Jessie - Prof english literature - Durham


Verified teacher profile

  • Hourly rate $20
  • Response Time 1h
  • Number of students 3
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1st lesson free!

1st lesson free!

Duke University Graduate, Psychology major and English minor, pre-med. AP English (scored 5), wide range of Literature topics in undergrad, and peer-reviewed publications.

About the lesson

I deeply enjoy literature symbolism and analysis, and have cultivated a level of writing strong enough to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

I am strongly familiar with the AP Literature classic books (Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc.) and have a strong understanding of breaking down symbolic elements into their various interpretations. I also have resources that break down the meaning of universal symbolic elements in any media (formal, fictional and creative writing, as well as visual).

I scored 5 on the AP Literature exam and the SAT Writing score was my highest category. I was privately tutored in grammar, sentence structure, and essay organization/flow which helped me score high on these standardized tests, and have implemented them into my writing style thereafter. I adjust my writing style (and the style of others I have tutored) to satisfy the purpose and audience of the prompt--specifically, highlighting how to optimize essays during standardized tests for getting the most points, incorporating quotes/facts for assigned papers, and strengthening the structure of the essay.

Lessons are flexible in regards to timing and audience. I am open to individual or group lessons, at 30 minutes to 1 hour at a time, 1 to 2 times a week. Due to my experience and passion for literature, I welcome all ages and material levels. I have taught online in both lecture and tutor style, in individual, small and large group settings.

My colleagues most often commend my ability to describe and explain things well, in many different ways. Thank you, and I'm excited to work with you!


  • English Literature
  • Essay writing
  • Test Prep
  • +2

    Classic Literature

    English literature


  • English


  • All Levels

About Jessie

The first book we covered in my AP Literature class was the Great Gatsby, and once I got the hang of literary symbolism, I realized the art of literature is as though you are creating a collage about yourself--no words allowed, what would you include to describe who you are and your qualities?

For me, I may include a yellow rose and the Duke University Blue Devils logo. The yellow rose has several interpretations: my favorite color is yellow, the rose often symbolizes love and beauty, but a yellow rose particularly represents friendship, joy and freedom. The Blue Devils mascot is a well known icon on Duke's campus: the irony of using a Devil as the mascot is highlighted by the presence of the Duke Chapel and Divinity School, even though the university is secular. This irony can then be put to use to argue a future point like highlighting the irony in a Duke student's behavior, or demonstrating one of several examples of opposing juxtaposed elements. Lastly, the color blue represents intelligence as well as positively associated emotions like calmness, comfort, and insight. However, blue can also represent sadness and cold, and act as the precursor color to the darkness of night settling in (which comes with its own interpretations)--but the key to literature is knowing which interpretation to draw, based on the context the symbolic element is used in.

Since I learned to appreciate literature, I could see its application in our everyday life (like why McDonalds is red and yellow, or why Toph in Avatar the Last Airbender can "see" the most). Therefore, I chose to minor in English because I enjoy analysis and expanded it into classes about Grimm's Fairy Tales, other classic literature, and Science Fiction, to name a few.

My writing style has also been cultivated from a young age not only because it is a necessary skill, but also because it is a tremendous benefit for oneself: improved grades in school--I always got high scores on my papers in all subjects, including in college--improved communication and expression of oneself to others, and improved endurance as the workload increases--a 20 page paper is not a daunting task to me because (if you can tell by now haha) I am able to write a lot--and not just page fluffing, but meaningful arguments that are thoroughly fleshed out.

I would be open to anything you or your child needs help on in regards to writing and literature. I have worked with a wide range of mastery levels where I can break down the editing process into common standards so that the student is eventually able to evaluate and edit their own writing. For example, a staple of communication that I use is "if you explained this to a child, would they understand?" and if the answer is no, then you need to edit your explanation more. That calls for sentence restructuring, evidence improvement, and drawn conclusions more clear in their significance and relevance to the prompt.

If you simply want someone to edit the student's essays, the bare minimum I would need is the assignment prompt, and I will pre-annotate the essay, then meet with the student to go over the comments I made and how to improve them. If you want someone to help explain why the green light in Gatsby has so many interpretations, I will help make a list of each symbolic meaning and how it relates to the given context (and will also provide the "How to Read Literature Like a Professor" resource I used in high school. If you want test prep help, I could coach how to satisfy the highest categories on the rubric (even if you don't understand the narrative deeply). I am ready and open to address your needs and work accordingly with the student to achieve their goals!



  • 5h: $100
  • 10h: $200


  • $20/h

free lessons

  • 1hr

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