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Tutor profile: Emily B.

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Emily B.
Writing tutor with four years of experience
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What is passive voice, and how do I fix it?

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Emily B.
Answer:

Passive voice happens when the writer starts a sentence with the object instead of the subject. Passive voice can be confusing since this grammatical structure makes it difficult for the reader to identify who is performing the action. Here is an example of passive voice: "the tacos were eaten," or "the tacos were eaten by them." In both sentences, the writer placed the object, "tacos," before the subject, "them," or omitted the subject entirely. The easiest way to turn passive voice into active voice is to simply identify the subject, or whoever is doing the action in the sentence and make sure the sentence starts with the subject. Here is the same sentence in active voice: "they ate the tacos." See? Much better!

Subject: Literature

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Question:

Is it important to consider the author's biographical information when analyzing a fictional text?

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Emily B.
Answer:

It depends on the analytic lens you are applying! Each text can stand on its own and create meaning without any consideration of the author's background or experiences. However, analyzing the story within the context of the author's background or experiences can provide new insights into the text. If you decide to incorporate the author's biographical information into your analysis of a fictional text, remember to focus on the meaning of the text first, and use information about the author as a supplement to that analysis. The point is to uncover meaning in the text, not to summarize the author's life story!

Subject: Gender Studies

TutorMe
Question:

Why is intersectionality important to gender studies?

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Emily B.
Answer:

Gender functions as one social identity that works in tandem with and intersects many other identities, such as race, ability, class, and sexuality. Without an intersectional approach that takes these other identities into account, gender studies would not address the full scope of different experiences and societal institutions that influence these experiences and identities within one gender identity.

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