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Tutor profile: Darian D.

Darian D.
Senior English Literature Student

Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What are some ways to enhance my writing style if I don't know where to begin?

Darian D.
Answer:

It all begins with fully understanding the prompt/text to which you are expected to respond. Annotating the prompt as you would any other piece of writing helps to highlight what's expected of your response and to draw focus to what parts of the prompt must be satisfied in order to efficiently craft your paper. In a literary analysis, you might be asked to explain the use of certain devices and elements and how they serve a particular piece of text, so a strong understanding of what it is you're writing about is equally important as knowing what points will satisfy the prompt. Once you've gleaned those details, all that's left is to craft a thesis that encompasses what you'll go on to explain in depth throughout your paper.

Subject: Study Skills

TutorMe
Question:

What are some ways to develop a better understanding of a particularly difficult work/piece of literature?

Darian D.
Answer:

My first step when approaching any piece of writing for the first time is to annotate as I work through it. If something stands out upon a first read, I'll highlight/underline it and mark for questions or observations within the text. After that, I'll give it a second read or, if it's an especially long piece, skim back over what was previously marked and try to make connections to what comes later in the text regarding basic elements such as theme, motif, metaphor, and symbolism. There is no way to be too thorough, and after a return to important individual scenes/chapters/paragraphs, the text will only become more decipherable.

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

In Leslie Marmon Silko's novel "Ceremony", how does the author structure the novel around the depth and complexity of Tayo's struggle with his time in World War II and his post-traumatic stress disorder (a.k.a., what was then referred to as 'battle fatigue')?

Darian D.
Answer:

Silko conveys the passing of time in "Ceremony" as a non-linear phenomenon. With the story flashing back from Tayo's experience on the reservation before the war to his time in battle and then to his return home after his treatment at a military hospital, the timeline of the past and present become confusingly entwined. Silko utilizes this technique in order to convey that Tayo's trauma and lived experience are forever embedded in his understanding of his life in what it has been, what it is, and what it will become.

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