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Tutor profile: Hilary S.

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Hilary S.
Experience Educator and Librarian for over five years
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Questions

Subject: Library and Information Science

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Question:

How do you determine if a source is primary or secondary? What makes a primary source trustworthy?

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Hilary S.
Answer:

A primary source is one that is from someone directly present or involved with the subject matter they are writing or reporting on. For example, A witness's account to the March on Washington is a primary source, whereas a scholar writing about the events of that day who was not present would be a secondary source. Some primary sources can be subjective even if they were really present or involved in the events they are reporting. In order to determine trustworthiness, the reader needs to look for corroboration with other sources as well as any motives the speaker may have to skew their information. If a primary source provides evidence or other primary sources that match theirs, then the credibility of that source is more apparent.

Subject: English

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Question:

How does Walt Whitman use science to support his central metaphor of "oneness" in Song of Myself?

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Hilary S.
Answer:

Walt Whitman lived in an age of scientific discovery and development. From the third line of his epic poem "Song of Myself," he declares "For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you." He is using the understood science of atoms and their permanence to explain to the reader that all people are made of the same material and are therefore connected. He continues in lines 6 and 7, "My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air, / Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same." Atoms not only comprise humans but also the ground, air, and all other elements that surround them. Therefore, in addition to the physical foundation all humans share, they also all share a cultural history and a connection to the earth. From these early lines, Whitman is declaring that not only do all people share in the human experience but that we are connected through the earth to be as one in this way for all time.

Subject: Art History

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Question:

What elements of classic Greek and Roman art are evident in Renaissance painting, sculpture, and architecture? Why would artists of this period choose to incorporate these elements?

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Hilary S.
Answer:

As ancient ruins from the Greek and Roman era were uncovered, Renaissance artists were inspired to incorporate the designs to better imagine the world as it once was. The Catholic Church especially commissioned many artists to depict images from the Bible using recently discovered buildings, thus adding gravity and credence to the Church's mission. Architectural elements from the ancient world such as the arch were prominent in Renaissance paintings of the time. The discovery of sculptures also inspired artists and anatomists who were exploring the intricacies of the human body. Artists looking to more realistically show movement recreated sculptures in three dimensions rather than the Medieval tradition of two dimensions, in an effort to better represent the sculptures they used as inspiration. Figures in Renaissance paintings now mimicked the posture of ancient sculptures, standing in dynamic contrapposto, for example, rather than the often seated or static stances of the previous Medieval age. Finally, one of the biggest influences the ancient world had on the depiction of the human body is the removal of clothes. Since many ancient coins and statues depicted nude or drapes figures, the artists of the Renaissance began to do the same, focusing on flesh and muscle definition to more accurately represent real bodies.

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