18550 questions

In 'To a Daughter Leaving Home', how does the poet present the speaker's feelings about her daughter?

If asked this question by a student, I would suggest they tackle it by identifying the over-arching tone of the speaker's feelings, and then drawing out three differing aspects of this and expanding upon them. I feel this strategy is applicable to most poetry analysis at this level, and for this specific question we might focus initially on the sense of the speaker's care for their daughter presented. This can then be broken down into intimacy, concern, and loss. Below is a quick rundown of what one might say about each of these feelings.
In 'To a Daughter Leaving Home', the poet presents an overall sense of the speaker's care for her daughter. We see feelings of intimacy, concern, and acceptance being enacted. The speaker's feelings of intimacy with her daughter are presented at the poem's opening, and may be seen in the first line, 'When I taught you'. Here, the proximity of the pronouns 'I' and 'you' clearly identifies the mother with her daughter, and the monosyllabic quality of the line as a whole suggests a parity between them as family members. Lines three and four expand this, as the poet writes 'loping along / beside you'. The use of the preposition 'beside' shows the physical proximity of mother and daughter, in turn enacting a sense of emotional proximity. We also see here a sense of the mother's concern for her daughter being presented. The bounding quality of 'loping' suggests an eagerness to keep up on the speaker's behalf, something reflected further in the past participle 'sprinted'. The assonance of 'crash' and 'catch' in lines 13 and 14 links the two, presenting the speaker's concern that her daughter may be harmed, showing the desire of the former to protect the latter. Finally, we see the speaker's feeling of loss that her daughter is growing up being presented. The simile of 'hair flapping / behind you like a / handkerchief waving / goodbye' projects the speaker's sense of loss onto her daughter's body enacting a sense of sadness.
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Thomas M.

Answered by Thomas, English tutor with MyTutor


The notion of the American Dream figures prominently in this story. How should readers define "American dream"? Moreover, is pursuing the American Dream necessarily a good thing, as evidenced by The Great Gatsby?

The idea of an American Dream was coined by historian James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book The Epic of America, and characterised as a dream in which “each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable… regardless of [the] circumstances of [their] birth or position”. The dream is more commonly typified as one’s ability to go from ‘rags to riches’ in America, however, there is a deeper sense of the ‘dream’ that goes to the core of the American identity, right back to its ‘Founding Fathers’. America’s first settlers, who left Europe because of religious persecution in the early 16th century, came to the New World with a dream of peace, prosperity and a new way of life. The Great Gatsby can be read as a criticism of the conspicuous consumption of the roaring twenties and the debasement of the American dream from ideas of opportunity to ones of just getting rich. 
Jay Gatsby might be seen to personify both the original, uncorrupted American Dream and the corrupted Dream of the 1920s that Fitzgerald is criticising. While his actions are motivated by an honest and noble desire, his love for Daisy, he can only envisage his solutions through achieving great wealth, which he does through corrupted and illegal means. Seen in this light, therefore, Gatsby’s failure to achieve his dream of marrying Daisy can be read as an allegory for America’s own failings in realising its Dream.
Fitzgerald, however, treats Gatsby as something of a tragic hero by the end of the novel, celebrating his earnestness and the integrity of his motives. ’They’re a rotten crowd.’ Nick says to Gatsby, ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.’ Nick’s use of the word ‘rotten’ is significant here as it describes something that was once healthy but has since become infected and been spoiled, true both of the characters of the novel (aside from Gatsby) and of Fitzgerald’s notion of the American Dream. ‘The Great Gatsby’ suggests, therefore, that while there is an integrity at the heart of the American Dream, the corruption of the dream by the 1920s means that pursuit of it will inevitably result in a disappointed, frustrated outcome.
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James T.

Answered by James, English tutor with MyTutor

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Describe the role of situational and dispositional factors in explaining behavior

Heider's Attribution Theory (1958) is a theory based on the assumption that people tend to try finding explanations for other people's behavior. This happens because they are aware of the reasons and causes behind their own behavior and base their own theories of human behavior in this manner. Another reason for attribution is that people are motivated to better predict and understand the environment around them and having personal theories of human behavior facilitates this.There are two types of attributions: dispositional and situational. Dispositional attributions deal with causes within the person, such as personality, intelligence or attitude. Situational attributions deal with the causes outside the person, which means that a certain behavior is caused by the environment around a person (the situation), such as social context or events outside of one’s control.Simmel (1944) showed a tendency of overestimating dispositional attribution in humans observing others. In this experiment, moving geometric figures were shown to participants that then were asked to describe what they saw. Results showed that participants tended to describe the figures’ motions as intentional actions. In other words, they found a causal explanation for what they saw even if conscious intentional motions do not apply to shapes. Evans-Pritchard (1976) showed cultural differences in attribution in  Azande people. They believed that witchcraft (a situational factor) was responsible for killing people when a doorway collapsed. While the door had been eaten through by termites, the Azande participants still believed that an external force was responsible for the death of those people.
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Isabel D.

Answered by Isabel, Psychology tutor with MyTutor


How do I analyse quotes in an essay?

The first thing to do when choosing a quote to analyse in an essay in to make sure it is relevant to your argument. Think about the theme in the question you have been set - for example, a question asking you to analyse the presentation of women in a text will be looking for quotes with the theme of gender. Decide whether you are for or against this argument, and then select quotes that back up your point. Examiners are looking for a point, evidence, explanation/analysis and then a link that ties the point back to the overall argument of your essay. The quote falls under the evidence bullet point in the checklist.

