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Maggie L.
Education Major at University
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

How do I write a strong thesis for a literary analysis paper?

Maggie L.
Answer:

There are 3 things every strong thesis must have: a lens, argument and a "so what". The lens states what you are looking at, what your paper is based on. Next, you must present your argument based on your lens. Finally, you must have a "so what". Why is what you are arguing important and worth the reader's time? For example, In The Handmaids Tale, the Republic of Gilead uses traditional gender roles (LENS) to strip women of their individuality and self-worth, while also emphasizing society’s underlying fear of powerful women (ARGUMENT). Ultimately alarming the audience of a possible objectified and exploited future for women. (SO WHAT) The important thing to remember: Your thesis is NOT a plot summary.

Study Skills
TutorMe
Question:

What are the best actions I can take to prepare for final exams?

Maggie L.
Answer:

It is important to start studying at least 2 weeks before your exams. If you wait until the last minute to cram, you will not be successful. I like to begin by organizing my notes into main ideas. Then, I take turns alternating topics to review every day. It is best if you study for small periods every day, rather than all at once. One of the best methods to review is by making flashcards or a quizlet. With final exams, there can be a lot of information and it can become overwhelming. Dividing one subject into multiple main ideas/sections, and only focusing on one section at a time can help combat this. As the exam gets closer, it is important to start quizzing yourself. Look through your notes and make practice questions for you to answer. Quizzing yourself is one of the most effective methods for retention. Do not just read over your notes, there is little stimulation and you will not retain information as well.

Literature
TutorMe
Question:

How does Margaret Atwood use gender roles throughout The Handmaid's Tale?

Maggie L.
Answer:

The rise of Gilead and the roles enforced on women through the society not only stripped women of their jobs and freedoms, but it also stripped women of their sense of self-worth and individuality. Offred states, “I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will” (Atwood, 74). During the women’s sexual revolution and second wave feminism, women became very open with their body and sexuality. Women’s bodies were able to be a form of expression and free will. Offred used to be able to celebrate herself and her body, but in Gilead, she has no longer has value herself. Her body is only considered a valuable resource for breeding, “Now the flesh arranges itself differently. I’m a cloud, congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear, which is hard and more real than I am and glows red within its translucent wrapping” (Atwood, 74). The central object she speaks of is her womb, the main focus of Gilead. The society of Gilead looks at Offred and other handmaids as a natural resource, an object used for the sole purpose of reproduction. In her past life, Offred was obtained many purposes, being a mother, a wife, an employee and an individual. As a handmaid, she only has one purpose, to produce offspring. The work of the Handmaids is highly valued in Gilead’s society, but for the wrong reasons. Offred’s fertility is the extent of her worth in Gilead. She states, “I want to be more than valuable. I repeat my former name, remind myself of what I once could do, how others saw me” (Atwood, 97). She wants to be more than just valuable to society as a handmaid. Offred wants to be valued as she was in the past as an individual. She wants to be valued for her intelligence, career, as well as a wife and mother. The role of a handmaid and the traditional gender roles being imposed on Offred has removed what makes her a whole woman.

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