Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Things You DON'T Want In Your College Admission Essay

These days, it seems that university admission committees think that acing your SATs, boosting your GPA, and having glowing recommendations are not good enough to guarantee admission to your dream school. After the entrance exams and submission of other requirements, they still require you to write a college admission essay. True, the essay is an added work, but it is your opportunity to market yourself to your dream university. Application essays allow you another opportunity to convince the school board to accept you. It also gives the board an overview of how you are as a student and individual. Therefore, the prospect of writing your college application essay must not be taken lightly - your essay can spell the difference between acceptance and rejection.

Even if a college admission essay is your chance to express yourself, it requires good and effective writing. Just typing something up does not qualify as an admission essay - this is your best bet if you want your essay to meet the document shredder. Good and effective writing means that you have to curb your enthusiasm for self-expression and be on guard about things that have the potential to ruin your essay. A study on admission essays submitted in recent years show several common mistakes. These mistakes range from content to grammatical mistakes - the very things you don't want in your essay.

Most universities provide guide questions for essay writing but you don't have to answer each one in detail unless they expressly ask you to do so. The questions were just provided to give you an idea what to write about. But candidates often write mile-long essays thinking that the longer the college application essay is, the more impressive. This is contrary to what admission officials are saying. Compositions that are unnecessarily lengthy are thought of as lacking in language mastery and clear thinking. Lengthy essays often lose focus and become circuitous while too short essays come up, well, short. Take out unnecessary words like too many adjectives, and instead, focus on using nouns and verbs. A good application essay should be concise but informative and interesting.

Speaking of being informative and interesting, resumes, SAT scores, and GPAs are not crucial in a college admission essay. They are not interesting and they do not provide new information about you. The admission board has your resume and academic records -- they don't need these in your essay. Brown-nosing and excessive praise for the university do not impress admission officials. They are great and they know it. They also know what they can do for their students, so you don't have to remind them. Take all these details out of your essay; nobody needs them. Come up and write about a topic that you feel passionate about to showcase your strengths as an individual. An essay about your stint as a volunteer is more interesting than grade enumeration.

Of course, good writing also means good grammar. College application essays with spelling errors give the impression of sloppiness. So do essay with errors in grammar and punctuation. Grammar books are effective solutions for these problems. Write a draft of your college application letter and reread it. Having other people - especially your English teacher - to read and point out errors is also a good idea. Revise and rewrite as often as needed and get as many comments as possible. Do this until your essay becomes concise and error-free.

The essay is about you, your talents, and how the school can benefit from accepting you. Writing an effective college application essay can be taxing but it can pave the way for your entrance into a brighter future.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Why Does the Essay Word Count Worry Students So Much?

it is funny how what one person would consider to be little more than a minor inconvenience can become a major problem and even a significant worry for so many others. This seemingly 'small thing' can soon take on a life of its very own as something quite major until it is playing on a person's mind and haunting their very existence until they have little or no real conception of how to proceed without guidance. Fortunately, however, help is at hand in the form of this article because whilst the problem of an essay word count may be something of a minor concern for many students it is something that should not be taken for granted as it is only not a problem if you know how to handle it effectively when it comes to the essay writing process.

Therefore, this article will look to provide you with a brief overview of some of the things that you should look to deal with when considering the problems you may have with your word count. With this in mind, one of the first things that I would do is consider what actually 'counts' towards your essay word count by looking in the guidance that you have received from your institution and your individual assessor to check what they expect of you.

Now many of you may think 'Well, I don't to do that because every word I write should count towards my essay word count so I need to structure my essay accordingly' - WRONG!!

More often than not only the words you write in the main body of your work will count towards your essay word count. As a result, this means that your footnotes, title (i.e. main heading/question), subtitles/subheadings, and bibliography will NOT count towards your essay word count because they are not part of the main body of your work and, with regards to the footnotes and bibliography, are meant to give your work greater credibility and legitimacy by showing that you are able to utilise other people's views in your work and critique them.

Sounds simple doesn't it?

If it only it was that easy . . .

The unfortunate reality is that very often you will be told your footnotes WILL count towards your essay word count and so you will have to make allowances for them and look to abbreviate where necessary/possible to save words for the main body of your work according to an academically acceptable system and this can be made all the more complex where your computer does not know the difference between the main body of the essay and the references so make sure to BE AWARE!

What about when you are asked to use a form of 'in-text' referencing like Harvard Referencing?

Again, you must check to see whether these reference will be included in your essay word count because it is all too easy to assume that they will be just because they are included in the same area of your work as your discussion and analysis. Therefore, where they are not included it is usually a good idea to keep a tally of the words that you use for your Harvard References so that you can subtract them from your total at the end and get the right word count.

Why is it so important to get the right essay word count?

Getting the right essay word count is essential because whilst many of you may have heard the 'mythical' view that most institutions only check the word count for one out of every dozen essay papers that they receive, what with technology's ongoing advancement, can you really afford to take the chance. This is because the unfortunate reality is that very often if you are even ONE SINGLE WORD over you could lose anything up to 20% of your overall mark that could be the difference between an 'A' and a 'C' grade or even a 'PASS' or a 'FAIL'.

Of course you may be at one of those institutions where there is a 5% excess, but DO NOT take this for granted - make sure that you know what 5% of your word count is from the moment you starting writing (simply divide your word count by 20 on a calculator) and DO NOT go over it!

But how do I manage essay word count when it comes to actually writing the work in practice?

You should see some of the many panicked faces that I have seen when you tell a student that, after having written a number of 2,000 words (or less essays), they will now have to write 4,000 words and - dare I say it - even a 10,000 word dissertation!

The reason why most people start to worry is that they get fixated on the number for obvious reasons because '10,000' is a lot bigger than '2,000' - I know that this may be a bit 'Noddy' for some of you but bear with me as I am getting to my point.

However, what these same people fail to appreciate is that there is actually very little difference between the strategies that you should be adopting for writing 2,000 words when you are then asked to write 10,000 words. This is because whilst many of you may just be able to rattle off 2,000 words you may actually be costing yourselves marks if you do not take a moment to think (of course ignore what I am saying if you are already getting top grades for everything you write because you obviously know something that I do not and I would love to know your secret!). Therefore, when it comes to producing any piece of work according to an essay word count I would advise you to have the following word in mind - 'PLANNING'.

