Tutor profile: Mary B.
Why is it important to write well?
Many have good ideas and interesting thoughts, but not all have the ability to express those ideas or thoughts clearly in writing. While an idea may be interesting and exciting, one must be able to articulate that idea clearly in order to share it. This is true within all disciplines, from the humanities to the sciences. Without the ability to write clearly and cogently, exciting ideas become lost in translation or stuck in the minds of their thinkers.
Subject: Study Skills
What are the most effective study skills?
Largely, these skills differ from person to person and rest heavily on one's strengths and preferred learning methods. For this reason, it often takes work to figure out how to study effectively. This work involves assessing one's skillset and past successes or having another individual (perhaps a tutor) assess those skills and successes. That said, it is important not to be married to one approach. If you have always studied by talking through subjects in a study group but are unhappy with your subsequent performance on exams, it is time to try a new approach.
Subject: Religious Studies
How might one think about the tradition or practice of pseudepigraphy (of writing in the name of another, e.g., Moses or Paul) within Christian scripture?
Many confessing Christians argue that biblical texts are not pseudepigraphic; they are written by those who claim to have written them. To suggest otherwise would be to claim that scripture is something less than perfect, thus calling into question its truth. Pseudepigraphy, however, need not call into question the truthfulness of scripture for its adherents. Instead, it may push readers to explore scripture more fully and arguably more earnestly. By admitting that Deuteronomy's layers suggest more than one author, for instance, one can consider why its writers may have claimed Moses wrote it and what this claim says about the beliefs of those authors and those who read it as scripture today. Likewise, by considering several of the Pauline epistles to be pseudepigraphic, one can explore the tradition of pseudepigraphy in the ancient world and its bearing on Christian scripture. In each case, these explorations may be part of exploring one's own religious history and tradition rather than an effort to disprove the truthfulness of the text.
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