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Tutor profile: Nicole C.

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Nicole C.
History Graduate
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

How do I make make sure my essay is coherent?

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Nicole C.
Answer:

The most important thing in making sure an essay is coherent is to have a clear argument and a clear purpose for each paragraph. I am personally a fan of outlines! Take your thesis, and write out each of your main points. If the argument is more complicated, break down each point further, including what contextual information you need and why it matters. Make sure the paragraphs are in a logical order! In general, do not rely on providing information later. Provide the most important information first and build from there. If you are struggling with coherence after writing a draft of the essay, try reverse outlining! Take the main idea of each paragraph and reverse engineer an outline. Doing this helps to see the organization of the paper is in a condensed fashion, making it easier to if your arguments are structured the most effectively.

Subject: Study Skills

TutorMe
Question:

What are some good ways to make sure you understand an academic article?

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Nicole C.
Answer:

Sometimes, articles will include an abstract, which distills the core argument of the paper into a paragraph. Start with that if you can, since it gives you a good sense of what you should be getting out of the article. The title is also a good indicator of the subject of the piece. Sometimes the article will have subsections. Taking note of these before reading the article can help you see how the article is organized. The most important step is identifying the thesis, which is generally located in the abstract and/or the introductory paragraphs. A good way to find it is to note when the author departs from just providing contextual information to making a claim. This should be something that would be debatable. (Contextual information would that the Declaration of Independence happened in 1776, a claim would be that it marked the point of no return for the American Revolution.) Then take note of the main idea of each paragraph and how it contributes to the argument. It can sometimes be helpful to create an outline of the article by noting the main idea of each paragraph and summarizing it in a few words. The main idea can often be found in the topic sentence (usually the first sentence of the paragraph). Finally, the conclusion is important because it is where the author restates their argument and why it matters. If you are confused, read the conclusion and then re-read the article with what the author thinks is important in mind.

Subject: US History

TutorMe
Question:

What was Benjamin Franklin’s role in the American Revolution and early American Government?

Inactive
Nicole C.
Answer:

Benjamin Franklin's most significant role in the American Revolution was as the first American ambassador to France. Having gained acclaim for his scientific contributions, Franklin was the most well-known American internationally (aside from perhaps George Washington). This reputation allowed him to play a crucial role in facilitating French aid to the United States. Besides serving as the ambassador to France, Franklin also represented Pennsylvania in the First Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, and was the first Postmaster General of the United States.

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