Well, when thinking about the planning of any of your work I would look to consider your essay strutures as being an essential aspect of this aspect of your essay writing and so I would advise you to first ask yourself the following five questions -

(a) What am I being asked to do?
(b) What does this mean to me?
(c) How will this effect my writing style?
(d) What do I already know about what I have been asked to write about?
(e) Where can I find more information?

Then, depending on the nature of the subject that you have been asked to write about you may be required to undertake a great deal of research or the information may already be available to you (i.e. if you are writing about law then you are clearly going to need to refer to court decisions and legislation as well as other people's views allied to your own, but if you are writing about a play then you may still refer to other people's views but your own view is likely to become all the more significant for the reader so think about what the reader/assessor requires from you).

But how does this effect the essay word count?

The answer is it should get you thinking about the structure of your work which you can then detail in the first paragraph by way of an abstract (particularly for a dissertation or thesis) or you may refer to it in the way that I do for an essay as the 'Introduction to the Introduction' (see my book via my website at the bottom of this article for more information) because you are using this to tell the reader about your approach to the subject matter and in what order this will be undertaken. Then the next paragraph will be your 'actual' introduction that serves to present the main issue that is to be discussed and its importance to the particular aspect of the subject area you are studying.

From there the rest of your work should be looking to consider matters related to this issue so that, for example, if you are asked to consider the 'Effectiveness of the Youth Justice System in the UK' you may begin by saying why this issue is so important before then looking at what successes their have been and the efforts made to deal with any problems. This can be effectively achieved by looking at the effectiveness of practices including the use of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOS), cautions and exclusion order. Then, finally, you should be looking at concluding with a summary of the key points derived from your discussion relating to the overall subject matter that you have been analysing so as to draw the work to a close.

In terms of the word count itself I have found that it is generally a good idea to not write less than seven lines and/or three sentences and NOT much more than 250 words per paragraph so that you keep your arguments and analysis as part of your discussion clear and concise without proving too detriment to your essay word count.

With this in mind, I generally also like to look to work to the following four basic rules with regards to the content of each paragraph -

(a) First, make a point that you consider to be important.
(b) Second, explain why that point is important.
(c) Third, offer any supporting evidence from other people's work and show why it supports what you are saying.
(d) Fourth, consider whether there is anything that conflicts with what you are saying and then use that to move into your next paragraph so that the flow of your work is enhanced.

Of course these rules may need to be adapted depending on the nature of the work that you have been set, but in principle these are just some of the thoughts that go through my head when thinking about the essay I am writing and the essay word count that is available for that work.

If you would like a great deal more information and support in this regard then you can find it in the form of my e-journal 'The Secret Guide To Academic Writing & Study' that I produced myself and am currently distributing to students like you at a remarkably inexpensive one-off price through my website at [].

Monday, 28 September 2015

Writing The Perfect Scholarship Essay

For me, writing essays is not an easy task. Coming from a computer science background, I didn't have the skills necessary to write a quality essay. I eventually was able to pick up the writing skills necessary to work in the real world, so here are some essay tips I have learned along the day.

Pick an interesting topic

This is one of the most critical aspects of your scholarship essay. There are some scholarships where they have a predefined topic, however you will want to tailor these topics to address one of the following issues. I have found that focusing on these issues will greatly increase your chances in winning the scholarship.

1. Focus on a major accomplishment

You're going to want to impress the reader of the essay, so when writing about a major accomplishment, you want them to say, "wow, this person really does deserve this". Keep in mind that an accomplishment that YOU think may be major, may not be major to the eyes of the reader. For example, writing about how you were able to stuff 20 marshmallows in your mouth is probably something that you can forget (until college starts, then you can tell or demonstrate to all your college buddes).

2. Focus on an event where you took action

Readers of scholarship essays LOVE iniative. This means that you saw a need and you actively pursued to fill that need. Some examples of this are being the ASB President, starting up a club, helping out less fortunate kids, etc. People who do these types of activities are most likely going to succeed in life, and the readers know this, so use it to your advantage.

3. Focus on an obstacle you overcame

Here, I would like you to you focus on adversity that has occurred in your life and how your managed to overcome in. Some examples would be the loss of a parent, living in a world with divorced parents, having a disability. These are the types of situation where when you tell somebody, they give you this puppy dog face and say, "I'm sorry". When you write about these events, it is imperitive that the focus is on how you overcame these obstacles and to stay positive. When a reader finishers your essays, you will want them to say, "Wow, this person has gone through a lot, this person deserves this scholarship".

Fully research your topic

I know that when you start to apply for scholarships, you will realize that you will need to write a ton of essays! You will feel that you can skimp on all the essays and focus on quantity, and not quality, but SHOULD not be the case. This is an automatic path to rejection.

Give yourself 2 weeks time for research and the writing of the essay for each essay you do. This will allow you to fully think out the topic and have enough time for feedback and editing.

Remember to focus on QUALITY, not QUANTITY.

Write for your audience

When I talked about some of the topics you should write about, I said that when the reader is done with your essays, the reader should say, "wow, this person really does deserve this essay". You will need to do this when you write your essay. Put yourself in a reader's shoes and ask yourself if you really do deserve this essay. Keep in mind that the reader may have to read tens to hundreds of essays of varying quality, and it is his/her job to pick just ONE. Do you truly think yours will be the one chosen?

In addition, you can tailor the essays to the foundation that provides the scholarship. Say, you want to apply to your parent's company scholarship. You could write a little bit on how your parent's company has affected your life in a positive manner.

Make your essay different from the other essays they get

This comes back to the fact that the reader has to look at tons of essays and needs to choose one. One way to do this is to show, not tell, your reader about your topic. Focus on specifics so that you can avoid vagueness and you'll be able to make an overall stronger impression.

Another way to do this is to take a totally different creative approach to writing an essay. I can't find the link to it right now, but I remember someone won with an essays that went like this.

"I have never parachuted from a plane. I have never taken a canal ride in Venice. I have never seen the light as feathers snow in Russia. I have never won a scholarship."

As you can see, this is a totally different way to write an essay. So be creative, and try something different. Your readers will notice it.

Get someone to proofread your essay and keep editing!

