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Tutor profile: Melissa B.

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Melissa B.
University instructor/English & Graduate Humanities
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

There are myriad ways to approach writing, but all of them are determined by the purpose of the writing - even if it is just free writing to determine a topic or subject. The worst assignment ever is "Formulate your own question and answer it." How would you respond to such a writing prompt?

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Melissa B.
Answer:

Although the initial response to something like this might be: "Formulate your own answer and grade it," there are several ways to answer this. If this kind of question is posed in reference to a piece of Literature - think of one thing that really struck you about the work - and start with the basics: find the literary element and focus on it by creating an outline with your point of view/thesis statement, supporting details, and conclusion. If this sort of prompt if given in a creative writing class - do whatever you want. Anything goes in most Creative Writing classes as long as you initially turn in something that can then be worked and reworked and molded into something. Remember: Write on!

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

When considering the basic literary elements of fiction as: plot, conflict, theme, character, setting, and resolution, how is it possible to differentiate between plot and theme?

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Melissa B.
Answer:

In most fiction the plot is a series of related events that create the story which is usually tangible. Whereas, the theme is a universal truth or underlying social message and is intangible - it can be experienced and is usually a learning experience for the reader presented through the events and actions of the plot.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

Using the material reviewed in class, what is the difference between a thesis statement and the main ideas in a basic essay, and why is it important to have them each identifiable in this kind of writing?

Inactive
Melissa B.
Answer:

Every essay should have only one thesis statement. It is usually found near the end of the opening paragraph. This statement tells the reader the direction of the paper and how you plan to interpret the information. It can answer a question, make an argument or explain a problem. Whereas, the main ideas are at the beginning of every paragraph and clearly express a main idea at the beginning, and possibly again at the end in support of the thesis statement. The first main idea is mandatory and gives your reader a clear idea of what that paragraph discusses. The main idea at the end is optional and can sum up the paragraph, provide a transition to the next paragraph, or both - always is support of your thesis statement.

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