Tutor profile: Corinne M.
What is passive voice?
Passive voice is a grammatical construction through which the object of an action becomes the subject of a sentence. For example, an active construction would be: I read the book. In this sentence, "I" is the "doer" of the verb, and therefore takes the position of the subject. A passive construction of the same sentence would be: The book is read by me. In this sentence, an action happens to the "book." "Book" takes the subject position, though it is not the actor. Passive constructions will always include a form of the verb "to be." While passive voice is not grammatically incorrect, academics often view it as stylistically awkward because it can cause a lack of clarity and create less persuasive writing by limiting effective, engaging phrases and agency in sentences.
Subject: Study Skills
What steps do you take when reading an assigned textbook chapter for homework?
I begin by skimming the chapter for major themes (chapter headings), timelines, and tables and graphs. As I read, I make sure I have a notebook, pen, and highlighters handy to make sure I make note of important concepts and terminology and record questions for class discussion or to ask a professor for clarification. When I come across important new terms, I either highlight them or, after finishing the reading, create hand-written flashcards. I support hand-writing notes and flashcards, rather than typing on a laptop, because of the benefits in actively engaging with the material.
Subject: Art History
In his seminal essay, “The Modern Cult of Monuments” (1903), Alois Riegl discusses the principles of value that ought to be considered before cultural heritage is restored, including age value, historical value, and newness value. How does he define these principles?
Riegl differentiates between “unintentional” and “intentional” monuments. Unintentional monuments often have historical value, meaning that they testify to specific moments in human development and activity. The more faithfully a monument is preserved in its original state, the greater its historical value. Monuments with age value are also unintentional. These trigger in a viewer a sense of the life cycle of the monument, thus invoking an emotional response. These monuments should not be restored, but conserved in their present state. In comparison, intentional monuments with newness value are respected for their appeal to the current ideal of beauty held within a specific time period, and must be preserved in order to avoid the decay of form or color.
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