Too many students treat their scholarship essay writing like a regular essay for class. Students will write their essays a couple days (or on the day) it is due and proofread it themselves 1 or 2 times. They don't show it to their parents, or other teachers. You must remember that this essay will generate between $100-$100,000, so treat it like that! Show it to your parent and at least 1 teacher before submitting it. This will greatly increase your chances in winning the scholarship

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Term Papers and Essays - How to Write Better Papers

What's happening with your college term papers and essays? Unfortunately, that's a question that a lot of student's cannot or do not want to answer. I see students on almost a daily basis who have the term paper blues. Their biggest problem? They just can't seem to get started. They procrastinate and rationalize. They put off doing their assignments until the eleventh hour. These students often succeed in convincing themselves that being able to write good term papers and essays is beyond them or just not necessary. This purpose of this website is to get you started on the road to writing good college term papers and essays. My simple steps in producing better essay papers should make writing papers at least easier if not easy. If you really want to be educated then you will have to learn to express yourself on paper. There is no way around this so adjust your attitude and decide you will learn to write a quality term paper or essay that says something.

Writing good term papers will certainly help you remain in college. Failing English is a major cause for students to wash out of college. You do not have to do this. Use the resources of this term paper site and you can succeed. Take a few minutes and at least see if you can comprehend what I am telling you on how to write great college papers.

Book reports are basically essays on a book you have read. If you have a choice pick a book you might enjoy. If you need to view some quality book reports do a search from one of the search engines on this site. The free college term papers and essays also have books reports for your viewing. What I want to tell you I learned by the school of hard knocks. The information I will provide you works well if you put forth a reasonable effort. The information you will receive by reading the Bullshipper's advice on writing college essays and term papers is concise, simple and straight forward. You will be able to remember what I have to say. Really want to get off to a good start with your essay or term paper? You must or you would not be reading this. Determine the following before you attempt to write. (next column)

Getting Started

What is you essay writing assignment? Do you understand just what your professor or teacher is asking for? As a college professor I have seen many a essay and term paper writing assignments botched up because students failed to do as instructed. If you are having trouble determining just what the essay assignment is then ask your instructor until you are clear as to what is expected. Guessing can get you on a bind. Get to know your essay and term paper subject and just what you want to do with it. Determine just who you are writing for. Define a motive for this writing. Saying your teacher or professor is making you write an essay paper is not a motive. You want your essay to be interesting to a wide audience.

Do not produce an essay without a purpose. The first sentence you are going to write starts like this, The purpose of this paper is to...... You fill in the blanks.

References for a Term Paper or Essay Finding good references for you work is now easier than every with the use of the internet. During my days as a high school student we spent a lot of time searching out essay references the hard way. We had to climb around library bookshelves. We had to tinker with microfiche. We had to take copious notes on 3 X 5 cards. Oh, yes, we used typewriters and/or ink on paper. No one was even thinking of word processing. Here are a few simple steps to learn the subject you are going to write about.

Do your class assignments, read what your teacher tells you to. Do not bluff your professors or teachers. I tried this and it rarely worked. Learn to use the academic search engines. I cannot believe just how many of my students do not know how to do this. When I say academic search engines I am not talking about the common internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo. If you do not know what I am talking about contact your school library and ask them how you can connect to the academic search engines such as the Ebsco Host or the Wilson Web. You will never regret learning how to use them. They are easy to use and contain millions of quality articles on just as many subjects.

Read other term papers. You do not care if the papers are good, bad, or in between, just read other essays that concern the same subject you are going to write about. If you follow my advice on this website you will learn to tell the quality essays and term papers from mediocre essays and term papers. Even poor essays can have good ideas that may help you in your writing. This site has links to thousands of term papers and essays at a very low cost. You even get excepts from each paper. These links point to a real term paper buffet; all you care to read.

A word to the wise. I had three students in one class turn in the same exact essay, errors and all. They copied this essay off a free term paper site. They did not intend to write a decent essay. They decided to take the easy way out. They did not collaborate. Needless to say they got a lot of trouble. Dumb. I hope you take the extra time to produce a quality essay or term paper. The only way to get good at writing is to write. I guarantee this. Remember, "if you take from one author it is plagiarism; take from many authors and its research." (Mizner, W.)

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Writing Help

Whether you are working for a small business, large corporation, or are a student, there are numerous sources that you can turn to for help with writing. Businesses need to be able to effectively communicate with their customers, their employees and their potential customers. Effective verbal communication is equally important, but nonverbal communication in the form of copy writing, article writing, press release writing, and more requires a certain level of expertise and experience.

The typical small business wants to focus their efforts on their core business activities without spending too much time on projects that can easily be outsourced to consultants or freelance professionals. Many small businesses turn to freelancers to help them save time and money. For example, a certified public accountant opened his own accounting practice after working in another accounting firm for the last ten years. One of the ways he decided to search for new clients was to embark on an advertising and promotional campaign.

Although some of his previous clients followed him to his new practice, he wanted to increase the number of accounts he currently handled. These accounts included various individuals and small businesses from around the town.

Rather than hire new employees or handle the projects himself, he decided to hire a consultant through a freelance web site to work on copy writing for a local newspaper ad campaign as well as to help with press releases and company news distribution.

By outsourcing these non-core business activities to an independent consultant, he is able to save himself time and money and also gets the expertise of an established professional who specializes in the types of writing that he needs assistance with. He decides to list his writing projects in a freelance marketplace and receives bids from independent consultants and freelance writers.

He was able to choose a service provider based on factors related to cost, the service provider's experience, references, and previous feedback from clients. All small businesses have a decision to make about whether to outsource certain projects or to complete the work in house. Using economics as a deciding factor, it makes sense economically for businesses to outsource writing projects when the projects are non-core business activities that do not contribute to the company's bottom line.

Small businesses also need to be able to effectively communicate with their current customers. Some of the more effective ways to get help writing effective communication for current customers involve using tools such as newsletters, email lists, and articles written by outsourced consultants. Newsletters are very effective ways to keep customers informed of current events and happenings within the company. They also offer you the opportunity to gain new clients as the newsletter gets passed around and is often seen by more than one person during its life cycle. It makes sense and is a smart move to outsource corporate communications instead of keeping it in-house. Hiring a separate professional will save your business money and time.

For less than the cost of hiring a full time employee, and because it will contribute to allowing more concentration on the activities that will earn your business money, contracting with a consultant or freelancer for your corporate communications (writing of press releases to distribute company news, getting publicity through pieces in newspapers and magazines, and getting help writing newsletters or articles) simply makes sense. An expert in the field who has amassed many years of experience with business writing, persuasive writing, and copy writing in addition to having experience writing press releases, articles, essays, and possibly academic or technical research and term papers will have a lot to offer you and your business.

