Tutor profile: Lori R.
What's the best way to proofread my finished paper?
Make sure you're happy with the content first. Did you make the argument that you want to make? And is it likely that your reader will understand your argument? If you answer "no" to these questions, it's likely that you need to revise both the ideas in your paper and the ways that you tied those ideas together. Make revisions before you proofread - that way, you won't end up correcting typos or grammatical errors that get cut from your paper when you realize that you need to revise! When you are absolutely certain that you're ready to proofread, print out a copy of the paper, if you can, and write corrections directly on the printed copy. Reading slowly out loud may help you to catch typos or errors that you wouldn't otherwise notice.
Subject: Study Skills
How do I juggle multiple projects at once?
I advise you to get a paper calendar or planner that has a lot of space for writing! The physical act of writing a deadline on a paper calendar is generally more helpful in reminding you of a deadline than the act of typing a reminder on an electronic calendar. Moreover, your paper calendar will allow you to look at the details of several events over a large chunk of time. An electronic calendar often won't show you details, especially not if you're trying to look at more than one day at a time. In this way, a paper calendar helps you look ahead, notice the due dates of multiple projects, and plan accordingly. An electronic calendar may not help you see the "big picture" of multiple approaching deadlines. Take advantage of the "big picture" benefits of a paper calendar! At the start of the semester, look through your syllabus or reading list or assignment list and write deadline reminders on your paper calendar one month, three weeks, two weeks, and one week in advance. When you see your one month reminder, start planning when and how you need to dedicate time to the upcoming assignment.
Subject: English as a Second Language
Can you help me understand the present perfect?
Let's start by noting the difference between verb tense and verb aspect. Verb tense answers the question "in general terms of past, present, or future, when did the event happen or when will it happen?" Verb aspect answers the question "Does the event / did the event / will the event have a fixed end time? Or does the event / did the event / will the event continue without a foreseeable end point?" Now let's look at some examples: EXAMPLE ONE - PRESENT TENSE, SIMPLE ASPECT: "I play piano." This statement is written in the present tense, simple aspect. Both tense and aspect can be seen in the verb form - play. This is a general statement about my abilities as a piano player. It does not refer to time in any way. EXAMPLE TWO - PAST TENSE, SIMPLE ASPECT: "I played the piano at a party last night." This statement is written in the past tense, simple aspect. Both tense and aspect can be seen in the verb form - played. This is a specific statement about a specific event with a specific end time. It refers to an event that started and ended in the past. EXAMPLE THREE - PRESENT TENSE, PERFECT ASPECT: "I have played piano for 32 years." This statement is written in the present tense, perfect aspect. The present tense is represented by the verb "have." The perfect aspect is represented by the combination of the two verbs - "have played." This is a specific statement about my experience as a piano player. It refers to time in two ways: 1) it specifically states that I have 32 years of experience as a piano player, and 2) it suggests that there is no fixed time at which I will stop playing piano. I will continue to play piano for the foreseeable future. The perfect aspect tells us that there is no fixed end time at which I will stop playing piano. EXAMPLE FOUR - PAST TENSE, PERFECT ASPECT: "I had played piano for 12 years before I was brave enough to play in public." This statement is written in the past tense, perfect aspect. The past tense is represented by the verb "had." The perfect aspect is represented by the combination of two verbs - "had played." This is a specific statement about the time when I became brave enough to play piano in public. That is a very specific event that began and ended in the past. Even though this event - playing piano in public for the first time - has a clear end point, the sentence is written in the perfect aspect. Why? Because part of the sentence refers to an activity that I still do and that I have no intention of stopping. In other words: because I still play piano and intend to play piano for the foreseeable future, the sentence uses the perfect aspect. EASY TIP FOR REMEMBERING WHEN TO USE THE PERFECT: If you're describing an event or condition that has no foreseeable end point, such as liking chocolate or speaking your second language, use the perfect aspect. Most of the time, you'll use the present tense with the perfect aspect, as in "I have always liked chocolate." Sometimes, if you have to talk about a specific point in your history of liking chocolate, you'll use the past perfect. For example, you might say "I had been a fan of chocolate for three years before I discovered dark chocolate."
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