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.)
Move the Subject
When writing sentences, try to add a little variety not only by using different kinds of sentences but also by changing up the structure of those sentences. One way you can “spice it up” is to move the subject within the sentence.If you remember, the subject is the “who” or “what” of the sentence.The predicate is what the subject does. In the case of passive sentences, the predicate is what happens to the subject. (Remember to use primarily active sentences fo...
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Avoid These Mistakes – Paragraph Writing
Do not announce.Do not announce what you are going to write about. In other words, avoid phrases like “This paragraph is going to be about” and “I am going to tell you about.” When writing an academic paragraph, begin with a topic sentence. The topic sentence does not always need to be the first sentence, but it is helpful for beginning writers to put it in early. It gives the writer a focal point, and it provides the reader with some guidance as well.For example, if...
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I Don’t Know
Do not be afraid of these three little words. Too often we are afraid to say “I don’t know” even when it is obvious we don’t.Knowledge and learning come from exploring, questioning, seeking, and failing. Yes, I said another prohibited word these days – failing. All that innocent word means is that we don’t know something at the moment. It is not a life sentence! Let’s get over our terminology stumbling blocks.When we don’t know something, we should...
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Help!  I’m Bored!
The following is a recent question from a student is one that comes up fairly frequently:How do I get comfortable with studying? I’m always bored. I might sound like a broken record, but one of the major factors to avoid boredom is to become engaged. If you continue to see your education or courses as separate from you – almost like the enemy that must be conquered – you will continue to have difficulties.This sense of separation can lead to boredom, frustration, or even hatred...
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Teach Myself? Teach Myself!
Yes, my study skills book is written and up on Amazon for you to check out.The idea for this book came from my experience tutoring students of almost all ages and skill levels since 1996.Long before I began tutoring students, I recognized the value of being an independent learner. This does not mean that you reject teachers, professors, tutors, and books! It simply means that you can become your own best teacher who knows how to use all of the resources to help yourself.The truth is that once a ...
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Failing Student to Straight-A Student
Recently I received a Quora question.Is it possible for an unsuccessful or failing student to become a straight-A student? The very short answer is yes.The road to becoming that so-called straight-A student, however, is more complex. If you are said student who is failing, the first step is to stand back and look objectively at why you are not doing better. This can be a challenge. We often do not like to look closely at ourselves or critique ourselves without hedging. Excuses or justificat...
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Change Lanes
Listening to 21 Pilots the other day, I thought of a blog idea based on their song Lane Boy.A lot of us tend to get into a lane – or rut if you like. Not only do we get into one, but we seem to like staying there forever! To some extent, this is understandable. It is comforting to stick with what you know.The problem is that if you always do that, you never get to know what you don’t know.You need to escape your lane to experience things outside of your comfort zone. It is important ...
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Supporting Sentences
Whether you are writing a stand-alone paragraph, an essay, a book report, or a speech, you will need supporting sentences to flesh out your ideas.Once you have decided on your topic sentence or thesis – or should I say “working” topic sentence or thesis – you will need to support it.Recall that the topic sentence acts as a kind of umbrella for everything that follows in a paragraph. For an essay, the thesis is the primary argument and should be supported by each topic sen...
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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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