Tutor profile: Katherine Z.
How do you get over writer's block?
Take whatever you are writing about, and write down everything you know about it. No organizing, no grammar, just write it all out. Structure can come later. If that doesn't work, try to END the paper. What do you want the reader to get out of this? What points should they be thinking of after reading it? Sometimes working the structure backwards will help knock out that block.
I'm stuck on figuring out how to elaborate on the themes for Edgar Allen Poe's Telltale Heart. Guy confesses to murder. What else is there? And what is with that dude's eye?
This is one of my favorites! The depth and layering of the reasoning in this piece makes it exceptionally fun to unravel as what this really is, in simplest terms, is we have a man who is mad. This mad man seeks to convince the reader that he is not mad but very logical and clever. For whatever reason, this crazy guy is obsessed and disturbed by the landlord's diseased eye. This becomes a motivator to the murder because, as the psycho reminds us over and over, he doesn't want to kill the MAN so much as he needs to kill the EYE. The overall message of this story deals with guilt and how it will override evil and bring it to light. That is a very brief review. But we can go much further in analyzing and backing it up with direct quotes and make it a killer analysis! (Pun intended) :)
What is the oxford comma?
The best example I've ever seen to illustrate this is in a sentence: The unicorns, Washington and Lincoln came to breakfast. (This sounds like the unicorns are named Washington and Lincoln. But we want to say that there are three different attendees: the unicorns, President Washington, and President Lincoln.) The Oxford Comma would have it say: The unicorns, Washington, and Lincoln came to breakfast.