Tutor profile: Elizabeth M.
Subject: Library and Information Science
I need to find three sources of information about glaciers melting. Can you help me?
You can access our databases online from home. After you log in to the library site, click on the Databases tab. You can either sort by subject matter (Natural Sciences might be appropriate in this case) and choose one or more of the suggested databases to search. Alternatively, you could choose a large, general database such as Academic Search Complete from EBSCO or Academic OneFile from Gale to search. EBSCO and Gale are arranged slightly differently, but each will provide many journal articles on your topic for you to use. Whichever database(s) you choose, you can use the filters provided (i.e., publication date, full-text, etc.) to narrow your search terms to home in on what you're looking for. A really great feature of these databases is a link to the citation for the article in whichever format your instructor requires (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). Please let us know if we can be of further help.
Subject: English as a Second Language
I don't understand what "used to" means. I hear it but it doesn't always seem to mean the same thing every time. How is it used?
"Used to" is an idiom, and you're correct! It can actually be used in more than one way. If someone says, "I used to live in New York, but now I live in Los Angeles," it means that sometime in the past the person lived in New York, but doesn't live there anymore. If someone says, "I have my learner's permit, but I'm not used to driving yet," it means that the person doesn't feel comfortable or competent while driving yet. Usually, it can be fairly easy to tell which the person means by paying attention to the rest of the sentence, but it can indeed be difficult sometimes.
When should I use effect and when should I use affect?
This difference can be difficult to understand, but the easiest way to know which term is appropriate is by the part of speech required. If you need a verb, then affect (meaning "to cause" or "to influence") is the correct one. For example, "The storm is affecting my ability to get to class on time." If you need a noun, then effect (meaning "result" or "impact") is usually (but not always!) the correct one. For example, "The worst effect of the storm was flooding, which prevented me from traveling from home to school."
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