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Tristen G.
English Literature + Essay Writing Tutor for 4 years and Professional Songwriter
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

My teacher has just given me this assignment below and I don't know where to begin. I have chosen that I think it is wrong to eat meat, but I'm having trouble starting my introduction. Create an argumentative essay making the moral argument for or against eating meat. What should I write?

Tristen G.
Answer:

Although you have chosen your topic, it is perhaps the case that you are not ready to begin writing. The first step in an argumentative paper is to research evidence on your position, meaning you want to read and learn about the topic. Has the teacher given any guidelines on what types of resources are acceptable? Let's start by gathering some resources. Are you familiar with keywords? Keywords are the terms you use to search your topic. Are you aware of how to check sources to make sure they are current and relevant? For your topic, I would search "risks of eating meat". Now that we have collected our resources, let's read through each source, pulling important information. I would open a word document and begin documenting the sources you are reading, and copying and pasting quotes you find interesting. Let's discuss how to properly quote your article or source, or put the idea into your own words, otherwise known as paraphrasing. Remember that for an argumentative paper, you will also need to know the opposition's argument, so it might be a good idea to find a source that addresses the health benefits of eating meat. After you have gathered all your information and become an expert on the topic, do you see any overall reasons why you shouldn't eat meat? How does meat affect your body? How does meat production affect the environment? What is the philosophical, moral argument against eating another animal? Once you have gathered this information, you will be ready to create a thesis statement, which is the main idea of your argument, and a road map for the rest of your paper. I feel like you are in a good position to continue researching and documenting sources on your own. After you've done this, we can discuss how to create an outline for your paper and organize this information.

Literature
TutorMe
Question:

The French playwright Moliere famously said “Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” How does patience create rewards in life? How does a lack of patience create problems? In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's classic play you've just read, Romeo and Juliet, as well as other characters, exhibit a lack patience, and make some detrimental and irreversible decisions. How might the plot have been different if the two characters had show a bit of judicious patience when making decisions?

Tristen G.
Answer:

Romeo and Juliet might have lived a long, loving life together if they had simply pumped their brakes, taken their time, and allowed their fates to unfold before making irreversible life choices. Emotional reactions in the story seem to inhibit the characters' patience, and cause further tragedy and destruction. Romeo is banished because of his lack of patience. When Romeo encounters Tybalt after the Capulet party, Tybalt challenges Romeo to a duel. Romeo resists, but his friend Mercutio, determined to defend Romeo's honor, and quickly rushes to the fight. He is soon killed by Tybalt. Romeo, in a fit of rage and lacking the patience to plan his revenge, then kills Tybalt. This causes Romeo's banishment from Verona. With patience, Romeo may have grieved his friend's death and avoided the consequences of his actions. This murder causes Juliet's father, in a fit of grief, to expedite her marriage to Paris. Juliet, however, has already married Romeo and consummated the marriage in secret. This lack of patience on Juliet's father's part, causes Juliet to seek the help of Friar Laurence and fake her own death. With patience, Juliet's father would have grieved Tybalt's death, and allowed his very young daughter more time to warm up to her potential suitor. Finally, Romeo does not receive the message that Juliet has faked her own death, and instead thinks she is truly dead. Without much thought or patience, he kills himself, not wanting to live without her and unable to deal with his grief. She awakes to find him dead, and with the same lack of patience, kills herself. With patience, and proper processing of loss and grief, both Romeo and Juliet may have survived this series of events and the love story may have ended happily. Good things come to those who wait, and with patience, strategy and outcomes can be analyzed. It seems that each tragic event in Romeo and Juliet is propelled by the characters' lack of patience, and inability to step back and give thoughtful due process to what their next action should be. With more patience, the plot of this play would be much different and perhaps have more happy endings.

English
TutorMe
Question:

When do I use commas? A teacher told me to put commas where I would breath, but I am a heavy breather and would put commas everywhere. Sometimes, it feels like commas are placed arbitrarily. How do I know when to use them in my writing?

Tristen G.
Answer:

There are a few rules to follow when determining where to use commas. The purpose of commas is to group words in a way that make your idea clear to the reader. Here are a few key rules to guide you: Use a comma for an introductory phrase. Introductory phrases are easy to identify because they usually start with a time phrase (before, after, during) or a preposition (over, around, above), and the subject of the sentence (he, she, Mary) usually comes after this phrase. Here is an example: Before I go to bed, I always brush my teeth. Here the introductory phrase is "Before I go to bed", so you must put a comma after the phrase. You also want to use commas when listing items in a series. Anytime you list off many things you want to do (verb phrases), items you want to eat (direct objects), or people (nouns), you always separate each item with a comma and put the word "and" in between the last two items. For example: I would really like to go to the gym, do my grocery shopping, and finish my school work today. I'm really hungry for apples, oranges, pears, bananas, or mangos. Bob, Gina, Mike, and Sam are my best friends. Finally, and the most difficult reason to use commas, is when you have a parenthetical phrase. This is a very commonly overlooked reason to use commas. A parenthetical phrase is added information, and you can tell it's parenthetical phrase because the sentence would operate the same if you removed the phrase. A parenthetical phrase usually explains what came just before. Sometimes these parenthetical phrases happen at the end of the sentence, in that case you just add a comma before the phrase. Otherwise, you want to surround a parenthetical element with commas. For example: I went to the store, like I always do, around dinner time. My favorite grocery store, located right around the corner from my house, is Trader Joe's.

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