Tutor profile: Phoebe L.
When studying for the SAT it is most important to study the material; if you know your stuff, the structure of the test doesn't matter as much.
This is not the case! Understanding the structure of the SAT - how the test is timed, how long you have between breaks, whether or not you are penalized for wrong answers, and other key structural elements of the exam - are key to preparing for your big day. Do not skimp on this part of the exam. It's important to know your material, of course; but if you miss the opportunity to answer questions because you lost track of time, your knowledge will only go so far.
True or False: When writing a literary essay, the concluding paragraph should restate the opening thesis or argument. and wrap up the argument neatly.
Both. This is a trick question! Engaging and well-thought out essays reflect on the original thesis at hand, while continuing to push the development of your ideas even further. An effective essay should offer parting thoughts on further opportunities for research or ideas for consideration; think of your essay as part of an ongoing conversation about the topic, rather than an island of thought.
"The letter was written" What is wrong with this phrase, and what changes would you propose to it?
"The letter was written" is in the passive voice. Passive voice is when the noun being acted upon is made the subject of the sentence - in this case, "the letter" is the noun, but is now the subject of the sentence; the letter is receiving the act of writing. In this passive voice the whole phrase sounds, well, dull and lethargic. When writing an academic paper, (or writing a cover letter or application!) be sure to avoid the passive tense when possible. Active verbs are more dynamic, engaging and are much more likely to pep up your paragraph. Without the individual doing the writing identified as the subject, it's hard to rephrase the sentence as it is. However, let's say you did the writing. Here is the phrase, edited: "I wrote the letter." See how clear the subject, verb and noun are? We can see who did the writing (you), what the action was (writing) and what the writing was performed upon (the letter).
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