Tutor profile: Brianna N.
How do you know if a sentence makes sense?
This is actually much easier than you might think. First, just read the sentence out loud! If I write the sentence, "the dogs was very hungry", and then I read it to myself, I will hear immediately that it doesn't sound right. Reading through your papers and written work out loud can really help you notice errors. Second, think about the structure of sentences. All sentences need a noun and a verb. Check your sentence to make sure it is correct - look for the subject (who is doing what), the verb (what is happening), and the object (what it is being done to). To even use the sentence I just wrote: Check your sentence. The subject is hidden, but it is you. Who is checking the sentence? You! What are you doing? Checking. What are you checking? The sentence. Third, try swapping out some words to make sure the sentence is formatted right. You check your sentence. I check my sentence. I check my bags. I open my bags. See how that is basically the same sentence structure, only the words are changing?
How do we find symbolism in a work of writing?
Symbolism is something a lot of people are scared of, but it's actually very easy to find once you start thinking about the book. What I would recommend is drawing a chart, with two columns. In one column, just write some objects, places, and other material things that pop up throughout the book. For Harry Potter, we might write a broomstick, a magic wand, Harry's scar, Hogwarts, and Harry's owl. In the other column, write some very simple words that you think reflect the themes of the book - this does not have to be very hard. Just think about how the characters are feeling! When Harry Potter finally meets the wizarding world, he feels free, understood, and finally like he has a place. What of those objects could connect to those ideas? A broomstick, for example, is used to fly - Harry used to live in a closet, but now he can fly through the entire sky on his broom, and that represents his freedom in the wizarding world.
When you are writing a paper, what are the steps to successfully communicating your argument and point of view?
The first step is to try to establish what you want to argue. Think about your topic, and form an opinion about it - it can be anything, and it can be simple. Then try to expand on this idea. Why do you think this? What evidence has lead you to this conclusion? For example, if my topic was Hamlet, I would say, "I think Hamlet is really sad about his dad being dead". It's not too complicated of an idea, and I can work forward with it. I think this because of the way he acts throughout the story: his mood swings, seeing his father's ghost, grappling with mortality. Once I start thinking about evidence, I can form three points that reflect my argument. I just listed them: Hamlet's mood swings, his seeing of his dad's ghost, and his grappling with his own mortality and suicidal urges. From there, I can use these three points to form a thesis and to form topic sentences for my paragraphs, and start looking for evidence that supports these ideas.
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