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Katie P.
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

How do I improve my skills for the writing sections of exams like the ACT, SAT, and GRE?

Katie P.
Answer:

The first thing you should do is practice! Look up prompts on the internet, and time yourself writing essays. You can self-grade them, or ask a friend or family member to grade them. Read practice essays online, and take tips from them or try and see what you would improve on. When you're writing your essays, make sure you actually read the question. Analyze what the argument is saying, or identify what questions you're supposed to be answering. Make sure you're fully answering the prompt given- oftentimes you'll receive a score of 0 if you write an amazing essay to something that wasn't asked of you. Next, be sure that you plan out your essay. Taking just two or three minutes to think of good examples will make for a much better essay. Write down both sides of the issue, and then pick whichever side you have better examples for (the graders aren't scoring you for your personal opinion). Your examples can be drawn from many sources: historical figures, books you've read in school, scientific studies/facts that you know about. Most questions tend to be pretty open ended, so you can write about something you know a lot about. In terms of style, there a few tricks you can use to make your essay sound as best as possible. Try to avoid the passive voice as much as possible, and write in the active voice. This means the subject of the sentence performs the verb. Example: Passive: The ball was caught by the dog. Active: The dog caught the ball. Use transition words, and try to vary your sentence structure- you don't want to start every sentence with the same word or phrase. You don't need to overcomplicate your writing to try and show the grader that you have a complex analysis. In fact, this can backfire and make your writing unclear. Be as clear and direct as possible, and don't use big words just to try and seem smart. Leave enough time for a strong conclusion that sums up all the points you have made and restate your position on the topic. Finally, be sure you leave a few minutes to proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes. Fixing this will ensure that your score is higher.

Literature
TutorMe
Question:

How does Kate Chopin use description and setting to emphasize the narrator's personality and outlook in "The Night Came Slowly"? (Link: https://americanliterature.com/author/kate-chopin/short-story/the-night-came-slowly)

Katie P.
Answer:

The narrator in this short story is weary of humans, and prefers to contemplate the natural world and its mystery. Chopin uses several rhetorical devices in order to establish a setting that both parallels and complements this outlook in "The Night Came Slowly". First, her choice of diction presents a stark difference between man and nature. She uses words with gentle, pleasant connotations to describe nature, such as "softly...creeping", "caressing", "rippled", and "slumber". This helps to show that, in the narrator's mind, nature is soothing, relaxing, and even wise. Chopin juxtaposes this with her view of humans, who she describes as detestable fools. Thus, the setting of nature is seen as peaceful and interesting, whereas humans are both dull and destructive. Chopin also uses personification to glorify nature at the expense of man. Stars look down upon the Earth, katydids wisely chant throughout the night, and the night talks to her. Chopin constructs a natural world that can be studied with more interest than either books or men. Finally, Chopin uses rhetorical questions at the end of the piece to drive the point home. Her first rhetorical question, at the beginning of the last paragraph, is asked with an exclamation point rather than a question mark. This shows her frustration at the follies of man. Chopin then asks why she would ask a man what he knows of God and the ethereal, and then actually answers what the reader would have assumed was a purely stylistic question. By answering her own rhetorical questions, Chopin shows that the narrator has concrete and thought-out reasons for the loss of interest in human beings. It is not just a whim; the narrator truly feels that there is more wisdom and peace to be found in the stars and elsewhere in nature.

Calculus
TutorMe
Question:

When do I use integration by parts? How do I know what to pick for u and v?

Katie P.
Answer:

In general, I try to use u-substitution first. If that doesn't work, then I try integration by parts. Now, we know that the integration by parts formula is uv - $$\int_{}^{} $$ v du. Now we have to pick values in the original equation for u and dv. Usually, you want your u value to be something that can be simplified by taking its derivative. Your v and dv values are generally something that doesn't simplify after derivations (think $$e^{x}$$ or sines and cosines). For example, if we have the integration problem $$\int_{}^{} 2x e^{x} dx$$ then we would pick u to be 2x so that it can be easily simplified u = 2x dv = $$e^{x}$$ dx Then we have u = 2x du = 2 dx v = $$e^{x}$$ dv = $$e^{x}$$ dx Now we can use the formula for integration by parts: 2x($$e^{x}$$) - $$\int_{}^{} 2e^{x} dx$$ Our choice of u = 2x means that the integral in that equation was much more simple than it would have been otherwise. This can easily be solved using basic integration, and we get: 2x($$e^{x}$$) - 2$$e^{x}$$ + C Don't forget to add C as the unknown constant!

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