Tutor profile: Alyse D.
What is a thesis statement? Where do I even start?
A thesis statement encompasses the whole idea of your paper into one or two clear sentences. As you advance in writing, the way a thesis statement will look will differ, but for MLA format and most academic writing, it will most likely come at the end of your first paragraph and be one to two sentences in length. To start a thesis statement a few things you could do include: asking a question to answer in your statement; identifying the main points of your paper based off of a topic or your prompt; or identifying the "what, why, and how" of a text. If you choose to ask a question, look at the text and your prompt and try to identify something you're curious about within the text or an effect that the text had on you. For example, "why are all of the characters named after big cities?" From there, start to elaborate on an answer for your question. Think outside the box about how the text affected you as the reader; "By naming each character after a city, the managed to represent how wide spread the moral issue of rape is. It doesn't just happen in one city, it happens in many cities, and the experiences of the various women and men in the text represent the real life experiences of men and women within the actual cities they are named for." If you're writing an essay about a text, you may want to identify the "what, why, and how" of your thesis even if that's not how you start the writing process. What is the text doing? Why is it doing? How is it doing it? All three are important aspects of a thesis; without the what, you are not making a claim about the text, without the why, the reader of your paper is left wondering why they bothered reading it and why you bothered writing it, and without the how you have no evidence to support your claim for what the text is doing.
I don't understand how to analyze a text. How do I identify meanings in books?
When looking at a text, you have to see everything by reading between the lines. Every text will have a surface-level meaning. Your job is to look beyond that and find a deeper meaning to it. What does the text make you feel or think about? Ask questions as you read, and write them in the text or somewhere where you can easily organize and find them. Remember that your questions are going deeper into the text. If every time a character appears in a scene the author includes images of thunder and lightning, ask yourself why. What relevance does that have to the character? What deeper meaning or feelings does the text provoke because of this, and why?
Who was George Balanchine?
George Balanchine was a ballet Master, claimed to be the father of what is known around the world as American Ballet today. He is most notoriously known for his choreography and teaching style with the School of American Ballet and New York City Ballet in New York. He lived and danced during his life time from the early 1900s til 1983.
needs and Alyse will reply soon.