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Tutor profile: Andrew T.

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Andrew T.
Chartered Librarian with eight years experience supporting university students and researchers
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

I do not understand the difference between a colon and a semicolon. Please can you explain what they are and give an example of how they are used?

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Andrew T.
Answer:

A colon (:) and semicolon (;) serve different purposes and cannot be used interchangeably. A colon is used to draw attention to the text that follows (e.g., The course includes the following subjects: Art, Literature, and Music). One of the purposes of a semicolon (;) is to indicate that two independent clauses (clauses that can function as complete sentences on their own) are related (e.g., The children played outside in the rain; hence, they caught a cold).

Subject: Study Skills

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Question:

I am writing an essay and am struggling to concentrate because I'm so tired. In fact, I was so tired yesterday that I only wrote a hundred words and they weren't very good. Is there anything I can do to be less tired and more productive?

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Andrew T.
Answer:

Tiredness is a common issue when studying, particularly if you have a deadline looming. However, there are a number of things you can do to improve your productivity, as well as the quality of your work. Three top tips are: 1. Find the time of day that suits you. Some people are early birds, some people are night owls. If you find you do your best work in the morning, work in the morning and do something else for the rest of the day (see tip 3!). It is counterproductive to work late into the night if you know this is not when you are at your best; furthermore, you will make yourself tired and impact your productivity in the morning, the time when you should be doing your best work. 2. Take regular breaks. Research has shown that taking regular breaks increases productivity. There are different approaches you can take, such as taking a 15-minute break for every hour that you work, or you may prefer to take shorter five-minute breaks - enough time to make a cup of coffee - and then have a longer break after two or three hours, say 30-45 minutes, long enough to eat some lunch. However you choose to do this, taking regular breaks will prevent you from getting tired and protect the quality of your work. 3. Switch off and take care of yourself. It is sometimes easy to neglect self-care when you are in the midst of writing an assignment. However, it is crucial that you look after yourself by eating healthily, getting enough sleep, and exercising. If you are someone who works only in the morning, put your work away for the afternoon and do something completely different, such as cooking a meal, going for a bike ride, or even taking a nap. If you are building regularly breaks into your work schedule, fill them with activities that take you away from your work, for example, go for a short walk or read a few pages of a trashy novel.

Subject: Library and Information Science

TutorMe
Question:

I am trying to find the below article for my English Language dissertation: Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective contact. Nervous child, 2(3), 217-250. I have searched my library's databases, but it wasn't there. Is there anywhere else I can look?

Inactive
Andrew T.
Answer:

Even if an article isn’t available in any of your library’s subscribed databases, there are still ways that you can access it. These are:- 1. Search for the article online using Google Scholar. Occasionally, articles are freely available online, and you can search for these using Google Scholar (scholar.google.com). 2. Use the your library's interlibrary loan service to receive a photocopy of the article from another library. There is usually a small cost for this service. 3. Search WorldCat to see if a nearby library has a print copy of the journal. If so, you could apply to be a visitor and gain access to the library, in order to read the journal article. In this case, however, I am happy to say that the article is freely available online through Google Scholar. To find it, simply search using the title of the article in double-inverted commas ("Autistic disturbances of affective contact"), then click on the PDF link on the right-hand side. This technique is called phrase searching and allows you to search for your chosen words in the order you write them. It's also a quick way to find an article in Google Scholar.

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