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Tutor profile: Allison M.

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Allison M.
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

How do I come up with a good topic for my literary analysis essay?

Inactive
Allison M.
Answer:

There are several tricks to creating a standout subject for your essay. First, think of a question you had about the material and try to answer it by studying the text. Then, make the answer your argument and support it with the evidence you found. This ensures that you aren’t choosing an obvious argument, adding depth and nuance to your work. Furthermore, what interests you will probably interest your reader as well. If you’re writing about a work of fiction, analyze the plot and character development. Identify the causes and effects of certain changes and how different elements of the story interact. You can center your argument around the way these connections are conveyed in the text or how they contribute to the overall theme. Another good way to brainstorm topics is to consider the context of the original work. Research surrounding historical events and the personal life of the author, and craft an argument about how one or more of these factors may have impacted the text. How does the author’s experience come across in their writing? What are they trying to say about society? If you can find critical responses to the subject matter, it can be interesting to incorporate their arguments. Find a point you disagree with and write a piece contradicting the critic! Make an argument as to why reviewers responded the way they did! Or simply reference their opinions and observations to strengthen your own. Any of these angles should help you develop a unique and complex essay topic – and I’ll be here to help out along the way!

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between a Shakespearean sonnet and a Petrarchan sonnet?

Inactive
Allison M.
Answer:

Both Shakespearean and Petrarchan sonnets are comprised of 14 lines and contain a thematic twist, or “volta." However, there are several key differences between the two poetic forms. The rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Its lines are arranged in quatrains, or four-line stanzas, followed by a rhyming couplet. In this type of sonnet, the volta takes place around the 12th line. A Petrarchan sonnet breaks its lines into groups of eight (octaves) and six (sestets) and employs a different rhyme scheme of ABBAABBA followed by CDECDE or CDCDCD. Its volta also occurs slightly earlier than that of a Shakespearean sonnet, usually around the ninth line.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

When is it appropriate to use a semicolon rather than a comma?

Inactive
Allison M.
Answer:

A lone semicolon is most often used to separate two related yet distinct thoughts within a single sentence. You can also use a semicolon to divide clauses with transitional words or phrases such as "therefore," "furthermore," or "on the other hand"; clauses within a long, complex sentence with words like "or," "and," or "but"; or list entries that already contain commas.

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