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Jerry Lee, a regular contributor to Smartification and co-owner of Intellect Tuition, has created a course for students who are interested in improving their essays in narrative writing. The course covers 6 sections:

  • Planning
  • Writing an Introduction
  • Conflict / Problem setting
  • Paragraphing
  • Resolution – solve the problem/ conflict
  • Conclusion

As an ex-MOE EL teacher, I have come across my fair share of students’ essays that are unable to make the cut. I have actually lost count of the number of times I ended up rewriting whole sentences and introductions for the students instead. It is no secret that essay writing is really the bane of most students as this free compositions can make or break the grade.

When I was asked to review his course on essay writing, I wasn’t sure what to expect as I have seen attempts of flipped videos by local tutors that, unfortunately, do not make the grade. Don’t get me wrong – it is not that they are not well-versed in their subject. Rather, I find that they do not provide necessary details in a course and tend to skimp on important information.

Fortunately, Jerry did not disappoint. Not only does he knows his stuff, he provides the necessary information and details to help a weak writer out. 


I found myself nodding several times throughout the videos at the extremely common mistakes, which he explicitly pointed out, that students often make in essays – even in secondary schools.  Most videos are around 2-3 minutes long – which was suitable for the short attention span for most people.

Jerry gives tips that may not be very common. In the Planning section, he talks about the general themes that appear in the sections and advises on its suitability for the varying students’ competency levels. He lists common mistakes made by students (and yes, I can vouch that even students in secondary schools are making them) and its steps necessary to counter them.

When I reached the Introduction section, Jerry talked about the various cliches openings and I realised I could not stop myself nodding vigorously. These cliche openings were extremely rampant even in the writings of secondary students. In turn, he introduced 5 types of introductions which not only helps the writer to craft better introductions but to advance their craft as well.

Jerry provided many examples and ways to strengthen an essay’s introduction, building up the conflict and conclusions. He shows steps on how a paragraph can be strengthen with rich sensory details. To ensure that the student learns the material, he included quizzes at the end of every section where one can be self-assessed.


While this course has provided extremely valuable insights for students weak in narrative essays, a bonus section where students’ samples are provided and shown in sequence on how they can be corrected and improved into better sentences will provide the icing on the cake.

[Update 1: It seems that Jerry has taken my advice into consideration and is currently working on videos that focus on common grammar mistakes students make in essays. These videos will be uploaded into this course. ]


The price is $49. If you like to enrol, please click here.