Private Writing Tutoring for History Classes

It’s likely that your child has studied history since grade school. It’s less likely, however, that he or she has received sufficient instruction in writing research papers on historical topics. Success in advanced social sciences courses—such as AP US history—requires exceptionally strong writing skills; many students who enroll in these courses struggle because their writing abilities just aren’t where they need to be. The Writing Faculty’s history writing program teaches students how to write a compelling and organized research paper with a well-supported central thesis. Our tutoring program addresses the four stages of academic writing:

Initial Research
Your child and his or her tutor will review all aspects of research methodology. Your child’s tutor will emphasize the importance of primary and secondary source materials, and explain how best to evaluate a source’s authority.

Brainstorming and Outlining
Using your child’s initial research, your child and his or her tutor will flesh out a central thesis, one that proposes an argument or offers a unique perspective on a historic issue or problem. Your child’s tutor will offer guidance and support as your child outlines a paper that advances and supports the thesis.

First Draft
The tutor will coach your child throughout the writing process, encouraging him or her to experiment with writing techniques. The tutor will guide him or her in drafting a paper that is organized logically and transitions well from one paragraph and idea to the next.

Revision & Publication
Some students don’t realize that the revision process is one of the most important (and often the most labor-intensive) parts of the writing process. Under the tutor’s supervision, your child will revise and refine his or her first attempt, transforming the unfinished draft into an authoritative text. Your child will learn the importance of both proofreading and stylistic editing, ensuring that the final paper is both grammatically correct and varied in sentence structure and diction. The tutor will review the use of MLA citations to ensure that your child’s final paper is properly formatted.

The above course structure will be adapted to suit your child’s unique needs, taking into account his or her class requirements and assignment due dates. Many of our students and tutors also use their time together to prepare for the essay portion of standardized tests such as the AP US History exam.

Target areas in the tutoring session may include:

  • developing a strong thesis
  • research and note-taking
  • evaluating source material
  • advancing an argument
  • incorporating contradictory viewpoints
  • correct citation and bibliography
  • copyediting

Because many of our instructors have published essays in their respective academic fields, they can, when appropriate, offer guidance in the submission and publication process. Whether your child is looking for the clout a published paper will add to a college application, or is considering a future in academia, submitting work to a scholarly journal is an excellent way to promote his or her writing and cultivate an early interest in academic inquiry.

Our History Writing Instructors:
Our team of History writing instructors includes the tutors below. Click on the instructor’s short profile to access his or her full profile:

Ursula D., Ph.D.
Ursula D., Ph.D.

Oxford University, PhD in Modern History
Harvard University, BA in History and Literature (Honors)
Phillips Academy, Andover

Summary of Experience

Ursula is a writer and historian who is currently a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Science Department at Harvard University. Her first book, on nineteenth-century physicist John Tyndall, was released in March 2011. She has also taught an undergraduate history course at Oxford and worked as a teacher and tutor at the Marymount School of New York for two years.

Hannah G., M.F.A.
Hannah G., M.F.A.

University of Houston, M.F.A in Creative Writing/Poetry
University of Aix-Marseilles III
University of Tennessee, B.A in French and Humanities (International Studies)

Summary of Experience

Hannah currently teaches English at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to traditional and non-traditional students. Her courses comprise literature, composition, and creative writing. Hannah is the poetry editor for CATCH UP, a nationally distributed journal of literature and graphic art. Her first collection of poetry, Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, will be published this fall.

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