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Tutor profile: Mckenna S.

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Mckenna S.
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What is a topic sentence? What is the purpose of a topic sentence?

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Mckenna S.
Answer:

A topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph in an essay. A topic sentence almost acts like a "mini thesis" for that particular paragraph because it sets up what you will be talking about in that paragraph. Additionally, a topic sentence should serve to smoothly transition the reader from the paragraph that came before to the new one, creating a connection between the two topics. For example, let's imagine that we are writing an essay discussing the health benefits of sleep. We just finished a paragraph detailing the benefits sleep provides in regards to memory, and now we are writing a topic sentence for our next paragraph talking about how sleep can have anti-inflammatory effects. In this scenario, a topic sentence might look like the following: "In addition to helping our brains retain important information, adequate sleep can assist our bodies in getting rid of unwelcome inflammation." This topic sentence reminds readers of what we discussed immediately prior, what they can expect to read about in this new paragraph, and establishes a relationship between the two paragraphs.

Subject: Study Skills

TutorMe
Question:

I am using class notes to study for an upcoming exam. What would be an effective and efficient way to use these notes to study?

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Mckenna S.
Answer:

When reviewing notes you have taken in class to study for an exam, it is generally most effective to get as many of your senses involved in the process as you can. I would recommend rereading your notes and pulling out the important points and rewriting your notes by hand. The physical process of writing is often helpful for remembering the material you are writing down. This is also a good time to organize and color-code your notes in a way that makes sense to you. It is easier for our brains to remember fewer chunks of information. So, if there are any opportunities to group related pieces of information together, doing so will make it easier to remember. Once you are done reading and writing out your notes, I would suggest reading your notes again but reading them out loud so that you can hear them. You can even take this opportunity to help out a fellow student by explaining it to them or by just reading your notes to a friend, family member, pet, or whoever is available as a captive audience. Combining reading, writing, and listening to yourself talk through your notes out loud activates multiple sensory pathways, making it more likely that you will remember the material than if you were to quietly read through/skim your notes.

Subject: Psychology

TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between operant conditioning and classical conditioning?

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Mckenna S.
Answer:

Operant conditioning involves influencing a human or non-human animal's behavior through rewards and punishments. Operant conditioning presents desirable and takes away undesirable outcomes to encourage a particular behavior. Additionally, operant conditioning can involve presenting undesirable and taking away desirable outcomes to discourage a behavior. On the other hand, classical conditioning is more basic and refers to when an animal learns to associate one stimulus with another merely because they occur at the same time. With classical conditioning, after two things occur alongside one another repeatedly, the animal begins to expect one when it is presented with the other because they have been presented together before. Let's use the example of a child learning not to eat soap to demonstrate the difference between these two models of learning. In this scenario, operant conditioning might look like the child trying to eat the soap and a parent putting the child in a time-out. In this case, the parent is presenting something that is undesirable to the child (a time-out) in order to discourage the child from eating the soap. If the child learns to not eat the soap, the child is learning through punishment. On the other hand, classical conditioning occurring in this scenario might look like the child trying to eat the soap and then tasting the unpleasant taste of the soap. The child putting the soap in their mouth occurs at the same time as the unpleasant taste, so the child begins to associate the behavior of eating the soap with the unpleasant taste and learns to not eat the soap.

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