Tutor profile: Taylor W.
Help! I'm half a page over my word limit and if I cut any paragraphs, I won't be covering all the things I need to cover! How can I decrease my word count?
This is a problem every student faces at some point. If you don't think you can cut any of the "meat" of your essay, try focusing on individual sentence structure instead. Here's an example: Original: "In chapter 4, we observed that Lily went down to her favorite fountain to gather water. When the water turned black while she was there, it served to foreshadow the great destruction that was doomed to descend upon the land. Pared down: "In chapter 4, the blackening of the water in Lily's favorite fountain foreshadowed the destruction to come." Not to say that you have to do this to every single sentence, but if there are places where you can remove details or combine sentences and still get your point across, do it. With practice, you should be able to cut your word count down pretty significantly!
Subject: Study Skills
I have an exam coming up, and a big portion of it will be based on memorization of terms. How the heck can I be expected to remember fifty terms and their definitions, especially if I'm not good at memorization?
Oh man, I understand this struggle. I hate memorization with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. If flashcards work for you, that's a great place to start - there are plenty of online platforms if you don't have physical notecards to write on. If they don't work for you, I have a couple of suggestions, depending on the type of learner you are. If you learn by doing, write the term and its definition out (by hand if you can) over and over and over again in your notebook. Don't worry if it looks messy - the point is that eventually, it will stick in your brain similar to muscle memory. Saying the words out loud as you write them may also help. If the terms are related, try explaining (to yourself or to a friend) how they're related to each other - this will help build a map of the terms in your mind, like you're writing a story with characters. If you're a visual learner, it may help to draw a diagram connecting the terms to each other, or to draw a picture/symbol for each word (so when you see it on the exam, it'll trigger your memory of the image). Lastly, assuming you're not doing all this the night before: break it up over the course of a few days, and do a quick once-over of your finished flashcards/notes/etc. each night before you go to bed. Information sinks in best overnight!
Subject: College Admissions
What are three qualities that any college admissions essay should be sure to have?
A solid college admissions essay should have a strong sense of purpose, demonstrate self-awareness, and give examples of personal growth.
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