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Tutor profile: Sara W.

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Sara W.
High School Librarian + English teacher
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

Why should someone have a research question before developing a thesis?

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Sara W.
Answer:

A research question identifies a subtopic within the area that you are investigating - it guides your research. For example, if I am researching World War I, then I might be interested in how horses were used in the battlefield. My research question would then be: how were horses used in WWI? After researching to find the answer to that question, I could focus on developing my thesis, which is a statement that I can prove or disprove in my paper. My thesis could look like: Horses were invaluable to the early advancements of soldiers and supplies in WWI, but that all changed with the introduction of the tank.

Subject: Library and Information Science

TutorMe
Question:

How do you find reliable information online?

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Sara W.
Answer:

If you have access to databases provided by your school or public library, start there! Those resources have been extensively vetted and are very trustworthy. If you are out on the great wide internet, then make sure that you check to see who posted the information; if your source is biased versus if they are reporting more factual information; how recent the information is; and use common sense. If the story seems too good to be true, or the writing is too inflammatory or sensational, then check several other sources to see if they concur.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

Why do you think Douglas Adams wrote that the answer to the still-unknown "ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything" was 42?

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Sara W.
Answer:

I think that more than anything, he was trying to make light of the fact that people - whole civilizations - spend so much time and energy developing religion and philosophy, fighting among one another, and generally disagreeing that to have a quick answer (42) was an obvious solution to stop those arguments in their tracks. The genius of this answer is that nobody took the time to figure out the question.

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