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Tutor profile: Joey D.

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Joey D.
Student at Binghamton University; Part-time Tutor
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

How do you write a good academic paper?

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Joey D.
Answer:

While papers all have different need depending on the subject, there are some common threads though papers for all academic disciplines. All papers, for example, should include a strong thesis that strikes a balance between specificity and flexibility. Your thesis should introduce your main argument or area of research, but should not give away the conclusions you use to prove it, or your strongest supporting point. Additionally, you should frequently refer back to your thesis in your body paragraphs. For instance, if you have three main points in an essay, with a body paragraph for each one, the last sentence in each body paragraph should refer back to your thesis, allowing you to build it up throughout the essay. It is not a good idea, however, to restate your thesis. It should be worked in with different terms. For example, if your thesis is "chocolate-based desserts ought to be served after meal," and one of your supporting points is a piece of research that proved humans respond more to chocolate-based desserts than fruit-based desserts, you may want to frame it as, "from this, we can learn that we have an instinctive preference for chocolate that we ought to use."

Subject: Philosophy

TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between an agent-neutral ethical theory and agent-relative ethical theory?

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Joey D.
Answer:

The goal of an ethical theory is always to establish what a morally good or morally bad action is in any given scenario. Either way, the individual who is "acting" in the scenario, that is, the person making the decision, has to make a number of considerations about what to do, and what their decision means. An agent-neutral theory, which is characterized by theories such as utility that value the collective good, asks what ANY person should do in a given situation. It does not matter who you are, and it does not matter what you specifically value, or what you ought to do- everyone is set on an equal footing, and ANY rational person who adheres to the moral theory should come to the same morally defensible decision. Other agent-relative theories such as deontology, however, force a more introspective consideration. The operant phrase in an agent-relative theory is "what should I do?" Outside considerations, like a possible benefit of others, is irrelevant. For agent-relative theories, it is completely centered on the individual- what am I obligated to do, and what am I prohibited from doing?

Subject: Biology

TutorMe
Question:

We (or the students) know that DNA is formed through four different nucleobases, abbreviated A, T, C, G. A and T always bind together, as do C and G. Why does this happen, and what does that mean for the function of DNA?

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Joey D.
Answer:

The nucelobases found in DNA (A, T, C, and G) are functionally the building blocks for the blueprint that is DNA. As such, the nucleobases work on two fronts. Firstly, we have the mechanical level, wherein nucleobases bind in the noted pattern in order to stabilize DNA molecules. The complexes formed by A-T hydrogen bonds and C-G hydrogen bonds significantly stabilize DNA molecules overall, holding the DNA molecule together. Secondly, the three-letter codons produced by the bases in the correct series are the actual "pieces" of the protein blueprint that is stitched together in a ribosome. When DNA molecules are constructed this way, and then correctly transcripted into RNA molecules, protein synthesis functions correctly.

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