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Greg N.
Third-Year Law Student @ Notre Dame Law School and Future Litigator
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

What overarching mindset or mentality should a writer employ to ensure that their writing is clear, concise, and easy to read?

Greg N.
Answer:

There are numerous mental images that can help a writer compose an easy-to-read and well-articulated piece of writing. Here are two examples: For starters, it is always most helpful to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Before beginning any writing, this exercise can help you determine, for example, the scope of background information to include, the type of language to use (more simple phrasing vs. complicated jargon), and the general tone of the piece. Often times, it is a fantastically helpful tool to give your writing drafts to someone in your target audience and ask for their feedback. If you are writing a paper on the law, but are giving it to a group of high-school students, you should ask your next-door neighbor's 16-year-old son if he can understand the piece; if he does not understand what "res ipsa loquitur" is, then it is likely that nobody else in his class will either. Another helpful tool is to re-read your piece after you have finished writing and remove as many superfluous words as possible. When you read each sentence, you should ask yourself (and answer honestly!): "is that word necessary and what does it contribute to the meaning that I want to convey?" If you cannot answer that question with a satisfactory answer, then the word is probably unnecessary and you can re-write the sentence more succinctly. Obviously, there will be some exceptions--many creative writing assignments will encourage surplus description, and doing so may lend towards a desired tonal effect. However, in most circumstances, a shorter sentence is a significantly better sentence.

Law
TutorMe
Question:

How did the decision of Marbury v. Madison (1803) lay the foundation for how the modern United States judiciary operates?

Greg N.
Answer:

Marbury v. Madison was a landmark decision because it established the concept of "judicial review." Judicial review gives courts the ultimate authority to determine whether or not legislation and other government activity are permitted under the Constitution of the United States. Although many Americans would take this function for granted in modern times, the concept that a judge could override many of the decisions of Congress or the President was not widely accepted. In the Marbury decision, written by one the most well-known American legal minds, Chief Justice Marshall, articulated that the judiciary is the most qualified branch of government to decide questions of constitutionality. Without the decision, it is difficult to imagine modern courts having much power to protect the constitutional rights of citizens; does it make sense to let Congress determine the constitutionality of the same laws that it decides to adopt? Prior to the court's decision, the power of judges and courts of the United States was not well-defined and not nearly as respected as is seen today.

US History
TutorMe
Question:

How did America's stance towards involvement in world politics change following World War II?

Greg N.
Answer:

In general, the United States became much more involved in world politics than it had before it entered World War II in 1941. Prior to its involvement in World War II, and especially prior to World War I, the United States was a country that preferred political isolation from the rest of the world's affairs. Instead of entering into treaties with foreign powers, the United States and its leaders were determined to focus on domestic economic development. The United States' involvement in both World Wars was only begun after strong reluctance to enter either conflict. In 1917, the United States entered World War I only after persistent German attacks on American shipping; American involvement in World War II was (most directly and obviously) caused by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Following World War II, the United States became an undisputed global superpower. With most of Europe and the Pacific in ruins immediately following the defeat of the Axis Powers, the United States was able to fill an economic gap and take advantage of other nations' manufacturing needs. As the United States increased its economic role in Europe and other parts of the world, its political strength correspondingly grew and American businesses and politicians sought to protect their interests in all corners of the globe. The leaders of the United States saw the growth of communism as the latest threat and sought to exert American influence economically and politically to combat the growth of the Soviet Union and communist China. The ensuing Cold War against communism spurned the United States to unprecedented economic, military, and political growth. As a result, the United States entered into countless diplomatic agreements such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. To summarize, the United States began the 20th Century as a large regional power with no interest in international politics--especially in Europe and Asia. However, due to its involvement in both World Wars, the United States became one of the preeminent global superpowers with a role in most of the World's political decision-making.

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