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Ms Laura Hartnell

 Melbourne - Hawthorn

Expert English tutoring with rigour and compassion.

Melbourne tutor in English, English Literature, Essay Writing, Creative Writing, Media Studies, Communication, Journalism, Philosophy, Society and Culture, Theatre, Theatre Studies, Drama

I travel to these locations
Eastern Suburbs

(6 student reviews)

I am a lover of books, reading, writing and learning. I am a freelance writer and teacher of creative writing, currently studying my PhD at Monash University after having received awards for Best Honours Thesis and Best Honours Student in my Honours degree. I have worked as a tutor across Melbourne for seven years and have a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at The University of Melbourne, where I graduated with an HD average and majored in Media & Communications, English and Theatre Studies. I work with students of all ages (including NAPLAN and entry exam preparation) and I'd love to meet you!

I consistently get results from my students. All VCE English students I have taught have achieved 35+ Study Scores as a result of my tutoring. I am very proud of the successes of past students and the relationships I have formed with them. To hear from my past students, read their reviews here:

Every student is different, so my tutoring session structure and content will vary depending on the individual. I focus on the student as an individual, and try to focus not only on the subject at hand, but on teaching study techniques, exam strategies and stress management. I work on a 'tutor and student are equals' basis (especially with teens!), as I think this develops a respectful yet effective working relationship between myself and the student. This does not mean that I am a lightweight tutor: I expect hard work and commitment from my students, as I believe that the only way tutoring can be truly successful is if both teacher and student are committed and working towards the student's academic goals together.

Sessions generally begin with discussing schoolwork and revising anything the student is having trouble with/needs clarifying (I will take notes and chat with the student's teacher if required). Then, we will work through any homework, projects or essays the student is required to complete, including some games/exercises/brainstorms/workshops to establish and improve the student's skills. I also set extra work and exercises where needed, but firmly believe that students nowadays are already busy enough, so I tend to work with the homework they have already been given. Essay structure, writing style, spelling and grammar are particular specialities of mine, as they can make so much difference to your mark and confidence! Closer to exam (or NAPLAN) time, we will examine past exams/SACs together and talk more generally about exam strategies, study techniques, etc.

When tutoring VCE English and Literature, I aim to help improve the student's understanding of English and Literature texts (including things like identifying and discussing themes, motifs, symbols/metaphor, character development, text characteristics and author's style), as well as give guidance and encouragement regarding essay writing and study techniques.

For students in younger years, I take a wider approach, dealing with classwork/homework but also ensuring students have a good grasp on spelling, grammar, comprehension and other important study skills so that they can help themselves improve as they progress through their studies. I have developed games and activities which are engaging and rewarding, and have seen a great improvements with all of my students so far.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Note: I have a Working with Children's Check and First Aid.



I have had eight years' experience tutoring students from the ages of 8-18. I am a PhD Candidate at Monash University in the humanities, and my research areas include theatre, literature, linguistics, philosophy, gender studies, media and communications studies, and cultural studies.

I am a teacher and freelance writer, and expert in essay writing, with a particular emphasis on critical thinking, language use and essay structure, as I believe these key skills will help you in most scholarly and career pursuits. I work with all my students from a growth perspective, encouraging them to recognise their own strengths in their study areas while helping them build the skills they need to succeed both in their studies and in their broader lives. I teach with encouragement, empathy and kindness, while also expecting a high degree of engagement and effort from the students I work with.

I am rigorous,
versatile and adaptive, looking after each student's individual needs and ensuring I teach in a
way that works for them. In doing this, my students have had great success, drastically
improving their test and essay scores (often by more than 20%), raising themselves to above
average marks in their NAPLANs, and achieving high study scores (35+) in VCE English, Literature, Drama, Theatre Studies and Media, leading to high ATAR scores and acceptance into their preferred university courses. Feel
free to contact me to chat further, and/or for references.


Current - PhD Candidate at Monash University, studying theatre and performance, literature, gender studies, media and cultural studies, philosophy.

2017 - Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Theatre and Performance at Monash University (90.25 Final Mark). Awarded Best Honours Thesis and Best Honours Student.

2016 - Graduate Certificate in Arts and Community Development from the Victorian College of the Arts

2013 - Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) from the University of Melbourne.
(HD Average)

2009 - Victorian Certificate of Education: ENTER (ATAR) Score = 98.65. Study scores:
English (49/50); Literature (44/50); English Language (39/50); Drama (46/50); Health
and Human Development (42/50); Further Mathematics (38/50)


$80 per hour

Working With Children Check

Yes, I'm cleared to work with children in Victoria until 13-Feb-2023 (details available on request)




Joined Tutor Finder on 05-Feb-2014 (updated profile on 29-Nov-2019)
Tutoring Location
  • Home Visits within 10 kms
  • Online and Phone Help
  • Private & Group Tuition


Creative Writing (Secondary, Tertiary)
English (Secondary, Tertiary)
English Literature (Secondary, Tertiary)
Essay Writing (Secondary, Tertiary)

Social Science

Philosophy (Secondary, Tertiary)
Society and Culture (Secondary, Tertiary)


Communication (Secondary, Tertiary)
Journalism (Secondary, Tertiary)
Media Studies (Secondary, Tertiary)

Other Subjects

Theatre, Theatre Studies, Drama

"Laura's tutoring allowed me to turn my B/B+ writing skills into consistent A's. By continuously finding new ways to hone my writing skills, Laura assisted me into getting a study score of 38 in English - which had the most leverage in my goal of a 95.00+ ATAR. Her constant encouragement, kindness and calming attitude was a strong factor in keeping by stress levels at bay to complete the daunting task of year 12. I can easily say, with utmost certainty, Laura's influence throughout my year had a very positive impact on my grades and my progression through the year. I am now studying a Bachelor of Commerce at The University of Melbourne, my #1 preference. Thankyou Laura :)"

Paul Papageorgiou    
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