Tutor profile: Emily R.
Subject: Study Skills
How do I keep track of all my assignment due dates to make sure I turn them in on time?
First, you need a “big picture” way to track your assignments, like a calendar or a planner. As soon as you know of an assignment or project, write the due date down ON the day it is due. If you’re a high school or college student, you’ll often know the due dates of all assignments at the beginning of the year. It will benefit you greatly to take the time to write down ALL the due dates. As soon as you know the requirements for the assignment, sit down and write out a list of every task that needs to get done to finish the assignment. It can be as general or specific as you like, though the more specific will give you a better idea of how much time you need to complete the assignment. For example: ASSIGNMENT: 3-page paper on the Battle of the Bulge TO DO LIST: 1. Look up: what was the Battle of the Bulge? 2. Find 5 sources for paper 3. Read through source 1 4. Read through source 2 5. Read through source 3 6. Read through source 4 7. Read through source 5 8. Write Rough Draft of paper 9. Ask writing center/tutor to proofread 10. Polish to make Final Draft 11. Submit Assignment Now, work backward. Next to the last item, “Submit Assignment,” write the assignment’s due date. Then, based on how long each task will take you, give yourself a mini due date for each item. An item like “Read through source 1” might only take you an hour or less, so you can schedule multiple of those in a day, but “Write rough draft” might take you a couple days. This will help you manage your time so you can begin early enough and you won’t be stressing at the last minute!
Subject: Library and Information Science
How do I start looking for sources for a subject I know nothing about?
The first step is to get to know your subject on a surface level. Let’s say you’re doing a paper on the Battle of Gettysburg. Who was involved? When did it take place? What are the names of some of the military leaders? What are the specific names of major locations of the battle? Give yourself a general idea of the event or subject. If you’re 95% of students, you probably go to a Wikipedia page to read up on the matter, am I right? Well, while you’re there, check out the bottom part of the table of contents (or scroll to the bottom of the page). You will find headings such as “Notes” and/or “References” - these are citations from which the author(s) of the article got their information. They’re worth checking out! There might also be a “Further Reading” section, which gives you additional resources. Lastly, the “External Links” section provides sources outside of Wikipedia. When it’s an entry on a historical event, these links often provide primary sources (which are gold when it comes to any subject matter). While I would never recommend citing a Wikipedia entry in your paper - any information you get from there should be checked against additional sources - it’s a good place to begin! Once you have names, places, dates, or other keywords pertaining to your subject, try searching through Google Scholar or JSTOR to find free scholarly articles. This will get you started!
Subject: Film and Theater
Why did original audiences view the film "Casablanca" as a political allegory for the United States' involvement in WWII?
Released in 1942, with the attack on Pearl Harbor fresh on the minds of American audiences, the protagonist Rick Blaine says the line, “If it’s December 1941 in Casablanca, what time is it in New York?…I bet they’re asleep in New York. I bet they’re asleep all over America.” The attack on Pearl Harbor, which happened in December 1941, changed the course of American history, awakening the nation from political neutrality and thrust it into WWII. “Casablanca” tells the story of a similar awakening. Rick Blaine is a cyclical bar owner, who only drinks by himself and doesn’t care about politics, even going so far to say, “I stick my neck out for nobody,” mirroring the American Isolationism of the 1930’s and early 1940’s. His change is prompted by the appearance of Ilsa, unexpected and devastating. Once he overcomes his initial pain, his moral sense is reignited. While he doesn’t live happily ever after, he accepts the necessity of his sacrifice and the heartbreak that comes with it. The attack on Pearl Harbor was unexpected and devastating, and after the U.S. overcame the initial shock and pain, the recruitment centers had lines out the block. Much like Rick, the U.S. committed to the anti-Nazi war effort and accepted the necessary sacrifices. The film also features several characters representing their nation’s role in the war. Characters who support the anti-Nazi underground are from nations that resisted German rule, such as Sascha the bartender (Russia) and Berger and Ilsa (Norway). Victor Laszlo, from Czechoslovakia (Germany’s first expansionist move) knows first hand of the Nazi’s cruelty before anyone else. The Italian characters, Ugarte (a criminal), and Ferrari (a black market schemer), represent Italy, not worthy of admiration, however not as cruel or ruthless as Major Strausser, the archetypal Nazi villain. The French Captain Renault begins as a pro-Vichy Nazi appeaser, and ends up a partisan of Free France. Even the title of the film, “Casablanca,” while being a real city in Morocco to which refugees fled during WWII, translates to ‘white house,’ with Rick possibly representing a reluctant President Roosevelt, who finally commits America to the war.
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