Tutor profile: Carly M.
A student is asked to write an academic research paper about 1,500 words long. This is the first time they have had to do their own research and write a formal paper this long. They feel overwhelmed because they have no idea where to start. How could a tutor help them tackle this essay?
Feeling like you have no idea how to start is a common issue for anyone writing a new type of paper for the first time. A good essay has many parts that cannot all be described in detail here. This answer is simply a broad overview of how we could get started on one. Most often, the assignment includes a prompt or question you need to respond to. The first step that we would do together is to look at the prompt. Is it asking you to describe or explain an issue? To compare and contrast different ideas? To evaluate how important one person or event was? Once we know what you need to do, we can plan the essay. A common way to organize the essay is to use the '5 paragraph approach' which includes an introduction, 3 body paragraphs (main ideas) and a conclusion. This works as a great start, but you may find that you have (or need) more than three main ideas. If you already have thoughts on what you want to write about, we can start to organize them into body paragraphs, but if you do not know very much yet, we can get started on research. In academic papers, it is important to use reliable sources, and to cite them correctly. After we do some research, we can use those ideas to form the body paragraphs of your essay. Academic writing (or speaking) sounds different from how you would normally write and talk. It is more formal, which can be intimidating to many students. However, the most important thing to consider when writing academically is to be clear and organized. If your ideas are well-organized and you can present them as clearly as possible, most of the time your writing will already sound more formal!
Subject: Study Skills
A student is in a class where all of the tests are multiple choice. They have done poorly on the tests they have already taken because they have a difficult time distinguishing the correct answer when the possible answers are similar (Ex. "Answers A and B are correct", "Answers B and C are correct", "Answers A and C are correct") and often leave questions blank because they run out of time. What are some techniques that may help the student improve their scores?
First, for multiple choice tests, it is important that you start studying well before the test. I recommend starting to review the material a week or two before by spending just 10-15 minutes a day reviewing concepts you were confused on and creating your own examples of terms so that you can identify them in situations that are different than the textbook and class examples. As the test date gets closer, spend more time reviewing. When taking the actual test, spend the first minute or two identifying how many questions there are and approximately how much time you can spend on each question (if you don't already know that information beforehand). Keep track of your time, and if one question is very confusing, skip it and move on to easy or faster questions that you are sure you know the answers to. That way, you can answer (and get points for) the things you know, and if you have extra time, you can return to the skipped questions. For questions that have complex or multi-part answers, go through them slowly and methodically. If there are the answers A, B, and C, as well as "A and B", "B and C", etc. start with A, B, and C. If you know that C is definitely wrong, but either A or B might be right, cross out C and any of the other options containing C (i.e. "B and C"). Then, look at your remaining options and use the same method if you need to narrow it down more.
If the prices of two goods increase by the same percentage, how can we determine which good has the higher price elasticity of demand? What determines the price elasticity of demand?
The good with the higher price elasticity of demand is the good which experiences the larger fall in quantity demanded (Qd). For example, if the prices of Good A and Good B both increase by 10%, but the Qd of Good A falls more than the Qd of Good B falls, then Good A has a higher price elasticity of demand. The determinants of price elasticity (i.e. the reasons why Good A is more elastic than Good B) include: how many close substitutes for a good are available, whether the good is a necessity or a luxury, how broadly the good is defined (is it a broad category like 'bread', or a narrow one like 'multigrain bread'), and whether we are considering elasticity in the long or the short run.
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