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Tutor profile: Rebecca C.

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Rebecca C.
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

I am writing a paper for my English class that requires us to write no more than 1,000 words on the topic. I have written the paper but it is well over 1,000 words. How can I edit my paper to be at, or under, the word count without losing the meaning in what I have written?

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Rebecca C.
Answer:

When we find we are over an assigned word count, it is very hard to go back and cut the words that we worked so hard to write. When needing to cut your word count, first read through your paper and take out extra words that are not needed to convey each sentence's meaning. This means cutting filler words, such as that, which, really, absolutely, etc. A sentence could go from "It goes without saying that times were very hard for those living in the United States during the Great Depression." to "Times were hard for those in the United States during the Great Depression." By cutting out the fluff of filler words, you are able to cut words without taking away the meaning from your sentence. After going through your paper sentence by sentence and cutting filler words, check your word count. If you are still over the word limit, read back through and make sure that you do not repeat the same point or thought over several sentences or within different sections of the paper. It has also been said that reading your paper backwards can help you be more concise with your finished product. I have found this technique to be a little tricky when working with my own writing, but I have heard from many of my colleagues that this technique works well for them.

Subject: Library and Information Science

TutorMe
Question:

I am working on a research paper for my History Class on the French Revolution, and I am looking for a scholarly article by Sarah Maza entitled "Politics, Culture, and the Origins of the French Revolution." I have been looking for an open access article but cannot find one. Can you help me find this source?

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Rebecca C.
Answer:

That sounds like a very interesting and rich topic for your research paper. After searching for this article, it appears that it is available through the JSTOR database which is usually subscribed to by many schools and universities. Sometimes you might be able to find articles on Google Scholar, but this article in particular was published by The University of Chicago Press, so it is not available for free outside of the journal subscriptions. Have you checked with your school library database to determine if they have access to JSTOR? If they do you should be able to search directly in their holdings of JSTOR articles. You may also receive access through your local public library with your library card.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

I am currently reading Macbeth in my English Class. The assignment I am working on requires us to identify symbols and themes, but the language is difficult to read and therefore hard to understand. Do you have any suggestions on how to read this play and approach this assignment?

Inactive
Rebecca C.
Answer:

First of all, Shakespeare can be a tricky author to read since it was written in Early Modern English, which in some ways is very different from how we use English today. When reading Shakespeare, try not to get distracted by the structure of the sentences and focus more on the meaning of the words. I find it always helps to read Shakespeare texts out loud as it helps to hear the plot and keeps you away from focusing on the text's structures and differences from our modern English. It is also a good idea to take brief notes as you go along so you can string together the plot, symbols, and themes that you see along the way once you have finished reading the play and begun preparing the assignment.

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