Tutor profile: Allison P.
How should I organize my essay to support my thesis?
First of all, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to suit this question. It depends on the nature of the argument you are trying to make. For example, if you're tracing a pattern across history, you might want to organize your paragraphs in chronological order. If you're making a somewhat logically complex argument, you might instead consider offering a more step-by-step organization. The bottom line is to consider the context of your own argument and how you want your words to walk your reader through it. It is often helpful to rearrange paragraphs after you're finished drafting an essay in order to better achieve a logical flow.
What's the difference between science fiction and fantasy genres?
Differences in genre are not always black-and-white, but there are some elements more typical of fantasy or more typical of science fiction. Science fiction tends to be future-leaning and speculative, featuring a reality that differs from our own due to some technological advancements that somehow relate to known technology. Fantasy, on the other hand, moves away from the technology of our reality in a more drastic way and tends to be set in the past. Because science fiction is more closely tied to present reality, it also tends to feature more political statements, such as in George Orwell's 1984 or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. That is not to say that fantasy novels are entirely devoid of politics, but they are not such a driving theme as in sci-fi. Some notable examples are J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series and J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series,
What can I do to improve my grammar and style?
My initial response to this question is, like any other skill, you have to practice! But luckily, with a language, you don't only have to practice by writing and asking for feedback. Reading is an excellent way to improve the grammar and style of your writing in a natural and (hopefully!) fun way. I will also admit, however, that there are many rules that will just come through rote memorization. In math you have times tables, in English you have style guides. This may sound like bad news, but those style guides can almost always be found online. When in doubt about when to use ellipses or how to format an in-text citation, look it up! It is certainly not cheating to reference material meant to help clarify the rules of the game you're trying to play.
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