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Tutor profile: Curtis B.

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Curtis B.
University Writing Instructor to Help with Papers
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

I am supposed to revise my paper and improve my thesis statement. What is this? How do I improve it.

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Curtis B.
Answer:

Your thesis statement is a claim made that outlines your paper. It is traditionally found at the end of the first paragraph in a standard five paragraph essay. As a claim it must take a position. Coke is better than Pepsi... It must also outline the points in the paper. Coke is better than Pepsi because it has more fizz, better taste, and comes in more varieties. One would expect the paper to address fizz, taste, and varieties.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

My teacher keeps talking about the plot diagram. I don't understand conflict. What is it?

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Curtis B.
Answer:

Conflict is the disruption of the natural state of things presented in the story as the basic situation or expository information. The disruption can come from another person, from the protagonist's (main character) mind, or an outside force. These are often referred to as Man vs. Man, Man vs. Self, and Man vs. Nature (the world). A story can and often does have multiple conflicts. If the basic situation is that you normally sit in class as the teacher instructs, a classmate walking in the door and throwing water balloons is probably a conflict. There can be a Man vs. Man conflict between the balloon-tossing student and the teacher, a Man vs. Self conflict between the balloon-tossing student and his own mind (should he do it? should he continue?), or a Man vs. Nature conflict between the balloon-tossing student and societal pressures.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

Should I use "except" or "accept" in the following sentence? Everyone was allowed to play the game ______ for James.

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Curtis B.
Answer:

In this case, you would use "except." "Except" means to exclude while "accept" means to regard favorably. A great trick to remember this is to make an "X" with your arms across your chest. This body language seems to exclude and helps you to remember the word with the "X" is the one that excludes.

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