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Tutor profile: Isaac Y.

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Isaac Y.
Compassionate Bilingual Writing Coach
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

I’m taking an Intro to Political Anthropology class this semester where my first paper is 15-20 pages on a topic I select. I learn best with visual and auditory cues. At office hours yesterday, my professor told me to make sure I don’t “data dump" throughout my paper. What is “data dumping?” Could you help me strategize how I could avoid it while tightening up the body of my paper?

Inactive
Isaac Y.
Answer:

Thank you so much for asking! I've been in your shoes as a student who has had to avoid "data dumping" throughout papers. You “data dump” when you don’t explain how every quotation you place in each sentence of your paper relates to your thesis statement. I understand if it feels like writers just have to list facts to fill up 20 double-spaced pages of paper in answering the intimidating prompt at hand. However, professors want to learn from you when they read your work! Professors usually ask you to: a. define prompt terms in your introduction and then b. agree or disagree with the impact of historical events or policies in prompts and then back up your position throughout the paper’s body with relevant evidence. Reading and then verbally repeating a mnemonic arrangement of letters could help you remember how to alternate between citation and analysis throughout the paper’s body to keep your readers interested in your argument. Please let me know if you’d like me to send you this mnemonic via Lesson Space messaging to help structure your drafts! You can more easily extend your unique argument throughout your paper when you refer to the MEETEEC mnemonic for outlining each body paragraph: -Main point of paragraph -Evidence Point I -Explanatory Sentence I -Transitional Sentence I -Evidence Point II -Explanatory Sentence II -Conclusion of paragraph Let’s say the thesis statement for a “data dump” paper reads “although mining bolsters local commerce, mineral biohazards may pose less fatal health risks to Central African families if mining firms and state agencies prioritize reforestation over resource extraction.” But the first three sentences of this paper’s first body paragraph don’t explicitly and cohesively tie into the thesis: 2500 magnesium calcifications were formed in the ferrous soil of the Ruwenzori range between 2005 and 2010. 125 carcinogenic deposits were detected in the village between 1998 and 2001. The intergovernmental agency XYZ declared a “localized proto-emergency” in a recent press release. Readers see facts in this paragraph that might look interesting. However, the writer has not connected these facts to show that firms need to monitor and prevent the fatal side effects of mineral extraction. How, then, can we clean up this “data dump” paper? If you rebuilt this “data dump” paper’s first body paragraph in MEETEEC order, readers would have an easier time comprehending your main message that mining sector prosperity cannot invalidate crude mortality: -Main point of paragraph: Although the private ore trade has stimulated market growth across the southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, mining firms that have released hazardous particles during ore extraction procedures have fatally abridged local youth lifespans. -Evidence Point I: Belgian auditors recently published a report highlighting a 125% increase between 2011 and 2019 in locally produced lithium battery profits generated in municipal marketplaces across Katanga province (ZZTB, 2020, p. 1). -Explanatory Sentence I: Such lucrative increases in market stall sales volumes would likely convince business publication audiences that Katanga province has evolved into an attractively prosperous region. -Transitional Sentence I: Nevertheless, mining companies that have released toxic substances while extracting ores have failed to reduce local infant mortality levels. -Evidence Point II: Scientists observed that miscarriage rates tripled in Katanga-Ouést as Schelterstein released 7,000 milliliters of “unbreathable” crystalline silica while felling 350 hectares of palm forest to exploit seven lithium deposits around the city in 2011 (ZBC Partners, 2019, p. 333). -Explanatory Sentence II: Even though ore extraction expansion has materially enriched mining interests, firms have condoned air pollution-induced casualties that have plagued local families. -Conclusion of paragraph: In the southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the ore sector has successfully pursued profit maximization while unconscionably permitting youth fatalities to skyrocket. The MEETEEC structure should help you remember to connect your evidence throughout the body paragraphs of your paper. Putting analytical sentences between your data sentences could help you avoid “data dumping” and sustain your readers’ interests in the human impact of your argument. When you balance citation with analysis throughout your body paragraphs, readers will more clearly remember why the phenomena you address must change to bring social justice to our world. I'm sure that your cohesive and original theses and body paragraphs will educate the academic community and impress your professors this semester!

Subject: Sociology

TutorMe
Question:

What did German sociologist Max Weber mean when he used the term "empathetic understanding"? Do sociologists always reach the same conclusion after incorporating "empathetic understanding" into their research?

Inactive
Isaac Y.
Answer:

Weber used "empathetic understanding" to better appreciate why his informants carried out specific actions. He wanted to "feel with" the people he researched to see what meanings these people assigned to their own unique lifestyle choices instead of "feel for" why they behaved in such manners. If an inexperienced sociologist saw a former real estate agent dealing illicit narcotics, the sociologist would initially wonder why the former agent was selling more drugs than homes. The sociologist might initially think that the former agent just got an adrenaline rush from breaking the law. But, when interviewed, the former agent would inform the sociologist that buyers "did not care" for local rural housing stock and that "viable opportunities only existed in marketing oxycodone throughout the community." Reviewing the interview transcript makes the sociologist have an "aha!" moment. The sociologist might think, "oh that dude isn't dealin' drugs cuz it's cool he's doin' it cuz he can't feed his family off home sales commissions anymore." In this case, beginner sociologists could use Weber's "empathetic understanding" principle to critically re-evaluate prior assumptions that the former agent dealt drugs just for leisure. "Empathetic understanding" does not force sociologists to reach uniform conclusions regarding human activities. By contrast, open-minded sociologists often seek to gain "empathetic understanding" from candid informants who share pragmatic reasons for committing atypical behaviors. The people that sociologists interview with "empathetic understanding" in mind can teach sociologists why the weird things they do might benefit them and not only be bad for their lives.

Subject: Political Science

TutorMe
Question:

When do many political scientists agree that sovereign states began to form? Could you give me three conditions on which states are usually considered sovereign?

Inactive
Isaac Y.
Answer:

Most political scientists agree that sovereign states began forming after the 1648 Peace of Westphalia treaties. Sovereign states usually: 1. Have borders physically separating them from their neighbors. 2. Have governments that foreign powers do not control. States with their own political leaders, legislatures, and military forces are usually considered sovereign. When you see the term "sovereign state" in a reading, think of an independent country! 3. Interact with other sovereign state governments. For example, sovereign state leaders often initiate bilateral trade agreements to strengthen their respective states' economies. Let's say South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit agrees with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to trade peanuts for Toyotas. Here, you can see two sovereign state leaders engaging in economic diplomacy. Beyond economics, you can often observe sovereign state leaders interacting to help defend the residents of sovereign states during periods of armed conflict. The United Nations General Assembly consists of 193 sovereign states who often seek to protect civilian life when a state cannot maintain democratic norms and prevent widespread domestic casualties.

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