Tutor profile: Emily J.
How do I incorporate a quotation into my paragraph without it being awkward?
This can be tricky sometimes, because it often comes down to finding a quotation that matches your argument. First make sure that what you choose isn't too long, as 3-4 lines can overwhelm a reader and take them away from your point. Take just the amount you need to convey the author's meaning to support your argument. Next thing to consider is where in your paragraph to include it. Often the first line is awkward because the reader doesn't know why you've put it there. You need to introduce it to give the reader context, so explain the point to your paragraph and the claim you are making, and then ease into the quotation in order to support that claim. Also always make sure to include the citation in the proper style needed, such as MLA.
I have to compare and contrast two works of fiction. How should I go about it?
There are many ways to start with a compare and contrast essay, but what I would recommend is to first look at the themes of the two stories. What do they share? Are they about love? Overcoming hardship? Family relationships? Find the themes that they have in common, and then the ones that are unique to each story. Then decide if you want to focus on the story arcs, specific characters, or how the authors portray the characters or stories. It helps to look at what you found most interesting in the stories, because it will be easier to write if you are engaged with your topic. From there you can create a thesis, pick out specific moments in the text to support your arguments, and build the structure of your paragraphs.
What tense should I write my essay in?
Typically, an essay should be written in the present tense and it should stay consistent throughout. However, sometimes it may be necessary to change tenses in order to show the order of events or to talk about what an author said. In those cases, past tense is appropriate to convey actions that happened in the past, but remember to keep other parts of your essay, such as facts and conclusions, consistent in the present tense.
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