Donnalyn V.

Donnalyn V.


Oak Brook, IL 60523

Will travel 15 miles

$45 per hour.

4.98 380 ratings

Encouraging, Positive & Highly Educated Tutor

Hello. Perhaps I can be of assistance to the student seeking some extra help in that subject that is just getting the best of him/her. I have a law degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and I excelled in my college Honors courses, graduating with B.A. from North Central College. I received the Trustees Merit Scholarship from Harper College for full tuition for over a year (said scholarship is awarded to only one student from each area high school each year). Thereafter, I t... [more]


My graduate education in Honors Philosophy and Literature (which included substantial reading and essay-writing), along with my post-graduate law school education and legal writing experience provided me with my vast vocabulary. I not only know the definition of many words in the English language, but also, I know how to teach a student the meaning of more words by showing them how to look them up themselves and further use them in sentences. I also teach my students the importance of learning synonyms so that he/she is able to find the "right" word to convey ideas. Using the "right" word, as opposed to an acceptable one, may often be the difference between an A grade and a B grade!


My knowledge of grammar stems from an abundance of essay writing and reading in college where I received A's in Honors courses. I majored in Philosophy and minored in Literature. I also mastered legal writing in law school and during my twelve years as a practicing attorney. I have experience tutoring both adults and young children in English, Writing and Spelling. I find that teaching rhyming rules and memorable or amusing phrases is the most effective way to instill grammar rules into students' minds, along with practice and encouragement.


Reading is one of my strongest and favorite subjects to tutor. I have both a B.A. and a Juris Doctorate degree. I earned my B.A. (cum laude recognition) from North Central College where I majored in Honors Philosophy and minored in Literature. I had to read an extraordinary amount of cases and pleadings as a litigation attorney. Needless to say, I have a lot of reading experience! My experience teaching as a private tutor has totaled about four years. I have tutored both children and adults in the subject of Reading English, and have developed many different ways to teach it. Some examples include: we work on matching sounds to letters/letter combinations; we work on reading words with images to match; sometimes I read a sentence as the student follows along, then I stop periodically to have the student try a word with my guidance; guide student through various worksheets; and so on. I end up using whichever technique is most effective for the particular student.


My graduate education in Honors Philosophy and Literature (which included substantial reading and essay-writing), along with my law school education and legal writing experience, have provided me with an extensive knowledge of writing for many different purposes. I am able to help students write according to the various types of writing required in elementary school, middle school, high school, college and post-graduate school.


I have a substantial amount of reading and writing background, both as a law school graduate and as an undergraduate who majored in Honors Philosophy and minored in Literature. My major and minor in college required an exorbitant amount of reading and essay-writing. My grades were excellent and I graduated cum laude. My additional experience as a practicing litigation attorney has enriched my knowledge and use of the English language even more. For students in an English class, I will help them with critical reading and analysis so that they can fully understand whatever they are required to read. This will also help them explain their understanding to the teacher in written/essay form or orally (if called upon in class). I help students understand and recognize the purpose of certain information and sentences in a piece of writing so that the students will be able to, for example, understand the difference between topic sentences and supporting sentences. I also explain how to decide when something should be added or omitted from a written work in order to improve the work in terms of its purpose (e.g. some information is necessary for a written work's topic/purpose and some is unrelated, extraneous or just causes unwanted confusion).


I learned to edit and proof my papers in high school. I then applied those skills to the substantial number of philosophy, literature and other humanities papers that I wrote in college. I graduated with honors and received A's on 95% of my papers. My strength has always been writing, and I love to pass along my skills to others so that they may enjoy the same high grades that I enjoyed.


As an cum laude Honors graduate from college and licensed Illinois attorney, I have had to read and write more papers and pleadings than a lot of people. My experience has given me the current ability to correctly spell the most commonly used words in the English language, but also, some which are less common. My background in Humanities provided me with extensive experience reading ancient and modern philosophy, poetry and literature. I learned how to spell a lot of interesting words from that experience. I also took both Latin and Spanish which actually helps me spell many English words that are rooted in either Latin or other romantic languages. A lot of my spelling ability comes from simple repetition in both reading and writing words. Repetition is a key to learning spelling for younger children in particular.

Study Skills

I received a both a full and partial merit scholarship while in college. I graduated from an Honors Leadership program in college with a cum laude recognition. I also passed the Illinois Bar Exam. I know exactly how to study in order to earn great grades and pass difficult tests. The studying skills which I teach begin with note-taking skills during class and material organization. I teach students how to narrow the down the material to what the student does not already know, then show them how to outline or organize the information for studying same. Finally, we review the material, do practice quizzes, and repeat until the student has internalized all of the required information. This process is perfect for a tutor/student setting, but also, it can be used when a student alone; I explain where to tweak the process for independent study.


I took Logic in college, and received the highest grade in the class. I was personally commended by my professor who told me that I had a natural ability for logical thinking. I finished college with a Philosophy B.A. which I earned with honors due to using logical thinking to understand and write about philosophical thought. I went on to law school and then the practice of law where my logical thinking played a large part in my career.


I received an A in my college Speech class. I was on the mock trial team in college and in law school. Not only have I done public speaking for advertising my businesses, but also, I have argued in Court on a regular basis as a practicing attorney. I have been licensed to practice in Illinois since 1999. I even excelled in my high school debate class. I teach my Speech students how to organize the information that must be included in their assigned speech; effectively engage their audience; incorporate visual aids or handouts; make eye contact when appropriate; properly use notes or note cards; when to pause, when to move; when to change tone or volume of voice; and, most importantly, how to meet the exact requirements of each of their Speech assignments in order to earn the highest grades possible.


I learned both print and cursive handwriting as a child and often used it thereafter to write papers, take tests, write letters, etc. I am old enough that I have used handwriting more than most people under age 25 who are used to typing everything on an electronic device. As a litigation attorney, I had to hand write Court Orders on, at least, a weekly basis on carbon paper (yes, the Courts still use carbon paper!). These Orders are all in public records, therefore, they had to be legible. I use an active learning approach, including demonstration, tracing, copying and then independent practice from memory. I help my students correct their errors rather than just telling them, "That's wrong. Try again." I withdraw the correction guidance once I am sure that the student can figure out the error themselves.