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Tutor profile: Ana M.

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Ana M.
English Tutor and Writing Coach
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

I have a hard time getting started on my essays. Right now I have to write an essay for my Gender Studies class. I want to talk about social media influencers and how they shape our ideas of beauty. My thesis goes something like this: Because beauty influencers on social media show what appears to be their daily life, people who follow them feel more pressure to look beautiful all the time. I have some research already, but honestly, I can't organize my thoughts. Help?

Inactive
Ana M.
Answer:

That's a very interesting topic! Don't worry, many people struggle with writing a first draft. I would recommend actually, not trying to write a draft at all. Instead start with your thesis (which is pretty strong already) and then create a detailed outline. No need for Roman numerals, by the way! You can make your outline look the way YOU want it to look. Don't worry about writing in complete sentences, just bullet things out first. And really, keep going with your outline for as long as you can, until you feel that you made all of your key points and maybe even have an idea about your conclusion. Then, you can start putting your sentences together. Give it a try and see how it goes. I would start on paper and not worry about how messy it gets.

Subject: Study Skills

TutorMe
Question:

I'm so tired. I spent five hours straight studying for my US History exam last night and I still got a D! I work so hard and put in so much time, but it never seems to pay off!

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Ana M.
Answer:

I'm so sorry to hear! Of course, it's so frustrating when you work for something so hard and it doesn't seem like the work is paying off. The good news is, some pretty small adjustments can make a big difference. In this case, you may actually need to spend LESS time studying, and instead focus more on the quality of your sessions. Two things that could work is time-blocking and timing. Here's how it works: Get a calendar (I like to use Google calendars but you can use a paper planner) and block out an hour at a time to study ONE specific thing. So maybe it's remembering all the different battles during Civil War for your US History class. During this hour, you're only going to focus on this one thing, nothing else. Then when the time comes, set a timer for 25 minutes and give it your all. After the timer is up, take a five-minute break and repeat three more times. By getting in quality focus time you should be able to accomplish more in less time. I know that sounds odd, but give it a try. Let's pull up a sample calendar and see how we can schedule out your study sessions.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

I have to write an essay about Hamlet for my English class. Here's my thesis: Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, is very upset that his uncle married his mother and suspects that he also killed his father; he decides to get revenge. My teacher told me that it's not a thesis, but I don't know why.

Inactive
Ana M.
Answer:

Let's take a step back for a second and talk about thesis statements in general. Thesis statements are usually one sentence and present some kind of argument. The rest of the essay is used to provide evidence for that argument. Does that make sense? If we look at your current thesis, how does it line up? It's a single sentence, which is great! But if you look carefully at your thesis, you're actually summarizing the plot. Think about it this way: would anyone disagree that Hamlet is upset about his uncle marrying his mother and being suspicious and revengeful? In this case, probably not. So this may be the reason why your teacher said that your current thesis doesn't quite work. We need to go back and find a stance you can take and argue for in your thesis. Let's chat about the play for a little bit and see if we can find an argument you're interested in exploring.

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