Tutor profile: Caroline S.
How do I edit my writing?
First, focus on the main ideas and organization of your essay. Do you have a thesis statement clearly stating your main idea? Do each of the body paragraphs introduce a reason to support that thesis statement? Is each reason supported by facts and examples? Rearrange, cut, and add until you have a piece that makes logical sense and achieves what you want it to. Next, look at the mechanics of your writing. Do the sentences flow well together or do you need to add transition words or sentences? Do you use the same word over and over again, and if so, can you use a synonym? Are you using boring phrases like "very good" and "pretty bad" that can be replaced by more interesting words like "excellent" and "terrible"? Last, check for spelling and grammar mistakes. You can either read through the entire piece looking for every mistake, or you can focus on one particular mistake with each read (e.g. spelling, comma splices, etc.). The second strategy is particularly helpful if you know that you make certain mistakes often. Ask a friend, teacher, or tutor to help you look it over.
Subject: Study Skills
How do I review a whole semester / year of information for an exam?
I think this is something that every student struggles with at some point. Luckily, all you need to do is to understand some key principles and then find a strategy that works for you. Key Principle #1 Review early and often. As soon as you know when the exam is, schedule a small chunk of time every week to start looking over previous content. Key Principle #2 Organize the information with a system that makes sense for you, whether that's chronologically, thematically, or centered around key people and places. Key Principle #3 The best way to remember something is to test yourself on it, constantly. Reading information can be helpful when you're trying to first learn a concept, but as the exam approaches you should focus on challenging yourself to recall ideas and answer likely test questions as much as possible. Using these principles, there are a lot of ways to review. It's important to find one that works with the way you learn best. - Read through old texts, class handouts, and presentations. - Create unit outlines containing all the key concepts. You can use strategies like color-coding, visuals, and mnemonic devices to represent information in a memorable way. - Use flashcards to help you memorize facts and dates. - Create a list of possible test questions (or past test questions) and answer them in an exam setting. - Review old tests and quizzes to identify what questions tripped you up. - Identify the concepts you feel least comfortable and use outside resources (videos, articles, tutors) to clarify. Trying to review so much information can feel overwhelming, but using these strategies will help you feel confident and ready on test day!
Subject: Political Science
What is the "supremacy clause" of the U.S. Constitution?
The "supremacy clause" is a clause in Article VI of the Constitution which says that the Constitution and all national laws "shall be the supreme law of the land." While the Constitution establishes a federal system of government that divides power between the national, state, and local governments, this clause says that national law takes precedence over conflicting state and local laws. Therefore, states cannot interfere when the federal government exercises constitutional powers. This idea of the supremacy of federal law was cemented in the landmark Supreme Court case MuCulloch v. Maryland (1819), in which the Court struck down a Maryland law that taxed all banks in the state, including a national bank. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that while states have the power of taxation, they could not interfere with the national government's implied power to create a bank nor could they tax it.
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