Tutor profile: Danielle A.
How do I study for the LSAT, should I just take practice tests until I get a good score?
The short answer? No. Practicing for the LSAT is crucial and a big part of familiarizing yourself with the test, but that is not all you should do to prepare. In order to become a top scorer, your focus should be both on familiarizing yourself with LSAT questions AND understanding why LSAC asks those specific questions in those specific ways. For example, if you know what a Logic question is asking, then you know the best way to answer it. This is distinct from just answering the best you can. Emphasis should be placed on the questions just as much as it's placed on the correct answers.
What is "rhetoric" and why is it important to consider in every piece of writing?
Although rhetoric has had a plethora of definitions across the centuries, what I've settled on is "truth, plus its artful presentation." It can be misguided and misinformed sometimes, but in these cases it is not true rhetoric shining through. The aim of rhetoric is to impose a positive and moral manipulation onto the reader on behalf of the author. This is why it's crucial to every piece of writing you'll ever write--in any piece, fiction or nonfiction, your audience must be persuaded by you. Persuaded to listen, to accept your credibility, to be convinced in the validity of whatever world you've created. Without some ounce of underlying truth in writing, we will not be convinced. But without the knowledge of language and structure to artfully present that truth in the most engaging way possible, we will not be convinced even still.
Who was Jacques Derrida and what was his contribution to post-structuralist literary theory?
Jacques Derrida was a philosopher-turned literary critic whose primary contribution to literary theory was his "theory" of Deconstruction. Theory appears in quotes here because the very nature of Derrida's proposals were free-thinking and abstract--specifically not structured or "theorized." According to Derrida, Deconstruction is not a school of literary criticism but an activity one engages in over the course of reading a text. While his predecessors of thought, the Structuralists, focused on the binary oppositions of the world, Derrida's Deconstruction is one that focuses on who gets left out of those oppositions and why. His writings highlight the ways in which our base assumptions of the world are not natural, but constructed--and ultimately, wrong.
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