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Heather W.
Experienced Teacher for English, Literature, and Writing Tutoring
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

Researching can be hard and intimidating. When beginning a research essay, what is the best way to start? What steps need to be taken to make sure your essay will be strong?

Heather W.
Answer:

The first thing to do when writing a research essay is to figure out what you know and what you think about the subject. On a piece of paper or a blank document, write what your thoughts on the subject are before you read a single piece of research. This will be critically helpful later on when trying to differentiate between your original thoughts and the thoughts of academics you've read. Next, make a list of the questions you know you need to be answered by the research your going to do (think of definitions, names, dates, explanations on theories). Write those down on a list. Now, when you go to do your research you'll have a guide for what you need to find out.

Shakespeare
TutorMe
Question:

In Shakespeare's tragedy, Hamlet, Hamlet remains a divisive figure. He falters from his mission (avenging his father's "most unnatural death" and leaves a path of destruction in its wake. However, at the end of the play, does Hamlet redeem himself? Why or why not?

Heather W.
Answer:

With his death at the end of the play, Hamlet does redeem himself on several levels. With the fencing match with Laertes in the final act of the play, Hamlet finds that there is more than meets the eye to this seemingly friendly match. Hamlet meets these changes with a cunning brilliance that only a true king can gather. First, he exchanges forgiveness with Laertes, which shows another side to his (Hamlet's) misanthropic character. Laertes is clearly someone that Hamlet holds in esteems- someone who once meant a great deal to him. We see from his friendship with Horatio that Hamlet honors those who remain loyal to him. Secondly, Hamlet springs into action when discovering the plot of Claudius and Laertes. He quickly strikes Laertes- there is no hesitation this time. Thirdly, Hamlet brings what was private (his true knowledge that Claudius killed his father) to the public light. He calls upon the guards to stop Claudius. This is a key moment because Hamlet usurps Claudius as king in this moment. With his dying breath (during which he truly is king), Hamlet gives his support to Fortinbras. He ensures that Denmark carry on.

Literature
TutorMe
Question:

In an age of computers and social media, why is literature still important?

Heather W.
Answer:

Literature will always remain important to humanity because literature speaks to our very nature as humans. Literature, regardless of when it was written, always remains relevant. Look a Jane Austen. Written over 200 years ago, her texts, from Pride and Prejudice to Persuasion, remain relevant and vital because they speak to universal truths: The importance of family, the need for love and acceptance, the folly of the human existence. Technology changes and people adapt, but universal truths (like those displayed in literature) never change.

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