Tutor profile: Joe M.
My teacher told me I had "dropped quotes" in my essay. What is a dropped quote, and how can I avoid using them?
A "dropped quote" is a quote from someone else that has been placed into your writing without being properly introduced. It interrupts the flow of the writing and creates potential confusion for the reader. Take a look at the following example: Nanny believes Janie should be satisfied being with Logan Killicks. "If you don't want him, you sho oughta" (23). The quote "If you don't want him..." made by Nanny is a dropped quote. This is because there was no signal phrase or lead-in sentence to establish context for the reader. We can infer that this quote is being said by Nanny, but we can't be certain. By introducing the quotation, we can improve the flow of the writing, and clarify to the reader exactly who is speaking. For example: When Janie approaches Nanny about her dissatisfaction with Logan Killicks, her grandmother retorts, saying that "If you don’t want him, you sho oughta" (23). Tip: While quotes can help strengthen your essay (especially if you are writing an argumentative essay), try not to bog down your writing with too many direct quotes. If you find that you have a lot of them, you can substitute some of them by paraphrasing instead. The best essays have a healthy blend of paraphrased and directly quoted material. Just remember to always cite your sources and give credit where credit is due!
Subject: English as a Second Language
What is the "zero conditional" and how do you use it? How many conditionals are there?
There are four main types of conditionals: zero conditional, first conditional, second conditional, and third conditional. They can be used to explain the outcome of something that might happen (in the present or future), or something that might have happened but didn't (in the past). The zero conditional is used to describe something that will always happen, no matter what. It is used for facts. For example: "If water reaches 100 degrees, it boils." This is a fact, and there is no denying it. The zero conditional is formed using an "if clause" and the present simple. For example: "If + present simple, .....present simple." Example: "If babies are hungry, they cry."
We are reading a book in my English class, and we have to describe the "subtext" of the story. What is subtext, and why is it important?
"Subtext" refers to the the meaning hidden under the dialogue within a text, story, speech, e.t.c. This is sometimes referred to as "reading between the lines." Regardless of what a character says or does, the subtext refers to what he/she actually means. It is not announced explicitly to the reader, but is implicit, and becomes understood upon closer examination. We can understand the subtext by taking a closer look at a character's tone, for example. Imagine for a moment that the protagonist, John, is suddenly betrayed by his best friend. The best friend, unaware that John knows of his betrayal, asks him: "What's wrong, John?" John replies in a curt tone: "Nothing. I'm fine." The reader can tell, by reading between the lines, that John is actually angry and upset even though he is saying that he is "fine." When we examine the subtext, we are playing the role of "detective," and using the information given to us to understand what the author or character is really trying to say.
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