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Tutor profile: Ciaran C.

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Ciaran C.
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Questions

Subject: Writing

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Question:

How can I get the most out of my sources before writing a paper?

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Ciaran C.
Answer:

Finding and reading your sources can seem overwhelming at first. There are a many ways to find reputable sources. Your institution's library is always a good place to start, and staff are usually able to point you in the right direction if you're not sure where to look. If you only need certain chapters of books, you can scan them or take photos of the pages for print and return the book to the library as soon as you are done. If you would rather find your sources online, I would highly recommend scrolling to the bottom of a Wikipedia article on your topic and reviewing their sources. Wikipedia used to be frowned upon, but many professors are now encouraging this method of finding sources. Online databases are also incredibly helpful, though you may not always be able to find your desired article for free. If this is the case, it often helps to copy-paste the title of the article into a search engine. There may be other websites that will provide you with a pdf for free, especially if the paper is at least ten years old. Always print out your sources so you can annotate them. Highlighting and taking notes on the source material allows you to interact with the text in real time, and you might have an easier time remembering key points or passages from the source material. Annotating also allows you to break down and process information at your own pace. When you're done taking notes, I would highly recommend creating an annotated bibliography. This will allow you to copy all of your notes and quotations from every source onto one document so you don't have to flip pages or remember which information is from which source. You don't have to properly cite your sources at this stage, although taking the time to create citations now will prevent you from having to do it when you are finished with the paper. Once you are finished with the annotated bib, you can create an outline for the paper and simply plug source information wherever you wish. Though there are many steps to this process, it is relatively stress-free and allows you to synthesize your sources in a more digestible way.

Subject: Earth Science

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Question:

Why are there different grades of metamorphic rocks?

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Ciaran C.
Answer:

The formation of metamorphic rocks largely depends on two factors: Pressure and temperature. A rock that is metamorphosed under low pressure and temperature conditions is considered a low grade metamorphic rock, while a rock that is buried deep within the Earth is more likely to undergo higher pressures and temperatures. Low-grade metamorphic rocks generally have a melted or "baked" look to them, as if someone stuck them in an oven on high heat for a few hours (which is not that far off from the truth). Their original minerals are generally recognizable, though a few may have recrystallized into minerals that only occur during metamorphism. High grade metamorphic rocks are heavily crystallized and can be harder to discern from igneous rocks for that reason. It is a good idea to familiarize oneself with common types of metamorphic rocks to negate confusion.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

How should you structure an English paper?

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Ciaran C.
Answer:

Always start an English paper with a succinct but detailed introduction to familiarize your reader with the subject at hand. Your thesis statement should be the last sentence of the introductory paragraph, and it should provide a general outline for the rest of the paper as well as three assertions. These assertions about the topic should be unique, displaying your analytical abilities, and they should be debatable: No one wants to read a paper that states the obvious. For a paper that is longer than five pages, you might want to consider adding more assertions or creating sub-assertions that fit under the original three. Each paragraph should stand well on its own and should start with a clear transition sentence to elucidate the relevance between the assertion of the new paragraph and the previous one . A reader should be able to read any paragraph at random and gain a general sense of the topic at hand. The conclusion paragraph should summarize the three assertions explained within the paper and emphasize the relationship they share to the topic. No new information should be added.

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