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Tutor profile: Scott W.

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Scott W.
Supervising Editor at INTERZINE
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

How do I craft a strong thesis statement?

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Scott W.
Answer:

The thesis statement is the most important part of your essay; it's where you're going to make your core argument addressing the essay prompt. The thesis statement is like the brain of your essay -- if it's strong, the rest of the essay falls right into place. First, make sure you've looked closely at the essay prompt. What is it asking you to do? Take out a highlighter and highlight the question words in the essay - these are the things to focus on as you craft your thesis statement. Once you've figured out what the question is asking, start brainstorming. Write down any idea that relates to the question. Don't worry about organizing right now -- just get all your ideas down on paper! Be sure to cast a really wide net here -- we want to get all the ideas out in the open. Now that you have all your ideas out, it's time to organize them. List your ideas from most relevant to least. Which idea in your mind best answers the question posed in the essay prompt? Put that one first. Maybe you realize some of your ideas from the previous section aren't as relevant as you thought -- that's okay! Focus on the ideas that are most relevant here, the ones that best help you answer the essay prompt. Now look at what you have left. You should have anywhere between 2-5 ideas in order of importance, depending on how long the essay is supposed to be. That's your outline! Now, you just have to take those ideas, condense them down into one or two sentences -- and that's your thesis statement!

Subject: US Government and Politics

TutorMe
Question:

What is ranked-choice voting (RCV), and why do some activists recommend using it in US state and federal elections?

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Scott W.
Answer:

Ranked-choice voting allows voters to create a list of their preferred candidates, from favorite to least favorite, rather than selecting just their top choice. In this system, ballots are initially counted only for each voter's first choice. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the candidate receiving the fewest first-place votes will be eliminated, and their votes reallocated to their voters' second-choice candidates. The process continues until one candidate receives a majority of the votes. Currently, only Maine and Alaska use this process for all state and federal elections, though a number of states use it in primaries and local contests. Some activist groups including FairVote and Unite America want to see it adopted on a wider scale. They argue that US elections are too polarized between Democrats and Republicans, leaving American voters stuck with only two options. Ranked-choice voting would give voters more options on the ballot, and increase the likelihood that third-party candidates could attain high office. Activists also claim that ranked-choice voting would bring a greater degree of civility to US politics. As candidates would be competiting for second-, third-, and fourth-place votes, strategists might seek to put forward more positive policy initiatives, rather than running smear campaigns against their opponents.

Subject: US History

TutorMe
Question:

What was the significance of the Election of 1800?

Inactive
Scott W.
Answer:

The Election of 1800 was a pivotal moment in US history in three main ways. It was the first time that an opposition party won the White House, with Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party ousting the Federalist Party of President John Adams. Jefferson's victory and subsequent inauguration as president enshrined the crucial tradition of a peaceful transfer of power. Secondly, the Election of 1800 brought about key changes to the electoral process; instead of awarding the vice presidency to the runner-up, the office would now be on the same ticket as the presidency. Finally, Jefferson's two-term presidency started a generation of Democratic-Republican governance in the US, where priority would be given to agrarian interests and westward expansion, including the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.

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