Large corporations use writing to effectively communicate on all levels of business. Business writing and corporate communications are essential elements that keep the public informed and give companies their corporate image. A company's image, or its publicly perceived notion of credibility and reliability is extremely important to its bottom line. For example, upon its introduction many years ago an American car company introduced a car known as the "Nova".

After some time, it was discovered that the car was not selling well in many Spanish speaking countries. Because in Spanish, "No va" translates to "doesn't go", the car sales in these countries were dismal. Effective corporate communication can have far reaching effect. Ineffective corporate communication can result in lower sales as shown in the car sales example. Large corporations also need to be effective communicators with their current employees. Internal corporate communications are equally important and keep your employees abreast of company accomplishments, events and human resource issues.

Finally, students also need to be able to write effectively as well. Writing assignments can include writing essays, writing term papers, report writing, and thesis writing not to mention having to demonstrate writing ability in other subjects outside of English class. For example, law students need to be able to write not only persuasive but argumentative writing as well. Foreign language students need to be able to translate into their native language and then back again.

Science and technology students need to be able to demonstrate scientific writing ability. Taking writing tips from college professors that teach correct formatting and usage, including APA style, and improving your proofreading and editing skills will result in quality writing assignments. For the student that is looking for writing help and homework assistance for their assignments, freelance marketplaces that allow you to hire a consultant or tutor could be a productive and time saving solution.

From a freelance or independent consultant's standpoint, marketing writing skills to potential service buyers is important to keeping any consulting business thriving. Registering with freelance marketplaces will enable you to showcase your writing skills, talents and abilities. Previous experience with all kinds of writing ranging from grant writing, fiction writing and interactive writing to writing short stories, articles and ebooks or even technical pieces, in addition to all forms of business writing will enable you to prove your varied background and skills.

All of which can be showcased in your freelance marketplace profile. Creating and managing a profile is important to make you stand out from the crowd of freelance writers competing for new writing projects. All in all, those looking for writing help can find a vast array of resources in the form of consultants who are more than willing to lend a helping hand.

Friday, 25 September 2015

How to Write a Great Term Paper

Writing a college term paper can be a challenge for plenty of students. If you're having some trouble of your own, don't fret - you're not the only one. High schools don't always arm students with the level of essay writing that college professors expect, so it's normal to feel frustrated. The good news is, there are ways to improve your essay writing skills and make your task easier.

Write about something unique and interesting, as long as it is appropriate for the assignment. Don't pick a subject that your classmate has already chosen. The topic should interest and inspire you; if you write about something you don't like, it will show. If you're struggling to come up with some good ideas, visit your professor for some help with brainstorming.
Make sure you completely understand the instructions. Read your assignment sheet thoroughly and find out exactly what your professor wants. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. You can also arrange a meeting with your professor to discuss your paper plan with him.
Write an outline and show it to your professor before you begin writing your paper. Your outline doesn't have to be too detailed, but it's very important to have one. Good organization contributes largely to the success of a college term paper, and it's nearly impossible to be organized without an outline.
Support your claims with ample evidence. If your paper is about the link between hotdogs and leukemia in children and you want to state that the former causes the latter, you need to provide evidence that backs it up. Good sources of evidence include statistics, studies, and quotes from reputable figures. You can also conduct surveys to acquire honest feedback and timely information.
Use reliable sources. Take the time to find good references as the credibility of your sources (or lack thereof) can make or break your paper. Choose materials that were written by people who aren't very biased and know what they're talking about. Don't rely too much on a single reference, and avoid outdated sources. As mentioned earlier, surveys can provide valuable information, especially if your topic is time sensitive.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

IELTS Exam Preparation Tips: Academic Writing Paper Part 2

The IELTS exam is the most widely used English test in the world. It is used as an admission test for schools, colleges and universities as well as a screening test for job applications and immigration. It comprises of Four papers: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. This article will focus on Part 2 of the Academic Writing Paper.

The ability to write effectively in English is essential for success in your studies and the academic writing paper includes activities similar to those you will use in your studies at boarding school or university: Analyzing & Reporting data and Essay Writing. The IELTS Writing Paper lasts one hour and is split into two parts: Part 1 - Describing Graphical Data and Part 2 - Argumentative Essay Writing.

Writing Paper Part II Tips

Read the question carefully before you start. There are frequently two parts: a general, background statement and a more specific topic question based around that. Ensure that you answer the question and don't just write about the background issue.

Manage your time: You should spend 40 minutes on this task and only 20 minutes for Paper I.

Spend 3 or 4 minutes to plan your answer before you start to write.

Do not copy the question word for word. If you do so then the words will not count and you may be penalized (see next point).

Write at least 250 words. You will be penalized for essays that are less than this so check the word count carefully. Do not write more than 280, however, or again you will be penalized.

Use a range of vocabulary and do not repeat words. Use synonyms instead

Choose formal words rather than simple ones: For instance use purchase instead of buy.

Organize your work properly with correct paragraphs: An introduction (40-50 words) followed by two or three body paragraphs (160-170 words) and a clear conclusion (about 40 words).

Use a range of grammatical and sentence structures and include a couple of complex sentence structures to show the examiner your understanding of English.

Write cohesively: Link sentences and paragraphs so that the meaning follows on. However, do not use too many conjunctions so that your writing becomes repetitive.

Proofread your writing at the end, You should allow 5 minutes for this.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Thesis As a Blueprint For Your Essay

While the thesis statement is traditionally used as a way to introduce your main subject, it can also be laid out such that it provides a recognizable blueprint for the essay. When utilized in this manner, it can help frame your essay, giving readers a clearer view about the different components in your piece.

All those things in just one sentence? Contrary to what most people think, the thesis statement need not be confined to a single sentence. If a single, clear sentence can sufficiently express the main thrust of your essay, then go that route. If it does not, then do not be afraid to parlay the thought over the course of a series of sentences. When using your thesis as a blueprint, it is highly likely you will need to go past a single sentence in order to address it in entirety, especially if you are treating a very complex subject.

How do you frame your paper into your thesis? Here are some suggestions:

· List down the major subtopics of your essay.

· Check which ones are crucial to developing your main argument

· When composing your thesis statement, look to add all of these crucial elements over the two, three or however many sentences it takes you to describe it.

While the main thesis is a small part of your overall essay, it is probably the most important as it sets the stage for the rest of your discussion. As such, you need to make sure it is written as clearly and powerfully as possible, with the help of a good essay writing software.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

How to Structure and Write an Essay - The Introduction

This is my first of a few articles I am writing to give simple, easy to follow essay writing tips to international students. I actually run my own website so I'm well qualified to give you some of the main essay writing tips I'd say would improve most of the essays we have submitted.

