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Tutor profile: Jason H.

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Jason H.
Librarian and Writer
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

How can I get readers to have an emotional response to to my poem?

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Jason H.
Answer:

What a question! Well, there are many techniques that poets use to communicate emotions in their work, but one that is pretty easy to practice (but nearly impossible to master) is use of the "objective correlative." T.S. Eliot used this phrase to describe the tendency of poets, or any writers, to use concrete descriptions of the physical world as stand ins for emotions. So, instead of directly telling your readers that the speaker in a poem feels lonely, you might describe the way in which they are seeing something in such a way that communicates this emotion. The line "The leaves of the tree were bright, fresh, and crisp" might not be the correct line for communicating lonely, but the line "dead leaves fell slowly to the dirty walk where they would be ignored and allowed to rot into a gray sludge" would come a lot closer. The object here (the dead leaves) correlates to the emotion, loneliness. It's not a science, but it's a structured way to think about how objects can be used to communicate emotions in our writing, especially in poems.

Subject: Library and Information Science

TutorMe
Question:

The following is a sample student reference question: "I’m a Japanese American girl living in Arizona, and I heard that during World War II, there were Japanese internment camps in Arizona. Where can I find information on that?"

Inactive
Jason H.
Answer:

The following is an example of a thorough virtual reference response that I might offer: Thanks for contacting us with this question about Japanese internment camps in Arizona during World War II. You’ve heard correctly. There were multiple Japanese internment camps in Arizona during the second world war. I will provide some information below to help provide some historical information on this controversial chapter in American, and Arizona, history. 1. The State Library of Arizona maintains a free online library at AZLibrary.gov, and they have a large collection of material documenting the history of the camps. I feel that their introduction to the collection offers a concise summary of the situation: “From 1942 to 1945, over 46,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans who had been forcibly removed from their homes arrived in Arizona to wait out the war in internment camps located in Gila River or Poston.” Click here for the Arizona State Library’s homepage on the collection of material relating to the camps. Another page from AZLibrary.gov offers a helpful bulleted list of facts on the two Arizona camps, as well as a number of photographs of the camps and their inhabitants. I suggest scrolling down to the bottom of the page and reading the section titled “About the Arizona Camps” for a brief introduction before clicking through the photographs, which can provide a sense of what the camps looked like. 2. The University of Arizona runs a wonderful series of online educational web resources called “Though our Parents’ Eyes,” which focuses on the history of Southern Arizona and is designed for middle and high school students. Their page on the Arizona Japanese internment camps is a great place to get an understanding of the history of the two camps. 3. The Wikipedia pages for the two individual Japanese internment camps in Arizona offer some clear photographs and brief information on them. Her is the page for the Poston camp, and the page for the Gila River camp. If you are hoping to use any of this information for a school project, I recommend asking your teacher before citing the Wikipedia articles, as they are communally edited. That said, they are a great place to start on big topics like this. 4. Densho, the Japanese American Legacy Project offers a web page titled “Japanese American Incarceration: The Core Story,” which offers an overview of Japanese internment during WWII. The site covers the whole topic, rather than history specific to Arizona. One benefit of Densho’s website is that it is media rich, offering videos and pictures, as well as text. Thanks again for this question. If you have any questions about the sources that I’ve included in this message, please feel free to reach out again. This is a big topic and I admire both your curiosity and the effort that you’re putting in to learn.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

In William Golding's "Lord of the Flies," what is the inciting incident that leads to the situation that propels the book's narrative? Is the incident realistic? Does it matter?

Inactive
Jason H.
Answer:

In the literal action of the novel, the plane crash that leads to the children being stuck on a tropical island is the primary inciting incident, though readers can point to other early points in the novel as potential inciting incidents. The plane crash, though, is what strands the children together on the island and propels them into the action of the story. Realism here, the question of whether such a plane full of children would have existed or whether only they would have survived a crash, might not matter too much. The book is largely be an extended allegory and as such it's realism only needs to help readers suspend their disbelief enough to get into the story. For most readers (and probably for Golding) it likely doesn't matter if the inciting incident is realistic.

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