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Tutor profile: Rebecca D.

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Rebecca D.
English tutor for 9+ years
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

How to I choose the correct verbs when I am writing an essay using APA 7 format?

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Rebecca D.
Answer:

Carefully choose your past tense verbs. Try to avoid relying on simplistic verbs like “stated” or “said” throughout your whole paper. Instead, try to be as exact as possible with the verbs you choose. You don’t want to accidentally change or confuse the authors’ original meaning. If you’re stuck, consider looking at a list of reporting verbs like this one: REPORTING VERBS o Argued o Confirmed o Suggested Next, let’s do some thinking about which verbs to choose for the following source: Beavers, S. & Ray, M. (2016). Sleepless nights: Hypersensitivity and insomnia in college students with testing anxiety. Journal of Psychology, 23(13), 112-125. doi: 972349723947 Beavers and Ray (2016) might argue that students with anxiety, typically, go to bed late, but arguing is different from confirming. What if their original argument was that students with anxiety, most likely, go to bed later, but in their experiment, they learned that this is not necessarily the case? What if they found that students with anxiety typically go to bed at a normal time, but they tend to wake up more frequently throughout the night? Ask yourself these kind of questions, and you’ll be able to think more deeply about the verbs you are choosing. In the example I am describing, I would probably choose my past tense reporting verbs as follows: Beavers and Ray (2016) originally argued that students with testing anxiety, most likely, go to bed at a later time than students without anxiety. However, their survey confirmed that 47 out of 60 participants go to bed before 10 p.m. and wake up around 8 a.m., which equated to a median number of 10 hours of proposed sleep at night. When discussing their findings, Beavers and Ray (2016) suggested that more research should focus on how deeply the students are sleeping, rather than how long. Of course, as you write, you will find yourself in a variety of situations that call for different verb tenses. If you would like to learn more about verb tense in APA 7 essays, follow this link to the American Psychological Association's advice on verb tense. There is a table that clearly lays out which verb tense to use in the different sections of your paper with examples. Source: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/grammar/verb-tense

Subject: English as a Second Language

TutorMe
Question:

Why does the wording of the adjectives in this sentence sound slightly awkward? Sentence: My neighbor has seven, French, newborn, miniature, bulldogs.

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Rebecca D.
Answer:

Something many people don't know about the English language is that when we use multiple adjectives to describe a noun, there is a specific, grammatical order they need to follow. According to most reference manuals about grammar, the order of adjectives is as follows: 1. Quantity 2. Opinion 3. Size 4. Age 5. Color 6. Shape 7. Origin 8. Material 9. Purpose Now, most of the time, writers or speakers don't use all nine types of adjectives. In your example, you used four adjectives, but some of them are out of order. On the bright side, you got a couple of them right! You started with "seven," which represents the quantity of bulldogs your neighbor owns. Great job! You were also correct to separate the adjectives with commas! So much about writing in English concerns trusting and following your intuition, and it seems like you intuitively knew to start with the quantity and to separate listed words with commas. I had to make up a sentence using the first letter of each category to remember the order of adjectives: Quaint Old Sarah Arranged Cards, So Others Might Play. Now, all I have to do is memorize this sentence to remember the order of adjectives. I suggest you create your own sentence to memorize! However, the sentence does sound a little unclear, like you mentioned. This is because you should have followed the quantity of the bulldogs with their size, which you described as "miniature," followed by their "newborn" age. After that, you would need to place the bulldog's origin. "French," next to the noun, "bulldogs." How about you give that a try? While you revise your sentence, I will give you an example: EXAMPLE: The 12-year-old, athletic, American, tall, child easily jumped over the fence. REVISION: The athletic, tall, 12-year-old, American child easily jumped over the fence.

Subject: Communication

TutorMe
Question:

How do I rhetorically analyze an article using ethos, pathos, and logos?

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Rebecca D.
Answer:

There are many ways to rhetorically analyze an article using ethos, pathos, and logos. Here are a couple of useful questions that can help you get started: 1. Who is the audience of the article? 2. What is the main idea of the article? 3. What types of evidence did the authors use to support their main idea? Did they use emotion (pathos), logic and reasoning (logos), or credibility (ethos) to persuade the audience? 4. Was the argument effective or ineffective in persuading the audience? Notice all the questions I have listed above are about the construction of the article. The task of rhetorical analysis is to examine the elements and strategies the authors use to persuade a specific audience to buy into the point they are making. This is important to keep in mind because when you rhetorically analyze an article, you need to analyze how parts of the article are effectively or ineffectively persuading the audience and why. Rhetorical analysis does not involve arguing for or against the audiences opinion, which is one of the more common mistakes I come across when I am tutoring students in rhetorical analysis. For example, in his article, "How Junk Food can End Obesity," David Freedman argues that processed food and fast food industries provide more logical solutions for ending the obesity crisis in the United States than promoting consumption of organic foods. If you were to analyze his article, you would not make a claim about whether he is incorrect or correct in his argument. Instead, you would need to pull out distinct elements within his article and analyze either their persuasive attributes, their less convincing elements, or both. Perhaps, he provides convincing evidence about the amount of calories organic foods posses compared to their processed counterparts. If so, you could analyze this portion of the article by discussing Freedman's use of logic and reasoning (logos). Maybe, he tells stories within his article that bring about emotions like surprise or fear. In this case, you would analyze how effectively he impacts the audience through emotion (pathos). Likewise, if he is referencing experts in the field of food science, which makes the audience more likely to trust his opinion, then you could analyze the way using information from experts in the field increases his credibility as an author (ethos).

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