Tutor profile: Kimberly D.
What is the role of "voice" in writing?
Think of voice as the personality conveyed when writing. Voice is usually dictated by the audience and purpose of the message. If we know who we are writing to and what we want to accomplish by sending a message, the voice is easier to determine. Writing a personal letter to a friend is much different than communication with an employer. Whereas writing to a friend is typically informal, communication with an employer mostly will be formal. Voice also refers to "person" in communication. First person employs the personal pronouns I, me, we, our. Second person primarily uses you and your. Third person is the most formal voice, using he, she, it, they, avoiding any personal pronouns.
How does one determine the theme of a literary work?
Think of "theme" as the overall message an author wants the reader to understand. A literary work can have both major and minor themes. Think of the major theme as the big idea; minor themes are supplemental ideas that can be sprinkled throughout the work. Take, for instance, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Most would believe that the major theme (or big idea) would be the power of love as no matter the obstacle, the lovers find a way to be together (unfortunately in death). Another theme (minor) would most definitely be the concept of the individual versus society. Individually the lovers simply want to be together, however, this is in conflict with the society in which they live that demands they be apart. Other minor themes could be fate and youth.
How is a semicolon properly utilized in a sentence?
Most writers use a semicolon (;) to join two independent clauses where no conjunction (i.e. and or but) is present. Example: I went to school on Monday. I forgot it was a holiday. Join with a semicolon: I went to school on Monday; I forgot it was a holiday. Alternate structure with conjunctive adverb: I went to school on Monday; however, I forgot it was a holiday. Another use for a semicolon is in a serial list of items. Example: In the past five years, I have visited the following cities: Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; Orlando, Florida; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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