Tutor profile: Tamara U.
Subject: Library and Information Science
What are peer-reviewed sources and are they actually better than other types of information?
Peer-Review is a process used by academic journals to assess the validity, originality, and importance of research articles. When done correctly peer-review can detect errors in an author's work and provide valuable feedback to make sure the information published is of the highest quality. When determining if peer-reviewed sources are "better" than others it comes down to the information needed. Many primary sources are not peer-reviewed, and the peer review process takes time so if you need extremely up-to-date information, an academic journal may not be as useful as the current news. In summation, peer-review helps ensure the quality of research so it is set apart from other non-reviewed research, but the information you need may not always come in a peer-reviewed format so do not allow it to limit your work.
Subject: World History
What unintended benefits and problems came from long-distance trade in the ancient and medieval world?
The initial goal of long-distance trade networks was to gain access to luxury goods that were not available in one's own region. However, while many physical goods were traded along with these networks, such as the Silk Road and the Indian Ocean, ideas were also spreading. During different periods religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam all spread along with these networks. In addition to these faiths, new languages and technologies were spreading. The use of paper and block printing facilitated the creation and trade of books, the compass and lateen sails were adopted throughout the eastern hemisphere, and even mathematical concepts such as the number 0 were "traded." Unfortunately, as people moved to new places they brought bacteria and disease with them. The most notable is the spread of the Bubonic plague, but numerous other plagues hit Rome and Han China centuries before.
Subject: European History
How does the story of Robin Hood and others like it (ex. Eustace the Monk or Fulk FitzWarin) inform us about the key political, social, and economic struggles of 12th and 13th century England?
The story of Robin Hood and others like him highlights the heroism of outlaws in England during this time period. Many of the stories center on the time when John was King of England during Richard the Lionheart's involvement in the crusades. What this illuminates is the corruption of John's government. The over-taxation of the peasantry and to an extent even the nobility is apparent in the stories, and the need for a challenge to traditional authority is the main theme. These tales can give us a unique literary perspective on the political and economic situation leading up to the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.
needs and Tamara will reply soon.