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Welcome

You've reached the homepage of Traverse City's premier reading and writing tutor, Dr. Nicholas F. Russell, who teaches the region's high schoolers and community college students how to succeed at top four-year institutions.

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Who I am

Since 2007, I've been providing tutoring services in reading and writing to young adults in Boston and Traverse City.  I got my start at my graduate school, Tufts University, where I studied under one of the finest liberal arts scholars in the world, Felipe Fernández-Armesto.  He taught me how to become a writer worthy of the name, and it was in his classroom that I had the opportunity to shepherd college students through the process of writing research papers.  Somewhere along the way, I also learned how to read a book—which is not nearly as straightforward as it sounds.  Now that I’m back in Traverse City full time, I hope to find new clients and build a tutoring practice centered on this area.

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What I do

I teach my pupils to read and write at the proficiency levels expected at elite institutions like Tufts, Hillsdale, and the Ivies.  The quality of my instruction exceeds what most students will otherwise have access to, even after reaching college, and regardless of what name the college has.  This owes to the scarcity of individuals who possess skillsets resembling my own.  While the majority of professors are superbly literate and impeccably well-spoken, precious few of them know how to pass these traits on to their pupils.  In my own college experience, I found myself immensely fortunate to encounter two such persons, which is unheard-of.  They taught me advanced methods of instruction that most students will never chance upon.  If you let me, I will use these methods to better educate your student and prepare him or her to meet the trials he will face when he goes away to a four-year institution.

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My Teaching Style

Writing

I teach writing as a discipline centered on the pupil's personality and aptitudes.  I start where my pupil is—at whatever skill level he or she possesses—then take his arm (for a novice author is like a blind man) and gently support him as he charts his own hobbling course.  Over time, we will together experience the joy of the opening of his eyes and the awakening of his inner voice.  This process differs markedly from student to student, follows unpredictable timelines, and can only be completed face to face.  I have seen fantastic results and have never had a charge who failed to progress far past what had been possible in the classroom.

Reading

I teach advanced reading techniques via the Socratic Method and use sophisticated chains of questioning to sharpen each pupil’s acumen to a razor’s edge.  The pupil will gain deductive and inferential capacities a good deal beyond what he otherwise might have acquired.  He will begin to learn with greater alacrity and broader understanding, and he will ascertain the right questions to ask—which is the most valuable aptitude of all.