Tutor profile: Sally S.
What is the basic structure of any claim you may make in the process of writing?
Scholarly papers are typically a collection of claims broken up into discrete paragraphs and organized in a specific order to show how the author came to the primary argument (thesis) they establish in the introduction. Each claim has three parts: 1. The claim itself. The thesis of a paper is the primary claim that every other subsequent claim supports. Claims within the paper that support the thesis are called "topic sentences." They are the first sentence of each new paragraph and tell the reader what you will cover in each paragraph. 2. Evidence. After you state your claim, you provide evidence. In many instances that evidence will include some type of theory (for instance, the definition of "metaphor") and specific evidence from the text (like a quote from a speech that uses metaphor). 3. Explanation. After you state the claim and present your evidence, you explain how the evidence supports your claim. If your theory was the definition of metaphor and your example was a specific metaphor in a speech, for your explanation, you would explain how the example is a metaphor based on the definition you gave. For example, "this example is a metaphor because it compares two unlike things--"lonely island" and "poverty"--to draw attention to a specific aspect of one. In this case, how the experience of poverty can be very isolating."
Subject: Gender Studies
What is the difference between biological sex and gender?
While we typically think of biological sex and gender as synonymous, they are actually two distinct parts of someone's identity. Biological sex is a designation you are assigned at birth--male or female. That designation is based primarily on the appearance of your external genitalia at birth. We tend to also associate biological sex with our DNA, or our X and Y chromosomes. However, contemporary science shows that the differences between the chromosomes of those who are born with male genitalia and those born with female genitalia are not as discrete as once assumed. Gender is the performance of your sex. It is not inherently tied to your genitalia--there are people who have penises who identify as women just as there are people with vaginas who identify as men. However, when you are assigned a sex at birth, you are often raised to behave in ways that are deemed "natural" for your sex. Babies born with penises are labelled boys and raised to prefer trucks over dolls, wear pants instead of dresses, and behave in more active, physical play. Babies born with vaginas are labelled girls and raised to prefer dolls over trucks, wear dresses and pants, and be more sensitive and introspective than boys. These behaviors are repeated over time and place such that they appear normal or natural and individuals who deviate from those norms are often seen as abnormal or deviant.
What is speech anxiety and can you overcome it?
Speech anxiety is typically broken down into three main types based on when and what aspects of public speaking make you most nervous. If you can determine what type(s) of speech anxiety you have, then you can more easily find specific solutions that work for you. The first kind of speech anxiety is preparation anxiety. That occurs when the thought of the public speaking event makes you so anxious that starting to prepare for it feels overwhelming. If you experience procrastination, it is likely the result of preparation anxiety. One great strategy for managing preparation anxiety is the "15 minute rule." Set a time for 15 minutes. Begin trying to work on your assignment. If they timer goes off and you're still not focused, reset it and do something else for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off again, reset it and sit back down. You repeat the process until you're able to focus on the assignment or you have some other activity. Even if you're never able to fully focus, you're still chipping away at the scary assignment. The second kind of speech anxiety is pre-presentation anxiety. That occurs when you're a few days or hours out from giving your speech. You've drafted and prepared your speech, but now that the event is drawing closer, your anxiety is increasing. There are many ways of managing this type of anxiety. One strategy that's easy to do if you're sitting in a classroom is to write the alphabet backwards using your non-dominant hand. The challenge of the task forces your brain to focus on something other than your anxiety. The third kind of speech anxiety is presentation anxiety. That's the anxiety your get when it's your turn to stand up in front of the audience. While the best strategies for combating this kind of speech anxiety require you to have some advanced planning (like writing reminders and affirmations on your notecards), the number one tip to manage presentation anxiety in the moment is taking a deep, slow breath.
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