So today I'm going to talk a bit about essay structure for beginners - most English essays, from GCSE to degree level, follow a pretty similar format for best results. This will generally consist of your introduction, followed by an outline of the different arguments, analysis of each and finally a conclusion demonstrating the author's opinion having considered everything previously. So what exactly do we need to see in each of these sections?

We'll start with the introduction in article 1, which is hugely important despite not earning the most marks perhaps; this is because the introduction is where you must show how you have understood the question and how you will go about answering it. A good introduction will not waffle on for a whole page illustrating all your knowledge of the subject and it will not just repeat the question. The best essays are generally developed around a theory which is then constructed into a question - if you have been given a question already may need to identify what its actually telling you to do so you can answer the question most effectively.

A good introduction will:

- Start by reaffirming the main assumptions within the question - if the question asks 'what is the most important factor?' this might mean stating that there are a number of factors which we need to consider - eg. 'The outbreak of war in 1914, and the reasons for it, is a hugely controversial topic between historians and different analyses consistently deliver different conclusions.'

- Then include an explanation of what the question you are answering is actually focusing upon - this means identifying the question words and interpreting them. For example if it is a 'to what extent...' question, you will be comparing the importance of one factor to the importance of a number of others. Eg - 'This essay will attempt to identify and analyse the different factors, with the aim to compare the importance of each before reaching a conclusion.'

- Now explain some of the different possible arguments whist fleshing them out a little with some background knowledge - for example 'Different historians advocate and different deciding factors for the outbreak of war; the assassination of the Arch Duke for example was one a short term culmination in a succession of events; this essay will analyse the overall importance of this, and the other major factors, in leading to war. In the conclusion I aim to reach my own conclusion as to which factors stand out as being most influential.'

- You may also briefly analyse the different general viewpoints to show your knowledge of how the question has been answered by others. Depending on the historical upbringing of the author; the sources at their disposal or even underlying bias, historians traditionally fall into many different camps on the subject.'

So overall my introduction might read:
'The causes of the outbreak of war in 1914 are a hugely debated topic between historians with different historical analyses consistently delivering different conclusions. This essay will attempt to identify and analyse the range of different factors involved, with the aim to compare the importance of each before reaching a conclusion. Different historians advocate different deciding factors for the outbreak of war; the assassination of the Arch Duke for example was a short term culmination of a succession of events and is argued by many as the major catalyst, others suggest this was simply the natural progression for long term factors to reach. This essay will analyse the overall importance of the different causes, both long and short term in leading to war; in the conclusion I aim to reach my own view as to which factors stand out as being most influential in starting the First World War.'

Notice that the use of the personal pronoun 'I' is only used rarely and the introduction kept short and simple. All you want to do is identify what the question is asking and explain what you will do to answer it - combining this with a sprinkling of knowledge of the arguments or subject knowledge and you will have a good stand point for the rest of the essay. If you do already have an argument it is worth stating this also so the reader will know exactly what you think and hopefully once you show your reasoning be persuaded.

Thanks for reading and if you've anything else you want help with please visit my site; next time I will be discussing how to analyse each argument effectively.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Writing a Book Review Essay

in such a case, the main aim will be to appraise and include new discoveries or ideas to make the old work look better than any previous writing. One thing about this type of writing is that it must not be done only when the complete book has been written. It can be done at any point in the research and writing process. It can be done without even finishing the whole book. A chapter or even a whole section of the book can be reviewed.

You should begin by establishing a purpose for your writing. Every book review must have a unique purpose and reviewing for a purpose means that your review must really brings about whatever you want to evaluate. This means that as soon as you write something different from the earlier one, you should stop and reflect if it achieves the purpose. And also remember that while reviewing a book, your purpose may also be different from what was conceived in the previous writing. But you should be able to assess if the original writer ends up saying what was intended at the start.

Before you begin to write, you must know everything about the book. There is no alternative in doing this than to read and understand the whole book. Remember that you must know everything about the whole book. Do not think that knowing a bit of everything about the whole book will lead you to success. This is the more reason why you should start writing as soon as the topic is known. This will be a time consuming activity. You should work with time and not against time. For this reason, you should develop an outline. This is one of the most obvious tools that will take you through start to finish.

Consider the type of readers you have. What is the previous book all about? Is it a scholastic work or simply a fiction? Who are the class of readers? Will they be able to make out what you have reviewed and will they be able to appreciate what you have reviewed more than what obtains in the book?

Consider the whole outlook of the reviewed work. Does your reviewed material incorporate all and even more of what is in the old work? Is there anything new in the new work and is it reflective of current events?

Book review essay writing should often be revised and edited and this should preferably be done by another writer. However, the writer should be knowledgeable enough on what is found in the previous work. Remember that a genuine criticism must be made on what you have written. If you find out that a rewrite will be possible, you should not hesitate in doing so. Keep in mind that rewriting is one of the most perfect forms of writing. Edit your book review to make sure that the structure of what you have written is superb. Revising and editing for structure is very important because these are the very causes of almost all book reviews.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

How to Write a Qualified Answer For College Essay Questions

Writing effectively by creating a qualified content is an important thing to do in order to pass college essay writing questions. But not all can passed right through it. Most college essays can't be answered with a straightforward reply, especially one as unencumbered as stating either "yes" or "no." Marked by complex issues where either side of the argument can be valid, it requires an equally detailed treatment to sufficiently answer.

When composing your essay responses, always strive to have these two qualities present in your writing (apart from making it clear with the help of a college writing software):

1. A clear line of argument.

2. A balanced treatment of opposing views.

The first one should be obvious. If you're not arguing for a specific position, then you're not answering the question. Establishing a clear perspective from the onset gives your reader an immediate answer, allowing them to more easily understand any supporting arguments you present later.

The second part of that is where the essay gets just a bit tricky. Even with a clear position that you want to push, you will need to demonstrate a balanced treatment of the opposing views. Without it, your answer will feel too one-dimensional, lacking the appropriate depth of analysis to sufficiently convince a more discerning reader. Instead of merely stating arguments in support of your position, give ample space to possible objections and opposing opinion too. When your reasoning can survive even valid arguments from the other side, that's when you'll know that your answer is solid.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Writing a Dissertation, Report, Thesis and Research Paper

Ideas, concepts and/or research combined in a structured form in order to produce an interesting, impressive and unique piece of written work is known as a dissertation or report or thesis.

