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Tutor profile: Seth N.

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Seth N.
Writing Center Coordinator/Assistant Director/Writing Tutor for the last 8 years
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

Why do I need to cite my research? The quotations I use are fairly famous.

Inactive
Seth N.
Answer:

You may be correct that many people will know where a certain quote comes from or where to find a certain statistic, but that is not always the case. In fact, it is often best to expect that your reader has no prior knowledge of your topic. With this expectation then it is best to cite anything that might be new information to your audience. For instance many may know that "To be or not to be" comes from Hamlet. But do they know the act or the scene? Most likely people will not know that. As a result, you should cite all the required information so that your audience will know where you found it and also where they can find it in the future should they want to look at the original text. There are some wonderful resources out there that will make the process of in-text citations and works cited pages much easier. It is always best to be safe and cite any information that you have taken from another resource, both to provide your reader with the location you found the information and also as a best practice against potentially committing plagiarism.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

What is the point of reading old literature like Homer, Shakespeare or Milton? They had no clue as to the problems we face in our current world.

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Seth N.
Answer:

The statement about Homer, Shakespeare, and Milton being old literature is true. Homer's works are over three thousand years old. Shakespeare's works are over four hundred years old, and Milton's works are over three hundred years old. Homer had never heard of an HP computer. Shakespeare never envisioned an iPhone. Milton never used Microsoft to write any of his works. But what each of these authors did (and there are many others like them) is understand the human experience. Homer shows us the rage of a person who believes that they have been wronged in the person of Achilles. How many of us have felt that bitterness and anger when we have been wronged? In the case of Achilles, it ends up costing him the life of his friend and the lives of many others in the process, before he is willing to let go of his anger. Homer also tells us of noble Hector and his willingness to fight and die for his home country although he is neither at fault for the conflict nor is likely to survive the war. However, Hector fights for honor and for the hope of giving his family a future. While few of us have fought in a losing war, many of us have been in situations where we have had to do the right thing even though the final outcome may not be to our benefit. Shakespeare perhaps more than any author in history changed English literature and language. He invented many words, but is best remembered for his tragic plays such as Hamlet, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet. Much like Homer before him, Shakespeare understood the human condition. He wrote about young love in Romeo and Juliet which is something many have experienced and can identify with. He also showed how overbearing parents can lead their children to take harmful actions up to even taking their own lives. Macbeth is a fascinating story of human evil and the quest for power. Although the titular Macbeth starts as a brave and perhaps honorable warrior, he is influenced by a prophecy and his wife to take matters into his own hands, kill the king and taking power into his own hands. However, with the power does not come peace, and Macbeth becomes the villain that he once fought against at the plays opening. Shakespeare shows that the lust for power can lead to tragic ends and that those who pursue a course of wickedness will eventually receive justice. Last of all Milton teaches us of the seductive side of evil in his epic poem Paradise Lost. Although the poem begins by portraying Satan as an anti-hero of sorts, Milton slowly shows that this anti-hero is truly a villain who only seeks to destroy and deceive and has no goodness in him. We discover that everything that Satan has told the reader has been a lie and that Satan truly is the villain we knew he was. Milton utilizes the character of Satan to show how people can be easily manipulated by others who are powerful and seductive. Each of these authors told different stories but each understood human interactions and the human experience. They hit on issues of love, honor duty, power, and war among many other topics. But it is their understanding and portrayal of these topics that makes them worthy of study and has allowed them to transcend the generations.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

Why should I get tutoring help from an English tutor? English is my native language.

Inactive
Seth N.
Answer:

While many native English speakers may believe they don't need help with English, the opposite is often true. While you may have a familiarity with speaking the language that does not guarantee that you are an expert in using or even understanding the language. Having an English tutor offers you an expert in the subject of English at multiple levels. English tutors are often trained in the areas of grammar, syntax, writing, literary and textual analysis, and other areas of the field of English. You may not need help in all of these areas, but an English tutor can help to fill in those gaps you feel less confident in. On top of that many professional writers have professional editors who help them to complete books, articles, etc. If people that make a living off of writing in the English language seek out the advice of others, it never hurts for students to seek out additional help as well. So getting help in English is not a sign of weakness, rather it is a sign of wanting to improve your current skill set.

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