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Tutor profile: Julianna P.

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Julianna P.
English Major at Wellesley College
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

Why does writing matter?

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Julianna P.
Answer:

Writing is the foundation of our society. It is our way of communication, but even more so, it is our way of existing long after we should. I can read the words of a poet who is centuries my senior. I can study the final lines of an author who is long dead in their grave. I can experience the passion, the heartache, the mundane humdrum of existence in its details after eras of change and metamorphosis. Writing allows us to express our emotions, the hide them, to twist them into something beautiful or to contort them into something sinister. Writing allows one to wield language like a sword, carry it like a shield, and wear it like a crown.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

What sets Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" apart from traditional mystery novels?

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Julianna P.
Answer:

In Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None", many of the unspoken rules of mystery novels are broken. The common series of events that takes place in a mystery novel goes as such: a crime is committed, a detective arrives to solve the crime, the reader learns along with the detective, and at the end the detective announces who the culprit is and makes an arrest. In "And Then There Were None", however, nothing of the sort occurs. Yes, a crime is committed; many crimes are committed, in fact. Murder after murder occurs, to the bafflement of the characters and the reader. You see, there is no detective character that we can follow along with to solve the case. The clues and facts we are presented with are half-truths and falsehoods. There is no revelation of the culprit, rather a confession. There is no arrest; the murderer goes free. So, it can be deduced from this list of evidence that not only is Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" a strange and unusual mystery novel, but it rewrites the rules of the game entirely.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

What is the Oxford Comma, how is it used, and why is it important?

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Julianna P.
Answer:

The Oxford Comma is defined as the comma used after the final, or penultimate, item in a list of three or more items, before "and" or "or". For example, I could use the Oxford Comma when describing myself as a girl, a woman, AND/OR a lady. Now, it may sound silly to imagine people arguing over the fine points of grammar, but the Oxford Comma can certainly spark some heated debates. The Oxford Comma is incredibly important to use in the English language as, without it, the meaning of a sentence can change drastically. Let me demonstrate: "At the library, I met an obnoxiously tall man, a snake charmer, and a retired policeman." This sentence shows me using the Oxford Comma where I am presenting three separate individuals that I met at the library. However, if I was to remove to Oxford Comma, let us see what happens: "At the library, I met an obnoxiously tall man, a snake charmer and a retired policeman." Without the added context of the Oxford Comma, this sentence implies that the obnoxiously tall man that I met is both a snake charmer and a retired policeman, which is not true at all. So, in order to make our language more precise and comprehensive, which is the nature of communication at the very core, the Oxford Comma is very important in English grammar.

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