However, in structure and content a report might differ from a dissertation and thesis and vice versa but the aim they seek is similar.

Precisely one key goal is to present ideas, concepts and/or research in harmony with words, hence, producing something well-written and extraordinarily unique; which is able to grasp the attention of the reader as well as achieving its targeted aim of expressing ideas, discussing, clarifying or proving concepts and research objectives.

There are some basic integral structural elements of any written piece of work

1- Introduction (statements)
2- Body (elaboration, explanation and research)
3- Conclusion (findings, narrowed summary of objectives achieved)

These basic contents are divided into sub contents for analytical purposes and these sub contents typically serve the purpose of "to the point discussion and analysis".

It is highly important to follow the structure and be specific while writing a report or dissertation. It should enable the writing, discussion and analysis to flow and form an easy to understand work for the reader.

Essay writing skills come naturally in some but can also be developed through reading extensively and absorbing the contents and vocabulary used by professional writers. Skimming through the daily newspaper may help in improving your writing skills as well.

Presentation is another key skill which could be learned and practiced to ensure improvement in what you put in black and white. It is, in fact, the cherry on top of your cake. Without proper presentation few readers will remain hooked on to what you have written. What use will it be if nobody is interested in what you have, so carefully and thoughtfully, put forward? It holds its importance more in business writings than in science but a well presented work achieves the goal of impressing the reader and is therefore quite essential.

Ideas, concepts and research, depending on the writing you are carrying out, form the core of your writing. This is how the reader will be made aware of the effectiveness, importance and individuality of your work. If the actual content is not valuable, then mere use of skilful writing may not be able to impress the reader or sustain attention. Also such work may put it in the danger zone and risk damage to your presentation and the rest of the apparent immaculate work.

In the end, do not forget to give references because that will prevent you from being a victim of plagiarism. Copied material is bound to send all your hard work down the drain.

For a perfect combination of ideas, concepts, research and words consult a professional writer and seek possible help before handing over your final work. Remember your work represents you and can play a vital role in how you are assessed now and in future.

Laura Cohan is a professional academician and and has offered her services as a professor at several colleges in California. Based on her experience she has defined Essay Writing as an art that can be learned by following some simple Techniques

Friday, 18 September 2015

How to Write an Outline: I've Got Writer's Block and No Time Until My Deadline!

You've developed the perfect thesis or essay topic-one you're passionate about-and you've even enjoyed your research. In fact, you might've researched your topic for years-decades, even-but you can't get started writing.

Don't worry: Here are some easy tips regarding how to write an outline that'll have you typing in no time. First, let's dispense with the basics: An outline just a clear, concise plan of your paper. An outline will help you present your material in a logical fashion and flow. Actually, spending time to create an outline will save you time in the long run and make essay writing easier.

An outline of the outline

When we explore how to write an outline, it's helpful to examine outlines themselves in greater detail. Although there are several different types, the most frequently encountered format is alphanumeric, which presents categories like this:

I. Roman numerals
A. Capitalized letters
1. Arabic numerals
a) Lowercase letters
(1) Arabic numerals inside parentheses
(a) Lowercase letters inside parentheses

In this format, sometimes called a topic outline, each category is a single word or a brief phrase (usually not a full sentence) describing an idea. The decimal outline only uses numbers, an advantage in showing the relationship between each category and subcategory. It looks like this:

1. Main topic
1.1. Subtopic
1.1.1. Detail
1.2. Subtopic
1.2.1. Detail Sub-detail
2. Main topic
2.1. Subtopic

As the name suggests, a sentence outline presents categories in full sentences. Unless you're writing an outline as an assignment, choose whichever type works best for you, but be consistent. Your word processing program may also automatically enable you to display your outline perfectly.

Crafting the academic outline

When studying how to write an outline, it's crucial to know the steps of the entire process. The first is to determine the purpose of your paper and your audience. Next, write a strong thesis, and start researching. Without exception, an outline starts with a thesis statement, or a summarizing sentence that presents your paper's core idea in a complete sentence. After you've collected your research, brainstorm what you want to write. Include everything, but accept that you'll revise your paper, sometimes many times.

Organize your paper

Many people don't realize that organization is important to the skill of how to write an outline, but now that you have a list of ideas, you'll want to gather them into groups. Order the information within the groups themselves, and then order the groups. Voila! You now have categories and subcategories. When contemplating how to write an outline, it's important to build time into the process for editing and revision.

Labels: a good thing?

Your dad may have cautioned you not to label people, but that doesn't include labeling categories and subcategories. While we're exploring how to write an outline, it's useful for you to know that, if you're using a sentence-style outline, you'll need a sentence for each category and subcategory. If you're using a topic outline, you'll need a word or phrase to for each topic. Your professor may also mandate that you include a bibliography.

Our example can help you learn how to write an outline

This example outline will show you what an outline looks like. An outline is not a rough draft; it's a plan for your paper. A good outline will make the writing process faster and easier and probably will result in a stronger paper.

If you're worried about your outline, especially if your professor will see it, have the essay editors at look at it. If you want to learn more about essay writing, check out's e-book How to Write an Essay in Five Easy Steps. was founded in 1997 as one of the world's first online editing and proofreading companies. Based in Ontario, Canada, the company's primary goal is to provide clients with fast, reliable, and affordable revision services. We have edited over 604 million words and processed over 210,000 orders from 223 countries and territories.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

A Short Guide To Essay And Speech Writing

This article contains some ideas for the young teacher on what advice to give students to get them started on writing an essay. Writing a speech is in many ways similar.

The ideas below are not in any order of importance. You will need to select which ones you can use with your class. You may need to simplify the suggested ideas, as well.

Each idea may need you to teach a lesson on it with you actually demonstrating how to go about it, e.g. the concept of 'past, present and future'.

Suggested Techniques/Approaches

1. Brainstorm the title of the essay or speech. Just write down any idea that comes into your mind no matter how silly or irrelevant you think it may be.

