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Chris P.
Experienced writing tutor and English graduate student
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

My paragraphs all seem very separated and lack smoothness from one to the other. How do I make my paragraphs flow better?

Chris P.
Answer:

This is a very common theme with many writers. Although your ideas are all on the paper, there may seem to lack any real cohesion between them. What we need are some transitions. A transition sentence is often inserted at the end or beginning (or both) of a paragraph. This creates a nice flow between two separate ideas. A transition may allude to what is coming next, e.g. "Despite the negative effects of deforestation, there is an even greater looming threat to the rapid acceleration of global warming." A transition may also reference a past idea, e.g. "Although deforestation is a major contributor to global warming, the CO2 released from farm animals is much more consequential to a warming climate." The idea is to create a link between each paragraph. This should in turn make your entire essay read as a cohesive chain. The insertion of transition sentences is subtle, though very effective in communicating your thoughts to the reader.

Literature
TutorMe
Question:

Did American Literature remain steady throughout the 19th Century, or evolve over the century?

Chris P.
Answer:

Although America is a relatively young nation, much literary and philosophical change has occurred in its short lifetime. Much of this change occurred in the 19th Century. In the early 19th Century, America was still struggling to find a unique identity for itself, especially within the realm of Literature and other art forms. Mark Twain is often accredited with being the "Father of American Literature"; however, writers were paving the way decades before Twain's first published writings. In response to the Rationalist thinking of the colonial era, writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne led the Romantic Movement, which emphasized the importance of nature and beauty rather than logic and reasoning. Writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman took this philosophy and delved even further, creating Transcendentalism. This philosophy suggests that divinity pervades all nature and mankind. Around the time of the Civil War, a sense of Regionalism began creeping its way into literature. Writers such as Sarah Orne Jewett often wrote in great detail about their communities and towns, bringing the region to life. There is a great many other smaller movements which developed in the 19th Century; however, this should serve as a great place to start.

English
TutorMe
Question:

What is the process of developing an argumentative thesis statement?

Chris P.
Answer:

Developing an argumentative thesis statement requires simply having a strong opinion on the matter at hand. A thesis can attempt to persuade a reader on a number of things: 1) Claims of definition 2) Claims of cause and effect 3) Claims of value or categorization 4) Claims regarding solutions Your thesis must be debatable to allow for differing opinions on your overall argument. The thesis should also have a solid foundation, as the rest of your essay will provide examples, facts, and smaller claims to back up your overall argument.

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