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Tutor profile: Charlotte F.

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Charlotte F.
High-School English Teacher on Summer Vacation
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

How do I write a thesis statement?

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Charlotte F.
Answer:

First, you should identify the topic that you’re writing about... (What’s our topic? What’s our guiding or essential question that you are writing in response to?) Second, your thesis should be arguable––after all, you’re going to spend the rest of your paper making clear (arguing) why you are answering the question the way that you are. So, you need to construct an argument related to the topic. Finally, you should make sure that your thesis is strong: good theses are not only arguable, but concise and coherent. Something like... “Race is the child of racism, not the father.” (from Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

What are some motifs found in Slaughterhouse 5? What makes them motifs?

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Charlotte F.
Answer:

A motif is a recurring narrative element with symbolic significance. If you spot a symbol, concept, or plot structure that surfaces repeatedly in the text, you're probably dealing with a motif. They must be related to the central idea of the work, and they always end up reinforcing the author’s overall message. Some motifs in Slaughterhouse Five include Billy's outfit (toga and boots), the smell of mustard gas and roses, and, of course, "So it goes." These are motifs because they appear and reappear constantly in the text, and reinforce the theme of the desolation and alienation of warfare.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

What makes a story? What does a story need in order to be a story? And if something isn’t a story, what is it?

Inactive
Charlotte F.
Answer:

It sounds silly, but...a story needs to tell a story. Well, how do you tell a story? You use events: PLOT! Plot, in a literary work, film, story or other narrative, is the sequence of events where each affects the next one through the principle of cause-and-effect. The causal events of a plot can be thought of as a series of events linked by the connector “and so”. So, we might say you tell a story by constructing a plot––by linking one "and so" to another.

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