2. Use the following simple group of suggestions to help provide ideas:

o How, when, where, why and/or what
o When - before, now, soon
o When - past, present, future
o Family, relations, friends, acquaintances, strangers
o Local, regional, state/provincial, national, international
o Home, school, outside school

3. Use Google to research your topic, if possible.

4. Create a basic plan/plot from the data you have gathered - a synopsis.

5. Plan and write a draft of your introduction.

6. Plan and write a draft of your conclusion.

7. Ensure there is a link between the beginning and the ending.

8. Put one idea/part of the story into each paragraph.

9. Write all the first sentences of each paragraph to ensure the 'story' is in the correct sequence.

10. Expand each first sentence into a paragraph to fill in the 'story' as you go.

11. When writing your first draft, leave a blank line after each written line to help the editing process. The teacher should demonstrate what is meant here for younger students.

12. Use the language and terminology of the subject discipline of the topic.

13. Vary the way you start each sentence to create interest.

14. The first draft should be written in simple language and phrases to get your 'message' across. In the editing process, add words that give extra meaning, emphasis and emotion.

15. It is important to read your final draft aloud to yourself to ensure that it makes sense and gets the 'message' across smoothly.

Extra Ideas For Speech Writing

16. As a speech, it is important to note that most speakers deliver their speech at one hundred words a minute. Therefore, that will determine the length of the speech according to the time you have available.

17. In a speech, it is important not to include too many ideas. It is better to have, say three ideas for your themes and support those ideas strongly.

18. Introduce your basic theme with a strong introduction and reinforce your theme in your conclusion.

19. Time your speech to see if it fits into the time allowed. In a competition speech, it is better to be a little short on the time than to be too long.

20. In a competition speech, there will be a warning bell so know where in your speech you must be at that time. Then adjust the speed of your speech or omit part of it to finish on time.

Now that you have read all these suggestions, you will realise that not all will be suitable for younger students. You will need to go through the suggestions to find those that suit the age, experience and ability of the students you teach.

With most of the suggestions, you will need to demonstrate to your class how to use them. With older students, you could select an essay or speech topic and work with the class on a strategy to create a draft plan. Then the students could continue through to the final writing stage.

If you teach your students these strategies, then they can never seriously say to you, "I don't know how to start."

Our author, Rick Boyce, wrote many essays during his university and school days and knows how hard it was to get started as a student. In his early teaching career he taught English, History and Geography to High School students. In his fifties, he joined a public speaking club where he learnt the art of public speaking. He was able during that time to win club speaking competitions and competed in state finals of Rostrum speaking competitions. For more information about what to do in your classroom, Rick has produced a website to help teachers.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

How to Make an Outline of the Essay

To analyze the basic points of the essay is the first step in essay writing. You should write down all the information that brain discovers. After that you can arrange it in a sequence. It attracts the reader. Usually, we use following steps to write an essay:

1. Definitions

2. Merits

3. Demerits

4. Role in society

Most of the essays are moved around these points. With outline you can make your essay impressive.

How to make an outline

We take the example of "Un-employment". Firstly, we write the definitions of unemployment in which we try to describe its meanings, nature and philosophy. Secondly, causes of unemployment describes in details. Thirdly, we write the outcome or results and how it affects our society.

If you are not well aware of the topic, write the outline at the end.

Wrong way to make an outline

1. Introduction

2. Advantages

3. Disadvantages

4. Conclusion

Correct way to make an Outline


1. Unemployment is a popular and widespread problem of modern age. People having no work to earn are called unemployed.

Causes of Unemployment:

1. Overpopulation is the main cause of unemployment.

2. There is lack of industry, mills and factories in the country.

3. The wrong distribution of wealth in the country also results in unemployment.

Effects of Unemployment:

1. Unemployment produces frustration among the educated people.

2. It gives birth to criminals and rebels.

3. It hampers the progress of the country.

How to overcome it:

1. The industry must be expanded.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Writing More Effective Essays

Writing essays is an inevitable part of any academic career, whether it be at school, or in later life. Being such a crucial part of the education process, it's strange that there are very seldom classes or tutorials on how best to write and structure an essay. In this article, we'll look at some salient points, which should be kept in mind whenever you're required to write an essay. Including the obvious grammatical and vocabulary requirements, there are certain other factors which are required to produce a good, solid essay.

The first place to start is, as always, the introduction. Introductions are essential components of any essay, and should reflect the question being asked primarily, whilst also outlining the intended approach. It is not to simply outline all the points you will subsequently make, but rather to outline the direction in which you will reason towards your conclusions. A good thing to remember in your conclusion is that by providing a rhetorical question, or answering the essay question you have been set, you can effectively round off the introduction and begin your reasoning which will ultimately earn you credit.

Next, you will be required to form the body of your essay. This involves making structured points in support, or against your initial hypothesis set down in your introduction. It's worthwhile remembering to continually refer to your question set, and through linking sentences at the beginning and end of each paragraph, you should end up answering the question you have set.

Finally, after making the substantive points of your essay, it's time for the conclusion. The conclusion should not simply round up the points that you have made, but should draw in the conclusions, or inferences that can be drawn from the points you have made. From this, you should reflect your answer to the question, which is the ultimate point of writing the essay.

Essay writing is one of the hardest challenges faced through any academic career, and is a thoroughly resolute test of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, it is also a test of vocabulary and reasoning, and should be thought of as a chance to elaborate on the key skills you have picked up in the course of your learning. By working technically well through your essay, and providing a set structure focused on answering the question, you will ultimately end up with an essay that is well organized towards reaching its goal.

Monday, 14 September 2015

How to Get Started on an Essay When You're Stuck

Sometimes, you find yourself in the mood to start that essay early, getting it ready well ahead of next week's deadline. So you sit down, begin typing and, for some reason, find yourself unable to put anything down. You're stuck and you don't know how to get out of it. Here are a few ideas:

Don't write. Instead of writing your essay, just assemble an outline based on your research. If you're familiar with mind-mapping tools, you can put one together specifically for it. Just because the words won't come doesn't mean you have to stay idle - pre-writing instruments, such as these, can do immense things to make writing easier when you're ready.

Write disjointed sentences. If you can't write a sensible essay yet (you're blocked), then put down disjointed sentences. Anything that approximates (even very poorly) what you want to say will do. You might be surprised at how much of the text you produce this way will actually become usable in your final draft.

Plagiarize. Sometimes, using others' words can get the ball rolling. When you do this, make sure to put markers on portions of the text that you ripped off directly, so that you can rewrite them later (while you proofread or use your essay writing checker). The last thing you want is to turn in a finished essay that contain sentences directly lifted from other people's materials - that just puts the rest of your hard work in bad light.

When you're stuck, getting over it is usually about finding things that allow you to get a headstart. Once you're over the hump, the words can flow.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

How to Write the Perfect Essay

Native English speakers as well as those speaking and writing English as a second language confront the same challenge. How to write the perfect paper and get an A for all their efforts?

