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Tutor profile: Betsy L.

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Betsy L.
Experienced Language Arts & Writing Teacher
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Questions

Subject: Writing

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Question:

Write a thesis based on this topic: Dogs and their contribution to society

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Betsy L.
Answer:

Although dogs are often treated as family members, many service dogs play a significant role in society.

Subject: English as a Second Language

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Question:

The word "vindictive" is an adjective. How could this word be changed to an adverb or noun form?

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Betsy L.
Answer:

To change "vindictive" to a noun, add -ness: vindictiveness. To change it to an adverb, add -ly to the adjective form: vindictively.

Subject: English

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Question:

In the story "Ruthless" by William DeMille, who is responsible for Judson's death? Explain how the reader can be certain based on the characterization in the story.

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Betsy L.
Answer:

In "Ruthless," Judson Webb is responsible for his own death. In the story, Judson argues with his wife, Marcia, about poisoning a bottle of whisky, as an act of revenge for a thief who broke into their summer cabin the previous winter. Judson, with his "unattractive smile" and threatening behavior, is determined that the thief should pay for his actions. Marcia provides rational arguments for why Judson shouldn't poison the whisky, showing that she has a deep sense of morality and does not condone Judson's vindictive behavior. However, she eventually gives up and decides to tell the neighbor's wife in case something should happen to them. Alec, the neighbor and caretaker for the property, is arriving from the lake just as Judson slips and hits his head on a heavy table. He assures that Judson will be fine in a "kindly voice," while giving Judson a sip of the poisoned whisky to help bring him around. It's clear from the details in the story that Alec had nothing but good intentions to assist Judson and was unaware of the poison. This shows that Judson, with his cruel insistence to follow through on his plan instead of showing mercy, is ultimately the one responsible for his own death.

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