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Tutor Talk

Tutor Talk

Tutor Talk

Valid Arguments

In order to be valid, an argument has to be based on evidence. For example, we might say:


“Tigers can produce milk…”


“Wildlife brings tourism…“


However, these are not valid arguments unless we give some evidence, or cite a source:


“… Since tigers are mammals and all female mammals can lactate for their young.”


“…Wildlife tourism brought £65 million net income to Scotland according to a report by the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research (2010).”


Ad Hominem Attacks

So how do ad hominem attacks fit in?


Ad hominem in Latin literally means...

Here is Part II of our interview with Dr. Lee Raye! Find part I here!

What about hobbies?


I enjoy reading fiction, and my all-time favourite books are by classic authors like John Buchan and Rafael Sabatini. But I grew up on sci-fi & fantasy like J.R.R. Tolkien and Anne McCaffrey and I still keep up with modern authors like Ann Leckie, Andrzej Sapkowski, and Scott Lynch. I’m not a big fan of George R.R. Martin but I published a research paper, or possibly a love-letter, to David & Leigh Eddings in Fafnir – The Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy a few years ago. I also spend a lot of time listening to music,...

Dr. Lee Raye is a tutor on some of our writing and environmental modules here at the Academy for Distance Learning. This week we had a chat with them about their hobbies, their research, and how generous they are when marking assignments!


Tell us about your role at ADL


I’ve been working at the Academy for Distance Learning for five years now and I really enjoy it. My most important responsibility is tutoring our complimentary modules, Academic Writing and Critical Thinking. Those modules are free for everyone who starts a course at ADL, and learners can write about whatever they want, so every submission is a bit...

We have all been there. A project that is started with great enthusiasm drops down the priority as life’s demands get in the way. Whether something happens that invades your routine, or whether you just drift into a lazier lifestyle, it can be difficult to get going again once you think you have failed in your studying goals.

The good news is that there is no need to lose heart about studying. You can pick up and rediscover that enthusiasm and studying regime that gave you that original zest for gaining knowledge and skills.

Re-define how studying fits into your life

Is it a chore, and battle to be won or something that...

If you’re sitting the RHS Level 2 exams like me this year, you might be surprised by the amount of botanical names we have to learn. ‘Surely,’ you might think to yourself. ‘Surely I’m not expected to learn ALL of these scientific names!?’

Well, I did some clever math-magic and I’m afraid the answer is, ‘Yes, you are.’

On average there are 54 marks available over the eight exams just for knowing the botanical names of plants. The total mark for each module is usually 60, so you should be devoting as much time to learning the names across the whole theory course as you are to studying for each individual certificate. The...

Dr Lee Raye, tutor at the Academy for Distance Learning, has been awarded the 2018 Alwyne Wheeler Bursary by the Society for the History of Natural History.

The Alwyne Wheeler Bursary is intended to facilitate original contributions to the study of the history of natural history by scholars under the age of 30. The Bursary includes a £100 prize, free entry to the conference and an invitation to the scholar to submit their paper for publication in the society’s journal Archives of Natural History.

Lee Raye won the 2018 prize with their paper ‘Urban ravens, red kites and voyagers to Britain’. The paper is being presented at the...

This has been an incredible month. A lot happened at the university where I teach, including a surprise party thrown by some of my students to celebrate the end of another teaching cycle. I start my final cycle next week. They are incredible students, keen to learn English even from a mad Botanist like me. They gave me little gifts: handmade musical instrument brooches and a very strange key ring featuring a ‘diablo doble’. The 'Diablo doble' is a mask people sometimes wear during dances and my students knew I was intrigued by them and the music. Half way through the surprise party, the biggest pizza I have ever seen arrived curtsey of...

This month Ecuador has thrown up more surprises and gems. I fell in love! With a dog I met in Banos, and because of this, we decided to go back there. The last time I was there, I was not able to properly visit the town because it was the venue for my teachers’ conference. This time however, a hotel was booked and the town was investigated. It is such a great place with very different vegetations. It is higher than Mindo, where I saw the cloud forest, so there are fewer trees but it has wonderful waterfalls and the town itself is a haven for visitors. There are also termales – hot springs fed by volcanic water – some are hot, some are...


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Disclaimer: Every attempt is made to ensure all information from the academy is accurate and that the student has attained the competencies taught in a course, at the point of their assessment. Beyond this point, the graduate is responsible to maintain their acquired competencies, and apply acquired knowledge and skills in a way which is appropriate to the unique characteristics of each application. This will release the academy from any liability, action and claims of whatsoever nature in connection with, or arising from any such information, instruction or advice, given by any student or ex-student, whether directions given during the course are followed or not.