Tutor profile: Chad D.
How do I find peer-reviewed articles for my research topic/question?
Peer-reviewed articles are often required for higher-level research papers. Most students turn to Google Scholar to find these sources, but this search engine is often more frustrating than it is helpful because most of the articles are hidden behind paywalls. In other words, you can easily find something pertaining to your topic, but you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket to read it. Thankfully, your school’s library likely has paid subscriptions to academic databases that can help you find what you need. Here are a few databases that my students can access through my school’s portal, Mackinvia: • ESCOhost • Gale PowerSearch • Gale Opposing Viewpoints Use the “Advanced Search” function within each database to narrow your results to peer-reviewed journals within the last five to ten years. As your tutor, I would guide you through this process and provide suggestions for how to adjust your search parameters until you find what you need.
Example prompt: How does Ray Bradbury use story elements and/or literary techniques in "The Pedestrian" to develop the meaning of the work as a whole (theme)?
This prompt is written in the style of an AP Literature question, but it could be asked in any English or literature course. I recommend approaching a question like this with something called the STAT process. This adaptable framework allows you to see the unity of the work as a whole by focusing on four things: Story, Techniques, Analysis, and Theme. My role as a tutor would be to explain how these four elements work together in any piece of literature. However, I also understand that every teacher/professor has his/her own preferences for how to approach literary analysis. In a situation where there are clear parameters set by the instructor, my role would be coaching you through the assignment's rubric and directions. --- Here is an example literary analysis paragraph I wrote for my Pre-AP English 2 class (grade 10) using the STAT process: The contrast between the lifeless aspects of the city and the vibrant descriptions of Leonard Mead and his home represent how his actions are radical. These contrasting descriptions illustrate that even if a person’s behavior is seemingly harmless, society will not tolerate his/her actions if they threaten to disrupt the status quo. Bradbury uses images and phrases related to death whenever he mentions the homes on the empty street, comparing Mead’s stroll past them like “walking through a graveyard.” The people themselves “sat like the dead, the . . . lights touching their faces, but never really touching them.” In contrast to these lifeless, numb citizens unaffected by their environment, Mead engages the world and experiences a range of physical sensations, such inhaling air that “cut the nose and made the lungs blaze.” Mead’s engagement with the world is further evidenced by his home with “its electric lights brightly lit, every window a loud yellow illumination.” Mead is taken away for violating the norms of his society, but the underlying fear behind this punishment is that he will somehow cause chaos with his actions, just as the light disrupts the tranquil darkness. The dull existence of the citizens may seem horrific to the reader since they are unaffected by the world, but it’s preferred by the citizens themselves because it preserves peace and prevents pain. The retaliation against Mead illustrates how society resists change--even if it could improve the well-being of its people--if it can potentially change the way things are.
How do I correctly punctuate a sentence that has the word "however"?
The way you punctuate the word "however" depends on its usage in the sentence. There are three ways the word "however" is typically used: (1) Use "however" at the beginning of a sentence to indicate contrast: Use a comma after "however" when it begins a sentence that indicates a contrast with the idea that precedes it. (Ex: "My opponent has focused on the economic inequality as the primary problem we're facing. However, I believe there are more significant issues that should be considered.") (2) Use "however" within a sentence to indicate contrast: Set off the word "however" with commas to indicate a contrast with the idea that precedes it. (Ex: "The mother told her son it was time to go. The boy, however, had other ideas.") (3) Use "however" to mean "to some extent": Do NOT use a comma before or after "however" when it is used to mean "to some extent." (Ex: "However tired you might be at the end of the race, don't stop until you cross the finish line.)
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