent practice, and feedback and guidance from a master teacher who can help students improve.  Large classes and extremely busy classroom schedules don’t always allow for this.

Maybe you already recognize this problem and have tried to find a good writing class for your elementary or middle school student.  Maybe you haven’t found one that is conveniently located, or maybe the classes don’t fit with your already busy schedule.

That’s where Write With Holly’s Online Writing Classes can help.  Students receive high-definition video instruction from the convenience of their home computer, tablet, or smart phone.  Classes are self-paced and can be viewed any time, according to YOUR schedule.  The accompanying PDF book contains all materials, reviews important points covered in the videos, and provides detailed instruction for homework assignments. Students watch the videos, review the PDF materials, then turn in homework assignments via email for editing, feedback, and instruction directly from Holly.  Questions about the assignments?  Holly is always just an email away.

Ready to enroll?  

For a limited time, the Online Expository Writing Class is on sale for $49.  Online payment is easy via PayPal or credit card.  Email Holly at holly.dodson@verizon.net to receive an online invoice.   Once payment is complete, you will receive a 25-page PDF booklet that contains all materials, links to videos, and instructions.  It’s super easy and it’s convenient!