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Tutor profile: Alyssa H.

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Alyssa H.
Private Music Instructor
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What is the form of an effective paragraph?

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Alyssa H.
Answer:

Effective paragraphs need to start with a topic sentence that is clear, concise, and attention grabbing for the reader. This sentence should present a different point that gives direction to the paragraph, but also supports the overall topic of the paper. After establishing the body paragraph's topic sentence, come up with three to five points to back up the claim made in the first sentence. These points can be quotations, facts, examples, short anecdotes, or anything adding to the objective of the paragraph. Typically, paragraphs should be anywhere from three to eight sentences depending on the length of the paper. Important guidelines to follow when writing are unity, organization, coherence, and completeness. Paragraphs must have a sense of togetherness, both with themselves and the rest of the paper. The reader needs to see the flow of the arguments being made and understand how they fit together in their organization and unity, grasping the topic with ease. Using transition words help with the coherence of the paragraph, creating bridges between sentences. Additionally, make sure to avoid excessive or irrelevant details that do not add to the information being presented. Finally, completeness is when there is a topic sentence, at least three supporting sentences, and a conclusion to tie it all together. When writing, the most important questions to ask yourself are, "Is my paper clearly conveying the point I am trying to make," "Will the reader easily be able to understand my argument and why I am making it," and "Does this paper/paragraph/sentence grab the attention of my audience?" Following these guidelines will help set you up for success when writing!

Subject: Music

TutorMe
Question:

How did the changes between WWI and WWII effect music and artistic movements?

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Alyssa H.
Answer:

The end of WWI left people disillusioned and disheartened due to the extraordinary loss of life to modern warfare. New advancements is wartime technologies, such as artillery and poisonous gas, resulted in millions dead, families broken, and people searching for answers. This led to a new era of music that reflected a more experimental version of classical composing. These movements include neoclassicism, expressionism, futurism, post-modernism, and Dadaism. What most of these movements have in common is the breaking away from tonality and traditional methods of creating music. Composers like Schoenberg, Berg, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev were some of the major composers leading these movements. Most notable, is Schoenberg's refinement of the creation of the twelve-tone scale. This technique ensures the use of all twelve notes in the chromatic scale in one piece of music and never landing on one key. There is never emphasis on one single note, meaning that they are all used equally within the piece. This results in the inability to pinpoint a specific tonal center, creating a disjointed and seemingly unconnected piece of music. Throughout music history, the modification or breaking of tradition is how all movements have started. However, none are more clearly separate and dramatic than the movements stemming from the World Wars. The despair felt across the world, the industrial changes, and the new roles people took on greatly impacted how people created and expressed their music.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

What are the differences between homonyms, homophones, and homographs?

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Alyssa H.
Answer:

Homonyms are words that are spelled and pronounced the same but have different meanings. For instance, the words "lead" (to be in charge of a group) and "lead" (the metal) sound and are spelled the same, however they have two very different meanings. Similarly, homophones are like homonyms in that they are pronounced the same, but they do not have to share the same spelling. An example would be the words "there" and "their." While they both sound the same, the former is in reference to a place, and the latter is in reference to a group of people. Homographs, on the other hand, are spelled alike, but they have different meanings and may also have different pronunciations. The words "bass" (the instrument) and "bass" (the fish) are spelled the same but sound different and have different meanings. A way to remember this, is by thinking of the homonym as an umbrella for homophones and homographs, covering all the requirements for having the same spelling, pronunciation, and different meanings. Homophones and graphs are offshoots of the homonym. Additionally, -phone comes from the Greek word meaning "voice," and -graph means "drawn or written." Remembering the Greek words can help you remember that homophones sound the same, and homographs are spelled the same. I remember by holding my hand up to my ear, like a phone, and saying the word out loud to trigger my memory. Likewise, I pretend to draw as I say "homograph" to help me remember that homographs have the same spelling.

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