Once you have selected your quote, a sophisticated technique to impress examiners and introduce your analysis is to embed it. For example, introduce your paragraph with a topic sentence, eg. "The presentation of women in Jane Eyre arguably challenges the female stereotypes of the time" and then embed the quote "for example, when Jane says 'I am no bird; and no net ensnares me' she defies the Victorian confinement of women." This opens up the gate for further analysis, and sounds better than just listing quotes by themselves which often leads to the point and relevance getting lost. Now you have introduced the quote in your paragraph, you need to pick it apart. One way to go about this is to start with close reading and then expand with the broad connotations of what this could mean in the greater scale of the text and your argument. Some ideas for close reading is to discuss literary techniques the author uses, whether or not it is typical/atypical of the genre and how these techniques contribute to the meaning of the quote. For example "I am no bird" is a metaphor, and this contributes to a bigger theme of women often being objectified as wild creatures to be captured and tamed. Then you can start to discuss context - that is, how the quote is relevant to the issues of society at the time. For example, Jane Eyre was written in the Victorian era, a time that was still very much patriarchal.

Finally, after some analysis, make sure to link back to your topic sentence. This neatly ties the quote to the point and keeps in relevant to your essay by not allowing yourself to go on a tangent. Repeat these steps and link relevant quotes together in a similar way, and you will create sustained evidence for your points!
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Megan M W.

Answered by Megan M, English tutor with MyTutor


Compare the views of Sources A and B about commemoration and remembrance.

Sources A and B both agree to a broad extent about the agreement on the site of the Scottish National War memorial and it should be in the capital city, Edinburgh. Secondly, Sources A and B also agree on how the original plan was altered and the importance of Scots in its planning, construction and financing.Overall both sources correlate and agree on how important such a memorial is to acknowledge Scottish sacrifice during the war.
(We can also take an approach usually for this question in other cases where it may be suitable)
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Megan C.

Answered by Megan, History tutor with MyTutor

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Explain the function of the human heart

Describe where the human heart is located - i.e. thoracic cavityDefine the function of the heart - to supply the body with blood, act as a pumpStructure of the heart - 4 chambers (2 ventricles, 2 atria), SAN, AVN, valves, vessels coming in and travelling outDescribe the pulmonary circulation and then the systemic circulationDescribe the electrical conduction of impulses through the heart muscle to achieve contractility
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Alexandra D.

Answered by Alexandra, Human Biology tutor with MyTutor


How do I integrate (sin x)^6?

Letting z be the complex number cos x + i sin x, we will use the identities (zn + 1/zn) = 2 cos nx and (zn - 1/zn) = 2i sin nx. Both of these follow from De Moivre’s theorem and the odd and even properties of sine and cosine. To see this, notice that zn + 1/zn = cos nx + i sin nx + cos (-nx) + i sin (-nx) = cos nx + i sin nx + cos nx - i sin nx = 2 cos nx, and for the second identity, zn - 1/zn = cos nx + i sin nx - cos (-nx) - i sin (-nx) = cos nx + i sin nx - cos nx + i sin nx = 2i sin nx. We see that (2i sin x)6 = (z - 1/z)6 and    64 i6 sin6 x = z6 + 6(z)5(-1/z) + 15(z)4(-1/z)2 + 20(z)3(-1/z)3 + 15(z)2(-1/z)4 + 6(z)(-1/z)5 + (-1/z)6= z6 - 6z4 + 15z2 - 20 + 15/z2 - 6/z4 +1/z6from the binomial theorem. Now, the method we use is to pair up the terms into groups that look like the identities above. Here, we are pairing the first with the last, the second with the second last, and so on, to give 64 i6 sin6 x = (z6 + 1/z6) - 6(z4+1/z4) + 15(z2+1/z2) - 20. Using the identity for cosine, we obtain 64 i6 sin6x = 2cos 6x - 12cos 4x + 30 cos 2x - 20, so 64 (-1)3 sin6x = 2cos 6x - 12cos 4x + 30 cos 2x - 20 and we can then see that sin6x = -1/32 cos 6x + 3/16 cos 4x - 15/32 cos 2x + 5/16. Finally, we can integrate both sides with respect to x, as now we can use recognised integrals on the right. ∫ sin6x dx = ∫ -1/32 cos 6x + 3/16 cos 4x - 15/32 cos 2x + 5/16 dx   = ∫ -1/32 cos 6x dx + ∫ 3/16 cos 4x dx -  ∫ 15/32 cos 2x dx +  ∫ 5/16 dx which we can evaluate by using ∫ cos nx dx = 1/n sin nx + C, to give our final answer, ∫ sin6x dx = -1/192 sin 6x + 3/64 sin 4x - 15/64 sin 2x + 5/16 x + C
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Keenan D.

Answered by Keenan, Further Mathematics tutor with MyTutor


Jodie works for a bookshop. She is paid £6.50 an hour plus 5% of the cost of each book she sells. On Saturday, Jodie worked for 3 hours and sold £220 worth of books. How much money did Jodie earn?

We can break down this question in to two parts.
Firstly we should work out how much Jodie earns for the hours that she worked. Since she worked 3 hours on Saturday to work out how much she was paid we have to multiply it by the hourly rate which is, £6.50. So, 3 x 6.50 = £19.50Secondly, we should work out how much she is paid in addition to this for the books she sells. To do this we have to work out 5% of £220. To work out 10%, we divide 220 by 10 which is £22. So, 5% is £22 divided by 2 which is £11.
So to work out the total we do, £19.50 + £11 = £30.50
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Fizzah A.

Answered by Fizzah, who has applied to tutor Maths with MyTutor

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