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Tutor profile: Mary A.

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Mary A.
Library professional of 10 years
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What elements are important to include in an introduction to a paper?

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Mary A.
Answer:

The introduction of your research paper is your chance to preview what you will speak about and to let your reader know what to expect. You should start with a short summary of the issue about which you will write, setting the stage for your paper and introducing the essential information that your reader will need to know to understand your position. The most important part of an introduction is your thesis statement, which is one or two sentences that concisely states your position. The thesis should include your opinion about the topic and be an opinion that someone else could argue from the other side. Finally, the introduction should end with a preview of how you will go about proving your argument, clearly outlining for the reader what they can expect to see in the subsequent paragraphs.

Subject: Library and Information Science

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Question:

How do you go about assessing a website source for a research paper and determining if it is valid?

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Mary A.
Answer:

When writing a research paper, it is important to ensure that your sources are valid and well-regarded and, if they are coming from a biased perspective, to acknowledge that in your writing. One way to go about doing this sounds silly, but is actually a very handy acronym called the CRAP test, which stands for Currency, Reliability, Authority, and Purpose/Point of View. When you are considering a website source for inclusion as evidence in your research paper, you should look at each of these elements to determine if you can include it. Currency applies to how recent the information was published. This is most important when you are researching current affairs, but can also be critical when writing about a topic that is evolving constantly. For example, if you are writing about something related to climate change, citing a source from the 1970s, or even the early 2000s, could lead you to taking for fact something that has been proven to be incorrect in the interim. Reliability is a bit trickier, since it requires you to make a judgment of the source. Some things to ask yourself include: Does the author of this source cite other sources to back up their claims? Is the author stating mostly opinion or mostly facts? The next step in the CRAP test is the authority of the source. Does the author have well-recognized credentials (e.g. a professor at a well-regarded university or a position of authority in the government)? Is the source published in a peer-reviewed journal where other highly-regarded researchers are vetting the merits of the source? Finally, you want to look at the purpose or point of view of the source. One to be particularly aware of is if the author of the source is trying to sell you something, or to convince you of their perspective through mostly opinion-based information. Using all of these measurements can help you to assess whether or not to include a source in your research paper.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

What are the main elements of a story?

Inactive
Mary A.
Answer:

When we discuss a story, whether it is a short story or a longer piece of writing, it is important to look at certain elements to understand the author's meaning. The main elements of a story that we discuss, for example, in an English class are plot, character, theme, conflict, setting, tone, style, and narrator (or point of view).

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