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.)
Make Your Pronouns Agree!
When helping students with argument paragraphs, essays, or other writing, I often need to point out mistakes in pronoun agreement.When proofreading and editing your written work, check to make sure that your pronouns agree with their antecedents.The antecedent is simply the word or words (often a noun or noun phrase) that the pronoun is referring to (the word that comes before).In the following sentences, the pronouns “he” and “his” stand in for the noun “Tom.&rdquo...
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Get Interested
How can I be interested in class? Every teacher has heard this question over and over. Students often ask this question, and it came up again recently on Quora.At first glance, it might not seem like a serious question; however, people do struggle to get or maintain their interest levels sometimes. Here are a few tips to help.PrepareYes, it makes a difference!  If you are ready for the class, you are far more likely to be engaged when you get there.  You will have some i...
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Independent & Dependent Clauses
No! Not those kinds of clauses!I am often mentioning independent and dependent clauses when I discuss writing, especially when talking about sentence structure.What is the difference between an independent clause and a dependent clause?One way to think of these clauses is to relate the words independent and dependent to something more familiar.An independent person is someone who can manage his or her own affairs without much assistance. (Hey, we all need help once in a while.)A dependent person...
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Take a Bigger Break, and Use a Semicolon
Do not underestimate the importance of accurate punctuation.  It can make a world of difference in your writing.Yes, I know that I said this in my blog on comma usage, but it still applies. Sometimes a comma just does not work. The semicolon is often thought of as a larger break.  While not entirely or always the case, it is a good way to think of it in general.This blog contains a few pointers about the use of a semicolon (and a bit more about commas as necessary) to help you get...
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Be a Mentor
If you want to learn more and solidify your knowledge, become a mentor.  Teaching others is one of the best ways to help ourselves on the learning journey.It is a Win – Win situation!You can help someone who needs it; while, at the same time, increasing and deepening your understanding of the material – whatever it is.  By taking the time to explain the procedures, concepts, themes, steps, and so on to someone else, you need to re-explain everything to yourself – ofte...
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Take a Wee Break, and Use a Comma
Do not underestimate the importance of accurate punctuation.  It can make a world of difference in your writing.The comma is one of the most important punctuation marks; however, it is commonly misused.In general, a comma represents a short pause.  If you read your work aloud, you can often determine where commas might be necessary. This, however, is not a foolproof method.  There are times when a semicolon or dash, or other punctuation might be better or required.Also, if English...
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Break It Down
Don’t panic.  I am not asking you to breakdance!As Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”Whether you are in the middle of a course, debating about learning something new, or daunted by the new school year, break it down.Any project can be broken into more manageable bite-sized pieces that are not nearly so s...
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September, Tutoring and Covid-19
It looks like school will be back on in September – for how long and in what format, we shall see. I am welcoming in-person students in September as well; however, online lessons will still be available for those who want them.
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Take Note!
Actually, the title should be Take Notes, but I wanted to get your attention. I had a Quora question sent to me last week: “What is the importance of effective note-taking?” Engagement.That is the very short answer.  If you are taking notes, presumably, you are reading a text carefully or listening intently to a lecture. In other words, you are paying attention.It is difficult to take notes without being engaged to some degree.  I am always rattling on about being enga...
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Essay Writing  Where Are You?
When you are writing an essay, don’t forget to put “you” into it. An essay is intended to present your opinion or argument, so it is essential that the reader is able to find you.
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