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Tutor profile: Melissa M.

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Melissa M.
Experienced Online Tutor Specializing in English and Writing
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Questions

Subject: TOEFL

TutorMe
Question:

How can I prepare for the TOEFL?

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Melissa M.
Answer:

First, start preparing early. The TOEFL consists of four parts: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Don’t wait until a week before the test to open your study booklet or find a tutor! You will need time to study and practice for each section because each one requires a different set of language skills. Second, find ways to use English every day, not just in your study sessions. The more you read, listen to, speak, and write in English, the more proficient you will become in using it. For example, write a letter to a friend in English and then read it aloud, or listen to English-language radio or television programs and then write a summary of what you heard. Third, practice, practice, practice! For each section of the TOEFL, use sample questions to practice taking the test. I recommend that you become familiar with the format of the test first. Then, once you are familiar with the format, time your practice sessions with a kitchen timer or stopwatch. Finally, find someone to help you! A tutor who is familiar with the TOEFL can guide you and help you become a better test taker.

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

My teacher says I need a thesis. What is a thesis?

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Melissa M.
Answer:

The thesis, also known as the thesis statement, is a sentence that states the essay’s main idea. Sometimes, it may require two sentences to fully state the main idea. The thesis usually appears in the essay’s introduction so that the audience (readers) know what your body paragraphs support. In addition, the thesis should be debatable, meaning that you need evidence to support it and show the readers why your information is true. The following sentences are thesis statements for two different types of essays: - “The governor should veto the bill because it would harm local wildlife and cause an environmental disaster within the next ten years.” - “For your landscaping project, the flowering plants are better than the non-flowering plants. They will give your landscape color and help the local bee populations.” The first thesis belongs in an argumentative essay, while the second one belongs in a comparison/contrast essay. As you can see, each thesis presents the main idea--(1) the governor should veto the bill and (2) flowering plants are better--as well as some supporting reasons, which will then be discussed more thoroughly in the body paragraphs.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

What style of narration is used in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury?

Inactive
Melissa M.
Answer:

William Faulkner employed the stream of consciousness technique in his 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury. Stream of consciousness is a style of narration that imitates the way people think. Sentences may be longer and less organized to create the sense that we, the readers, are inside the character’s mind. Authors like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf also used this technique in their writing. The Sound and the Fury is unique because its four parts are each one told from the point of a view of a different character. Benjy’s, Quentin’s, and Jason’s parts are told in the first-person point of view, using stream of consciousness, while Faulkner switches to third person to tell Dilsey’s part of the story.

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