Tutor profile: Melissa R.
What are some general tips for developing a strong, organized paper?
One of the most important aspects of paper writing is developing a strong, clear argument. If you have a topic, or prompt, make sure to go over any materials that you will be using in the paper. As you are going through your materials, take note of sentences, phrases and ideas that pertain to the topic at hand. It is always good to have your information ready to use. Make sure that it what you take out will be useful to develop your argument. Once you have thought about the prompt and you have gathered resources, create a thesis. In your thesis you want to establish your argument by briefly mentioning the ideas that you have taken from your resources. The goal is to make a point and briefly mention the topics that you will be discussing in your paper that prove your argument. You will then expand upon these points in your body paragraphs to create a strong, organized paper. Going through your resources beforehand will give you a lot of potential ideas and help you to organize your thoughts. Another thing to remember is that, while the required page length of a paper may be daunting, it is very easy to write about anything if you put the time and effort into it. You really want to focus on the details. For example, if you are working on an English paper, it is very easy to write a paper about a single sentence or paragraph. Pay attention to details, especially word usage. The goal is to close-read. Through close-reading you can really establish a strong, elaborate argument on something as small as a single sentence with proper technique and thought.
The changes that take place concerning time and setting within Toni Morrison's "Beloved" provide a lot of information about not only the past, but the present for many of the characters in the novel. Describe the relationship between time or place in relation to a character within the novel, using literary techniques in your analysis. Use this relationship to make an argument about the novel as a whole.
One of the most prominent representations of time within "Beloved" occurs on the very first page of the novel, beginning with the description of 124 Bluestone Road. While the house on Bluestone Road is just that, a house, is can also be seen as something more through elements of personification that transform the seemingly innocent house into a character that represents the horrors of the past: "124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom (Morrison 1)." Immediately, it becomes clear that 124 Bluestone Road is more than just a house, as it is given very strong feelings. By making "124" the subject of the sentence, Morrison transforms the house into a person. Through personification, the house turns into a living, breathing object, full of anger and hatred. Not only is 124 Bluestone road given its own identity through personification, but it embodies the past, as can be seen through the description of anger that was "full of a baby's venom". As this description is placed at the very beginning of the novel, it is not yet clear that the house can be seen as an early embodiment of Beloved herself, a small child doomed as a result of the hatred and pain of slavery. However, the house becomes a representation of the pain of the past as the tale of Beloved unfolds. Just as the past is always a part of the novel, so too, is the house, which often displays various emotions throughout the course of the novel. These attributes make the house, and the past, something that can never be forgotten. Throughout "Beloved" the house is more than just an object. It can be seen as a living embodiment of the past that influences the actions of the characters as the story progresses.
There are a number of grammatical situations that require the use of commas. What are some of these different situations?
One of the most common uses of the comma is to link two independent clauses. This method of using the comma is one of the most basic, and is often used without much thought. In this situation, the comma is used before any coordinating conjunction (words that serve to connect in some way, such as: and, but, for, so, yet, or, etc.) that links two independent clauses, in other words, clauses that can stand on their own as sentences. This use of the comma connects two sentences that are often related, but can also stand on their own as separate sentences. Another common use of the comma is to separate items in series (three or more items). This form is most commonly seen in lists of any kind, whether they be composed of nouns, adjectives or noun phrases. More often than not the commas in these sentences appear to separate items that are not connected with a coordinating conjunction. However, a comma can also be used before the coordinating conjunction and is referred to as the oxford comma. Take the sentence I used earlier. In this sentence, the oxford comma is not used: This form is most commonly seen in lists of any kind, whether they be composed of nouns, adjectives or noun phrases. This would be the same sentence if I used the oxford comma: This form is most commonly seen in lists of any kind, whether they be composed of nouns, adjectives, or noun phrases. One form of the comma that is not often used, or that is not well known, is to offset appositives from the rest of a sentence. An appositive is a synonym, or explanation that helps to give more information about an object, person, etc. in a sentence. For example, Patrick Rothfuss, a fantasy author, wrote the novel, "The Name of the Wind". Here, "a fantasy author" is an appositive, as it gives more information about the named figure in the sentence. This information is not necessary to the sentence, but gives the reader more information.
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