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Tutor profile: Patricia M.

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Patricia M.
High school English teacher for five years
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

Can I use rhetorical statements in my argumentative essays?

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Patricia M.
Answer:

It’s best to limit use of rhetorical questions in your persuasive essays because they weaken your writing. When you ask a question, your readers immediately begin to answer it in their heads. If they imagined a different answer than you wanted, you now have to convince them that the opposite is true. In addition to this, questions sound weak compared to a statement. For example, “do you think we should protect the environment?” doesn’t pack the same punch as “protecting the environment is important because it’s humanity’s only home.” When you use a statement instead of a rhetorical question, your writing instantly becomes stronger.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

What is the significance of the green light in The Great Gatsby?

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Patricia M.
Answer:

The green light in The Great Gatsby is a symbol of several different things. First, it represents Jay Gatsby’s love for Daisy. It hangs over her dock and he purchased his house in order to stare at it from across the lake. For Gatsby, it’s a meaningful object that links him to the woman he loves. Though this is the most obvious meaning of the light, it’s not the only one in the book. The light can also signify wealth and the American Dream. Its green color is an obvious connection to the green of American dollar bills while its elusive nature connects it to the idea of the American Dream. Though Gatsby has worked his way up to great riches, his still lacks the happiness promised by the American Dream; he wants it, but is unable to attain it. In the same way, he stares at that green light night after night, longing for something he will never have.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

What's the difference between denotation and connotation?

Inactive
Patricia M.
Answer:

Denotation refers to the literal dictionary definition of a word while connotation refers to the emotions people connect to a word. For example, the denotation of the word “homework” is that it’s a “set of tasks assigned to students by their teachers to be completed outside the class.” However, the word “homework” is probably attached to some sort of feeling for you. It might make you feel stressed or worried but if you enjoy the class assigning the homework, it might make you feel excited or confident. Either way, the emotion you feel when you hear “homework” is that word’s connotation.

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