Doc Carney

    |   History, Culture, Life

Tutoring and AP® Essay Coaching

I am pleased to offer online tutoring and exam essay coaching for high school and home school students who will be taking the AP® exam in United States History, World History, and Political Science. Subject tutoring consists of face-to-face, email, chat, and Skype contacts with the student, with the precise program of study determined together. Weak areas and topics that need more focused attention are the targets for this kind of one-on-one tutoring.

Coaching for the essay portion of the AP® exams essentially involves reading and careful markup of essays the student submits for evaluation. My markup gives attention to both content and the composition of the essays. The best AP® essays are thorough, accurate, display orderly argument and organization, and they must be otherwise well written. As an annual AP® reader, I have read and scored thousands of essays. I have a good idea of what is needed for an high scoring essay. Here are a few of my qualifications (follow links, when available, for verification):

* For information only. No connection or endorsement is implied.


How the Essay Preparation Works

Basically, every week until the AP exam date in May, your student will write and submit a 500-word essay in answer to a question on various topics in United States history. I will read the essay, mark it up, and comment on its historical content, its structure, and its style.

After the student submits an essay for initial “diagnosis,” work on subsequent submissions will proceed developmentally, each one focused on a particular feature of composition: factual content, logical structure, conciseness, sentence structure, word choice, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

In this way, your student will learn American History by writing about it. This can work either as a complete program (as with a home-schooled student) or to complement his or her learning by classroom work in high school.

Though an essay every week is typical, we can make other arrangements as desired.

Here is a link to an actual student essay, along with my markup and comments.


For face-to-face tutoring in the Portland Metro Area, my fees are as follows:

  • At your home or a location of your choice: $30/hour
  • At the Starbucks Cafe on NW 23rd Avenue in Portland: $25/hour.
  • Online via Skype, email, or other software: $20/hour.
  • I would appreciate payment at the time of each session.

For more information on how I might help prepare your student for his or her exams and other coursework, please contact me at:  carneytf@gmail.com. I would also like your feedback one way or the other, so please take a moment to share your comments as provided below.

Please feel free to browse through other materials I’ve put up on this blog site. I created it as an “off-campus” way of communicating with my students, and as a way of keeping my personal work separate from my work on the faculty of Southern Oregon University.

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