Tutor profile: Christina S.
My instructor told me my paper was "too broad" for the requirements. How do I make it less broad?
Start with an outline. They take time, but pay off in the end! 1. Look closely at the requirements of the paper. Is there a word-count or page length? (250 words is average for one double-spaced page). What is the "scope" (how much detail) required for the paper? 2. Write out the headings for the sections that you know you need in your paper, such as an introduction, thesis (if required), conclusion, etc. 3. Take a moment to think about how you would explain the concepts or ideas in your paper to someone who's never heard it before. What basic pieces of information would they need? Do you need to define any terms, for instance? Write those concepts under the headings where they belong. 4. Start thinking about the length requirement for your paper. How many concepts or ideas do you have? If you divide them among the page numbers, how much space do you have to dedicate to each concept or idea? 5. Look back at the assignment. Assess if you have too much or too little space to thoroughly explain your ideas to the level that's required. This is an area that can help to have a second person, like a tutor or your instructor, take another look at your work. When a paper is too broad, usually it means too much content is being covered for the length of the paper. 6. You may need to do a little more research or brainstorming here. It seems counterintuitive, but often, a paper that is too broad, and covering too many ideas, requires more thought about what detail to include. Think of diving more deeply into an idea, rather than trying to cover as many ideas as possible. 7. As you think of more detail to include about your concepts, write them in your outline. Don't feel hesitant to delete ideas that no longer relate. When you're making a paper more focused, some content has to go, in order to make room for the new, deeper content. Keep revisiting your outline and assessing how much space you can devote to each idea. 8. This process of refining your ideas will likely mean you have to rewrite your thesis or essay question. That's a good thing! Rewriting will allow you to make your question more focused on the new ideas you've been coming up with, and make your whole paper clearer.
Subject: Study Skills
I need to study for an English exam with passage identification questions, and there's too much material for me to read in time. How should I study for this?
Note-taking in your own words is one of the best ways to study material! A few tips for taking good notes on English texts are: 1. Look for tables of contents to refresh your memory on the themes and ideas contained in the text. 2. Write a short summary of the text, as best as you remember. Include a list of people and places which could be helpful in identifying a passage from the text. 3. Look through the text itself. Read a few pages closely to get a good feel for the tone, type of vocabulary used, and typical sentence structure. Write down what you observe.
Subject: Library and Information Science
How do I refer to a publication with a typo in its title in an APA 7th Reference List entry?
There are a few options here! 1. Look for an alternative provider of the particular publication. Maybe we can find it from a different source, where there is no mistake. 2. If we can't find it from any alternative sources where the title is correct, that means it was likely published originally with the typo in it, and hasn't ever been corrected in an updated publication. In this case, we can add a footnote to the Reference List entry, explaining that the typo appears in the original publication.
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