Tutor profile: Jacqueline Y.
Why do we need peer review?
I always get the eye rolls and the groans anytime peer review is mentioned. People often mistake writing for an extremely solitary action. we romanticize the idea of Thoreau sitting alone at Walden with his pen and paper, but the reality is that there is no writing that wouldn't benefit from a second set of eyes taking a look. Peer review never truly means finding fault. Peer review is rather an exercise in developing and confirming clarity. So often writers feel like their work is personal and something not be to edited or tampered with, but it is in peer review and process based writing that allows for a discourse to happen, one in which the reviewer and reviewed work together to create and develop purpose, a strong sense of audience, a clear and concise thesis and consistency the body of writing that connects to the thesis. I refer to this act as peer review rather than tutoring because. I'm simply a peer whose aim is to develop and empower on an egalitarian playing field. It is a conversation between brilliant minds.
Why do we have to read this book written by some guy who died three hundred years ago?
Literature teaches us so much about the human experience. Droplets of our joy, pain and distaste for social practices are spread all over the timeline of literature as we know it, and when we dive in, we often find that many of the woes, joys and pains the authors centuries ago experienced, are just like the ones we live through now. It encourages us as a society to push forward, to become better individuals, to build empathy and to gain a more worldly view of the human experience. Literature is extremely powerful and when we practice unpacking it, we gain some of that amazing gift.
What's the point of studying English Literature?
I get this question a lot, in fact, it's the most asked question I get when I mention I'm an English scholar. When we read, and this goes for just about any form of written word we consume, we are constantly challenging ourselves to ask questions. We simply take the words at face value. The the author writes "the sun is a big red ball in the sky" we don't just say "oh ok, so it is" rather, we unpack the language and get to the bottom of the true meaning. It trains us to become powerful critical thinkers and subverters of the status quo.