Tutor profile: Emily C.
Subject: SAT II Literature
What is a thesis, and how can I construct an effective one?
A thesis should be a relatively concise statement that tells the reader what your essay will talk about. It is a complex claim that should have some sort of tension in it; tension here means that it should be more than a simple statement that anyone could make about the subject. It should have a structure similar to "if x, then y, because of z." For example, if you were to write about Romeo and Juliet, a simple claim might be "Romeo and Juliet loved each other." But this would be too easy to prove, and therefore uninteresting to read about. A better thesis might be "If Romeo and Juliet were driven to suicide over their love, then it truly shows how unwilling the Montagues and Capulets were to put their feud to rest, because ultimately the play is not about two teenagers in love, but the inevitability of violence in civil war."
Subject: Film and Theater
What are the three waves of Irish drama?
Most scholars agree that the three waves of Irish drama are: the restaging of myth, the clash between the myth and the contemporary, and holding the shattered pieces of that fight to the light.
How often should I quote? How do I incorporate quotes into my paper?
If you are writing an analysis of a novel, you should use quotes fairly often throughout your essay. A good formula to follow for proper and in depth analysis is to have two-three sentences of explanation for every sentence that you quote. The quotes should be used as evidence to back up your claims and, ultimately, your thesis.