Archive by author: Ron JohnsonReturn

I am an Honours Graduate (with distinction) of the University of Guelph with major areas of study being English & Psychology.

Other Credentials and Related Achievements:
  • Certificate - Teachers Teaching Online MOOC
  • Past treasurer of G.R.A.C.E. (Guelph Regional Association for Continuing Education)
  • Developed and delivered EFL (ESL) program for scientists and technicians at Agri-Food/ Agriculture Canada
  • Tutor since 1996 - individualized programs for students with a wide variety of needs
  • Experienced in working with A+ students as well as those who have been identified
         (ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Aspergers, Autism, Down's Syndrome, etc.)
Speed Reading – No!
I am not a big fan of speed reading. Now, this might sound a little hypocritical since I have an online course entitled Reading for Speed and Comprehension, but let me explain.There is nothing wrong with trying to increase your reading speed. The problem with most so-called speed reading programs is that you read quickly at the expense of comprehension. For all intents and purposes, you lose the whole reason for reading. The fact that your eyes can scan pages more quickly or that you can go...
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Beginnings and Endings
Whenever you write an essay, book report, speech, or any academic article, give the beginning and the ending some special consideration.Readers and listeners often pay more attention to the beginning and endings of presentations whether this is in print, audio, visual, or some combination. For this reason alone, you will want to bring them in and then end on a strong note to help them remember your primary points. People tend to remember the beginnings and endings the best. Having a strong ...
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Notetaking and Abbreviations
I know you have not forgotten the importance of taking notes.Taking notes is essential to fully learning the material you are studying; however, many students have difficulty because notetaking can be time-consuming.Also, trying to take notes during a lecture is a challenge when a lot of material is being covered. In fact, taking notes from reading texts can pose the same problem. There just seems to be too much to do, and the task is overwhelming.Don’t forget to check out some of my other...
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Stress and Marks
This blog is based on a couple of questions I have received lately.How can I stop stressing about exam results day?Why are my marks never good enough for myself? I often get A’s and B’s but I’m never satisfied.There are many ways to address these two questions separately; however, these questions are closely related.  The first question isn’t about doing the exam, but the results which is the same thing as saying that they are stressing about the marks. First of...
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Will Music Help You Study?
Will music help me study?If I listen to music, can I concentrate better?I get asked these questions from time to time.More often, I am told by students that it does help them but that is because they want music during our tutoring session.  Strangely, when I offer the kind of music that might actually be helpful, they are not so keen!In my opinion, music rarely helps you study or concentrate – unless you are studying music. I say “my opinion” because the studies are a...
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Appositive: A Positive Tool for Your Writing
Forgive the little play on words, but this blog is about using appositives.
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Your Schedule is Not Your Enemy!
Sometimes students, or anyone really, think that their schedule is their enemy.  They feel like a schedule is a prison or authoritarian dictator.If this is the case for you, then you are doing it wrong!Your schedule is not your enemy.In fact, it can become your friend and a lifesaver in some cases.  Okay, it is rarely literally a lifesaver, but still.When you set up your schedule – and remember it is yours, so unless you are a dictator, it can’t be one - make sure you leave...
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Q of the SQ3R Reading Method
Last week a student asked me about the question part, or Q, of the SQ3R Reading Method (survey, question, read, recite, review) which explains the title of this blog post. There are other reading methods that have a similar breakdown of components with some kind of preview and questioning before you do the close reading and concluding activities. They all work equally well if used correctly and consistently.The primary purpose of questions is to prepare you to engage with the material.  In ...
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Learning Styles – Truth or Myth?
Are learning styles a real thing or are they a myth?That is a good question, and you can get different answers depending on who you ask and how the question is interpreted.You have probably heard of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles.  Some lists include verbal, social, and solitary styles. Others include dozens of learning styles.You might even believe that you are a visual learner or a kinesthetic learner or an auditory learner and so on.  These labels and ideas have b...
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Should You Be Passive?
Should You Be Passive?I am not getting into a philosophical debate here.  I am talking about the passive voice when writing – particularly academic writing.Many style books and courses – including my own, recommend using the active voice.  Some go beyond recommendation, almost dictating the active voice, especially for academic writing.As with almost all English writing rules and conventions, there are lots of exceptions. The passive voice has its uses. You do not need...
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