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Tutor profile: Martha P.

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Martha P.
Teacher with 17 years of experience
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What are some ways to start an introduction to an essay?

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Martha P.
Answer:

Many people do struggle with the beginning sentences of an essay. First. after you've completed your brainstorming, make sure you have your thesis statement. This is the point of what your essay is about, what it will prove. An easy trick to begin an essay is to look at the nouns in your thesis statement. Choose one of the nouns, and begin writing about that. Think of your introduction as an upside-down triangle. It starts on a broad note (the wide base of the triangle)--your general topic, and it gradually narrows down to the point of what you want to say. It prepares the reader to see your viewpoint and follow your logic.

Subject: English as a Second Language

TutorMe
Question:

What's the meaning of the idiom "piece of cake"?

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Martha P.
Answer:

This interesting idiom is one that is commonly used. It means that something is easy to do. What could be easier than eating a piece of cake? It encourages people to try new things because cake is also delicious and fun to eat.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

What does Hamlet mean when he says "To be or not to be; that is the question."

Inactive
Martha P.
Answer:

In this speech--think of it more like a spoken inner monologue--we see Hamlet having a serious debate with himself. This young man is surrounded by serious drama--his father's ghost has told him that he was murdered, his mother has moved on very quickly and is marrying his father's brother (who is his father's murderer!), and his relationship with his Ophelia is very strained because of all of this. In these lines we see Hamlet debating if it's easier to push through and live (to BE), or to escape these issues by committing suicide (NOT to BE). In this speech, he spends a lot of time debating the positives and negatives of each decision. If he ended his life, a huge concern he has is the uncertainty of the afterlife. This is the "sleep of death," "dream," and "undiscovered country" that he discusses with himself. Ultimately, he recognizes that it's that fear of the afterlife that makes the pain of life bearable.

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