Tutor profile: James B.
What are some of the most important aspects of a piece of good writing?
I would say that all good writing should strive for clarity. This means several things. First, it is important for writing to have clarity of meaning, which often manifests in a focused and achievable thesis statement. It is also important for writing to have clarity in organization, which is often achieved through unified paragraphs and focused topic sentences. Finally, it is important for writing to pursuit grammatical clarity, which means that--due to good grammar--the reader is able to understand each and every sentence without confusion.
What is the significance of the White Whale in Herman Melville's 1851 novel, Moby-Dick?
Melville intends for the White Whale to represent a number of different (and seemingly contradictory) things over the course of his novel. Most crucially to the plot of the novel, it represents a physical embodiment of injustice and unfulfilled revenge for Captain Ahab, who spends the novel ruthlessly hunting it. For the narrator Ishmael, the White Whale represents aesthetic absence and the inscrutability of the universe's meaning. Finally, the Whale is also heavily implied to represent the powerful and unconquerable forces of nature and reality, none of which man will ever be able to fully conquer.
Why is it important for me to study English?
The study of English develops several skills that are crucial to success in modern society. Namely, thinking critically about the meaning of literary texts develops one's ability to solve complex problems. Further, it requires one to use communication skills--such as reading, writing, and discussing--to advance those ideas and solutions out into the world. Finally, reading great literature develops empathy and moral reasoning, as it spurs people to be more thoughtful and constructive members of society by forcing them to encounter ideas and perspectives that are not their own.
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