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Tutor profile: Adeline P.

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Adeline P.
Medieval Historian and Archivist
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

I have an essay draft but its over the word limit and I don't know if its accomplishing what I set out to accomplish.

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Adeline P.
Answer:

To condense an essay the first trick I advise is to go through (use Word's Find function if need be) and find any uses of adverbs that end in -ly… these are frivolous boost words that just take up space and rarely are ever necessary. Take them out. But look at every case so you are sure the sentence still works when the adverb is removed. Many people, myself included, draw up an outline of my essay before they start writing. This outline is to determine how they plan to say what they want to say. But sometimes, once you sit down and start writing and if you go off on tangents, what the essay ends up saying does not match the original outline. My advice for confidently knowing what your essay actually says: Put your original outline to the side, pretend you have no idea what your essay says, then, with pen and paper in your hand, slowly read your essay paragraph by paragraph. As you finish a paragraph, ask yourself "What did I learn from this paragraph? Did does this paragraph focus on? Is the focus of this paragraph the same as the point that it was trying to make?". Note these things down as you read, making a new outline listing each paragraph and what its about. Once you are done, look at the new outline and how these paragraphs are working together. Are you making the argument you initially intended to? Does your argument logically flow from one point to next or is sporadic? Is there a better way to organise these paragraphs? What is useful with this method, and results I and my students have enjoyed in the past, is that you have the ability to change or outline for the better if need be; you might discover that your paragraphs flow better after just rearranging, and then, and most often, you realise that you have established a fact or story in paragraph 4 so when you go in depth about it again in paragraph 10 that you don't need to and can cut out several sentences. This helps you understand not only what you said, but how you have said it, multiple routes you can take to say it, and how you can condense what you are saying if need be.

Subject: European History

TutorMe
Question:

Why is Charlemagne important?

Inactive
Adeline P.
Answer:

Charlemagne is technically named Charles the First, King of the Franks, but no one ever calls him that. They call him by the smashed together Latin - Charles Magnus - Charles the Great. But why was he considered "Great"? Charlemagne lived from 742 CE (Common Era - the new replacement for AD) to 814 CE. During this time he filled his resume with a long list of things that every king in the history of time would have wished to have accomplished only one of to be called a good king. When Charlemagne was born, the kingdom of the Franks only spanned parts of Modern France and Germany, but by the time he died his kingdom covered the majority of Modern Europe and was slowly reconquering Spain from the Muslim Moors that had first snatched it up in 711 CE. Charlemagne also recognised the power of the Church and used it to his benefit. He boosted his authority by asking the Pope to anoint him as king, much like King David had been anointed in the Old Testament by a priest of God... a similarity that Charlemagne was counting on his nobles to recognise as a claim on Charlemagne's part of being chosen by God to rule. This would make it harder for nobles to rise up against him. The Pope agreed and on Christmas Day of the year 800 CE, Charlemagne knelt in Rome and was anointed Holy Roman Emperor which solidified both his secular right to rule and his right to rule granted by God. Charlemagne is one of the primary examples of a type of monarchial government, known as Divine Right Absolutism... which means "You do as I say without question because God picked me to be your ruler and if you disobey you are disobeying God." But more important than armies, geography, and politics.... Did you know that you are right now being impacted directly by Charlemagne's greatness? Without Charlemagne... youwouldbereadingthisentirelessonlikethis. Not fun is it? Charlemagne was one of the first Early Medieval kings to successfully pull of a social reform of his kingdom that effected education up into the present day. He made an emphasis on people learning and writing in the Frankish language (the vernacular -common spoken- language), although the Bible and majority of church documents would not start to be written in the vernacular languages for several more centuries. As a part of this, Charlemagne made scholars start writing in a mix of lower and uppercase and to include spaces between individual words. Prior to this, Latin was the language of scholars and writing and was written without spaces between words and in large block capitals. So to conclude, Charlemagne is a very important figure that has influenced aspects of society that we still embrace today. Even if the biographer who knew him described him as having quite the belly and a bulging nose, but it wasn't noticeable because of Charles' great height. (See Einhard's "Life of Charles the Great")

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

How do I know when to properly use pronouns?

Inactive
Adeline P.
Answer:

The rules for the usage of pronouns is different if you are writing a creative piece or an academic piece of writing, but there is some overlap between the two. 1. Always use a person's proper name the first time you mention them in your writing, complete with a title or explanation of who they are in relation to your topic. (i.e. in a novel, if you mention your main character's sister for the first time you would write "Susie, Jane's sister, burst into the room." In an academic essay, if you mention the author of a quote you are about to use to support your argument, you add what the author has written or what job they hold that makes them an expert and worth supporting your argument such as "John Smith, the CEO of Smith Engineering, states...") 2. After the first mention, using the proper name/title, use the appropriate gender pronoun (he/she) to refer to them unless you are not aware of their gender then use (they/them). If you are referring to a business or company, use (it), unless you are referring to the people as a group then use (they). 3. If you mention two different people of the same gender in a sentence use their proper names to avoid confusion as to who the pronouns are referring to. 4. In fiction, primarily, if you are dealing with dialogue of multiple characters stick to the use of names so you do not lose your reader in a swarm of (he said, she yelled, he whispered) and they lose who is exactly saying what. Ive read many a frustrating novel that make me have to re-read important scenes multiple times because I have to sort out exactly who is saying what. 5. Academic writing should always be in third person (he/she/it/they), and never should use (I or you). In some cases you can use (one) as a reference to yourself as the author or your audience, but this can be frowned upon depending upon who your instructor or subject area is, so avoid it if you can.

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