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Tutor profile: Jacob L.

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Jacob L.
Librarian and teacher for
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Questions

Subject: Library and Information Science

TutorMe
Question:

Suppose I'm hunting on the Internet for information about pyramids. How can I tell if a source is a good one?

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Jacob L.
Answer:

It's a little more complex than you might think. No single test is bulletproof, but there are some things to look for when you find a source: Currency. Look for when it was published. Is the information reasonably up to date? Depending on the area, this can vary: a physics article may be obsolete in a few years, while history texts usually a longer decay-time. Relevance. How well suited is the information to your needs? You may need something that's more detailed than an encyclopedia entry, but not as advanced as a journal article. And even then, if Source X doesn't really deal with Topic Y at all, it just won't help. Authority. Look for the author. Does the author know what they're talking about? (If they're speaking as professionals in their area, they probably do; if not, they'll need some other thing that demonstrates their knowledge - a degree, for example. If you don't even know who wrote it, watch out.) Does the publisher have a reputation for providing good information on your topic? (Search for information on the publisher. Universities and scientific research institutes are usually good because their livelihood depends on quality info.) Accuracy. Does the information match other independent sources? If so, chances are better that it's accurate. Compare material to find out. Purpose. What is the source supposed to do - inform, persuade, sell, entertain, ...? If it's unclear what the aim of the information is, watch out! Notice the first letters of each criterion spell CRAAP - because that's what you're trying to avoid! Grade each factor on a scale of 1 to 10 and add them up. The higher the grade, the better the source is likely to be.

Subject: Philosophy

TutorMe
Question:

What is Kant's Categorical Imperative?

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Jacob L.
Answer:

It's a sort of litmus test for any moral action. In other words, you try to imagine that Action X was made into an unconditional law. If you can, it's a truly moral action; if not - i.e. if you need to qualify it somehow, it's not a truly moral action. Example: lying. Can you say it's moral to lie? Kant would say no. You can't justify it by saying "It's OK to lie if someone's life is in danger" because then it's not categorical, or unconditional.

Subject: English as a Second Language

TutorMe
Question:

Put the adverb "lovingly" in an appropriate spot of the sentence: Fred gave a rose to Ginger.

Inactive
Jacob L.
Answer:

Three options are available: Fred lovingly gave a rose to Ginger. or Fred gave a rose lovingly to Ginger. or Fred gave a rose to Ginger lovingly. In English, adverbs have their own quirky, complex set of rules: certain kinds of adverbs fit into sentences in a given range of spots. When in doubt, though, try to put the adverb next to the word it's supposed to modify.

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