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Tutor profile: Peter G.

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Peter G.
Experienced Librarian, Author, world traveler joins TutorMe
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

Creative writing can come in many forms: essays, poetry, Short Stories, Novels, Non-Fiction. No matter what form it takes... what are some basic, simple rules that can guide good writing in any form?

Inactive
Peter G.
Answer:

Writing creatively doesn't always come easily and it certainly requires persistence and willingness to stick to it. One person's magnum opus is another person's unreadable selection. It is your work, so you have to believe in it and go at it without other peoples bias, at least at the beginning. Here are simple suggestions that will improve your writing and give you some simple rules to follow and simple benchmarks to help you along the path. 1. Ideas are the heart of your work...make them interesting and important. What are you writing about and what do you want the reader to get from the piece? Stick to it. 2. Each author has their own way of writing but it helps to be organized about how you present your ideas. You should have a logical way to move from one idea to the next... even if your style is edgy and experimental. 3. The way you write is how you express your "voice". How will the reader react to what you write? Is it friendly or formal; does it pull the reader in or is it more reserved or intellectual. What is your voice telling your the reader? 4. Writing is words. Writers should not use words to simply impress or dazzle... they should use words that are the right ones for their subject, for the character, or the story. 5. Don't make your sentences too long, complicated, or full. Try to write sentences that have life, or are fun, but that the reader can grasp, enjoy, or that pushes the subject along. 6. Finally...we all eventually follow certain conventions of punctuation, grammar, spelling etc. These need to be consistent. In today's world using an application like Word will assist in making these much easier than for authors in times past.

Subject: World History

TutorMe
Question:

Today cities stretch across the globe but where, when and why did cities begin; in what land, and what culture?

Inactive
Peter G.
Answer:

Somewhere around 12,000 years ago most people, Homo sapiens, were hunters and gatherers, moving from place to place harvesting plants and hunting animals, following the seasons and the herd migrations. Perhaps around that time, people began experimenting with growing various plants, herding goats or sheep into a canyon so they could control their food supply. Over centuries this began what has been called the Agricultural Revolution which required people to stay in one place, create villages and necessitating work in the fields and raising animals. These villages inevitably grew and led to urban growth. This agricultural revolution occurred in the Middle East with wheat, millet, lentils, in China and India with rice, and in the Americas with corn, squash and beans. The first cities, at least as we currently understand, appeared near the Tigris and Euphrates River system in modern Iraq and Syria and were built by a people called the Sumerians. Sumer has been called the first civilization. Although the origins of the Sumerians and their language are unknown, it is thought that they came from somewhere in Central Asia or from Northern Mesopotamia. Somewhere around 4000BC they began developing cities called: Eridu, Uruk, Ur or Akkad. The Sumerians developed a loose confederacy of these city-states, with characteristics such as, rich agriculture and irrigation, the first written language called cuneiform, distinctive pottery, and walled cities with impressive architecture, temples, and populations of over 50,000. Other cities, in other locations also developed, for instance in Egypt, or in India, with Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, but it is thought these developments came somewhat later. It is important to understand that new discoveries will occur that might change our understanding of history but this answer is the current thinking.

Subject: Anthropology

TutorMe
Question:

The Aztec Empire was conquered by the Spanish Empire in the 1520s; what were the reasons that this was accomplished so rapidly and so completely?

Inactive
Peter G.
Answer:

It is often argued that the Aztec Empire, or the Mexica as they called themselves, were overcome by superior military capacity and the use of horses, something unknown in the new world, and also because they allied themselves with enemies of the Aztecs whose unrest was rampant against the Aztecs. These facts are true and certainly factors in the conquest. But an even more significant reality was that the Spaniards brought with them numerous old world diseases such as small pox, mumps and measles which the people of the western hemisphere had never been exposed to and had no natural immunity to. Over forty percent of the population died not only to the Aztecs but to the native populations of the Spanish allies in the first year. This was a pandemic without vaccines or treatment. Some estimates suggest that over the first decades of the conquest anywhere from 80% - 90% of the native population died, adding up to many millions, taking with it the leaders, the wise people, religious priests, the political leaders and every aspect of the population. Simultaneously, the Spaniards burned their libraries which were extensive, taking away centuries of records, history and knowledge. These are the added aspects of the conquest that made resistance almost impossible for the native people of Mexico. This impact of disease reoccured across the continent in North America and South America as well as to the Aztecs in Middle America.

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