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Tutor profile: Eleanor A.

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Eleanor A.
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Questions

Subject: Sociology

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Question:

What is dramaturgical theory? Explain the basic points of this theory and give examples of how the theory can be applied to explain everyday life.

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Eleanor A.
Answer:

Dramaturgical theory is a sociological theory developed by Erving Goffman which uses the metaphor of life being a theater to make sense of human interactions at the micro, everyday level. According to Goffman’s dramaturgy, people are actors in the various social situations, or performances, in which they find themselves. In these social situations, people work to create successful performances which manage the ways that their audience sees them, and in so doing encourage their audience members to act in certain ways which will not disrupt the performance. This is called impression management. Impression management takes place on what Goffman called the “frontstage.” For each role a person plays, there is also a backstage, where the person does not need to work to manage others’ impressions of them. To put this all into context, consider the example of a classroom. According to the dramaturgical approach, both the teacher and the students are on stage while class is taking place. The teacher is striving to act out their part as a knowledgeable, responsible, helpful adult, and the students are striving to act out their own parts as hardworking learners. When the teacher walks by, students do their best to look as though they are diligently studying, even if they were passing notes or having a whispered conversation with a friend just a few minutes before. Similarly, when students enter the classroom, the teacher might adjust their posture or facial expression to avoid showing exhaustion that was clearly displayed in their body language a moment ago. In this scenario, the teacher’s evident exhaustion or the students’ whispered conversations when the teacher’s back is turned take place on the backstage. However, it is important to note that, because of people’s multiple social roles, the backstage of one interaction may be the frontstage of another. In this case, the students’ whispered conversations, which take place on the backstage of their performance as students, are a part of the frontstage in their social performance with their peers.

Subject: English

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Question:

What constitutes a well-organized essay? Please list at least three essential components of any essay. Explain what each component is and why it is essential. How do the components function together to create an organized, compelling piece of writing?

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Eleanor A.
Answer:

A well-organized essay is made of three main components: an introduction paragraph with a clear thesis statement, body paragraphs that expand upon and back up this statement, and a concluding paragraph. The introduction paragraph tells the reader what the essay will be about. It should begin with a “hook,” a sentence that makes the reader want to keep reading. From there, it should give relevant background information about the subject that will be discussed in the essay, finally leading the reader to the thesis. The thesis is perhaps the most critical component of any essay. A good thesis should present an original argument about the subject matter in a way that provides the reader with a blueprint for the body paragraphs to come. The body paragraphs are the meat of an essay. If the essay were a sandwich, the introduction and conclusion would be the slices of bread, and the body paragraphs would be the ham, cheese, mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, etc. that go in between them. Each body paragraph should directly relate to the thesis statement, and should have a mini-thesis of its own (called the topic sentence) which tells the reader what element of the essay’s thesis statement the paragraph is about to expand upon. In the body paragraphs, the author should prove their thesis statement using quotes or references from relevant sources. The final essential component in any essay is a concluding paragraph. The conclusion should pull together all of the information discussed in the essay’s body paragraphs by restating the thesis statement, and should emphasize why the reader should care about this topic. It may present related questions for future inquiry, or may connect the essay’s subject to a bigger picture where similar concepts can be applied. The conclusion should not introduce new information, but should draw the reader’s attention to the significance and implications of what has already been discussed. A clearly defined introduction paragraph with a thesis statement, body paragraphs that expand on this thesis statement, and a concluding paragraph that emphasizes why the reader should care will ensure that any essay is effective and well-organized.

Subject: Dance

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Question:

Explain the muscle engagement and sensations that one should feel when standing in a classical ballet first position. What does first position look like, in a basic sense? What muscles must be engaged in order to make this position a correct and workable base?

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Eleanor A.
Answer:

In a classical ballet first position, the dancer should stand with their heels together and toes apart, ideally creating a straight line along the back of both feet. It is important that the turned-out position of the dancer’s feet is created not by forcing rotation from the ankles or knees, but instead by finding the dancer’s natural range of motion from the hips. If this means that the dancer’s feet create a “V” shape rather than a straight line, it is better to work from the “V” shape until the dancer has gained greater strength and flexibility in their hips. When standing in first position, the dancer should feel the backs of their legs zipped together, with a spiraling sensation in the muscles that comes underneath the arches of the feet, wraps outwardly around the calves, and continues spiraling up and around the inner thighs so that the entire leg is straight and engaged. The glute muscles should be engaged and the core muscles lifted to maintain the dancer’s turnout. The pelvis and ribs should be dropped into neutral positions, with the dancer’s shoulders stacked directly on top of their hips. The shoulders should be down and back, with an expansive feeling across the shoulder blades. The dancer’s head should float on top of a long neck, pulled up from the crown of the head.

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