A school piece that demands a descriptive narrative of an assigned topic will require thorough preparation from the beginning towards the end of the writing process; but contrary to popular belief, writing a narrative discourse should not be complicated.

The basics of writing a good narrative are simple. These are the same guidelines for writing graduate school dissertations and college theses. The assignment given to you by your professor is therefore a preparation of that eventuality.

Basic Rules

In completing your writing efforts there are simple rules to follow - whether you are formulating an analytical piece or supporting or opposing a viewpoint, or retelling a personal experience you have to be comfortable with your topic. Here are some tips when putting your ideas into words.

"Select your topic - Choose a topic you are passionate about. This will give your writing direction.

"What do you want to say - If you have a topic in mind, enumerate the ideas you would like to explore, but be sure you have back up support from available references.

"Why do you want to say it? - It is not enough to put your ideas into words. You must have a purpose. Perhaps you want to galvanize people to action or agree with your point of view.

"How will you say it? - This will guide you in your style of writing.

"Simplify - Start with a simple thought, and stick to it. As you go along, you will find some great ideas to fit into your paper.

"Make an outline - an outline should be your writing map. You should plot the beginning, middle and end of your discourse. With an outline, you can present your ideas clearly and in orderly fashion.

"Review your first draft - be objective and don't settle for a half-hearted effort.

"Show your second draft to your adviser - His or her input will be valuable.

"Be ready for rewrites - Relax and unwind. Get away from your assignment for awhile. You can return to it later with a fresh eye and perspective.

"Let others comment on your narrative and take note of these - You will get more ideas to wrap up you piece.

"Rewrite your paper and have it edited - get a good editor who has the time to go over it.

The Right Write

The length of the finished product varies. It may take one to five pages, double-spaced, with 300 words per page. The usual font used is the Times New Roman, but this will also depend on the terms of your professor.

Essay writing assumes many forms, but the best or perfect article is one written passionately and rewritten until it meets the writer's satisfaction.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

How Can I Interpret These Crazy Essay Directions?

You have probably already encountered the phrase "compare and contrast," and learned that in Teacherese, this means to write essays about the similarities and differences of two stories or articles or species of fish. Now you have graduated to more advanced confusing phrases, and the trouble is, there are many more of them now. But just like "compare and contrast," all these new phrases are, amazingly, still in English.

Take the phrase "critical analysis," for example. We know what it means to be critical of something, and when we analyze something, we pick it apart and discuss all the little pieces. So all we need to do is combine the two terms. A critical analysis, then, is when we pick apart whatever it is we are supposed to be reading, and cast a critical eye on all the little pieces. What does this part mean? Is the author's opinion valid? What do we know that can support or disprove it? Whenever you are asked to analyze, pick out each idea presented by the author and discuss it in detail. You're less likely to miss something that way.

So what are you going to do when the teacher or professor asks you to do something like "synthesize the materials" or "evaluate critically" or "cross-reference" your sources? Many students in this situation are embarrassed to ask for clarification, thinking that they are already supposed to know these terms. Perhaps they are, but they often just go straight to the essay and guess at what the instructions mean. Bad idea. Particularly when most students have a dictionary no further away than their school library. Most of the time, those difficult and confusing words in your essay instructions have a meaning from regular life. "Cross-referencing," for example, sounds like it would mean to reference across. (Many thanks to my cowriter, Captain Obvious.) The point is, that is exactly what it means. At the end of a source, you find the sources that that writer used. You then look a-cross to that other source, and reference it.

Let's try "synthesize." To synthesize is to combine things. So how do you synthesize reference materials?...That's right, you combine them. Into a coherent, whole paper. Doesn't sound so confusing anymore, does it? The same can be done with nearly every instruction you will receive in the context of an assignment. What does the professor want when she asks you to "evaluate critically" something you've read? That's right, she wants you to make a judgment based on your knowledge of the subject. This technique can be use to translate nearly all essay directions. But what if you reach one of which you can't seem to deduce the meaning?

No, you do not guess. You can ask a classmate. You can summon your courage and ask the professor. You can consult your librarian, your mother, or the fortune teller with a shop on Main Street. Granted, the fortune teller should most likely be a last resort, but there are many other resources to assist you in translating your essay directions. You can also use these methods to translate grading rubrics or other academic instructions that seem to be written in the dreaded language of Smartypantsese.

Friday, 11 September 2015

How To Use Anecdotes To Enrich Your Essays

Writing with anecdotes can strengthen and even brighten your content up especially if the topic is hard to understand or is something so serious that an average reader may want to skip it.

However, you can't just rely with anecdotes all the time and too much of it can also ruin your work. There's a proper way of how and when to write anecdotes especially when you are going to create an essay for school or for work.

Most expert writers often add a little anecdote in their writing to provide a meaningful concept for their readers. Although anecdote may serve as spices in your essay writing, still, many writers fail to do it correctly and worst, not all are aware about the use of anecdote.

If you are going to be asked by a novice writer, how are you going to define an anecdote? Well, have you ever read an article or an essay where a writer is stating a historical incident, whether it is personal or from someone's experiences, which are relevant to the topic that they are writing?

It may sound as if the writer is stating a story which always impart lessons or new understanding which is significantly related to the writing subject? This is what you called an anecdote where it demonstrates each important point of your writing clearly.

While not necessary in most forms of essay writing, anecdotes can prove valuable additions when you're trying to present a richer, more colorful discussion. Provided there, at least, tangentially related to your discussions, of course.

Not All Anecdotes Are Equal

Before inserting an anecdote, make sure it directly supports whatever assertion you're making with the specific paragraph. Throwing in a funny story might help engage the reader, but they'll just end up scratching their heads if they can't figure out where the whole tale fits into the context of your argument.

When Anecdotes Rock

Anecdotes are excellent tools for:

Adding rich detail to your discussion. Anecdotes help break the monotonous discussion of concepts and ideas many essays end up devolving into. Because of their level of detail and familiarity, they usually end up being more memorable than other portions of your writing too.

Reinforcing the paper's overall argument. Because anecdotes are specific accounts of events, they end up being easier for readers to relate with. As such, one that demonstrates a concept or idea you're promoting makes it easier for readers to assimilate into their own thought processes.
Like all writing, make sure your anecdotes exhibit smooth flow and are free from mechanical errors. Even the best stories can end up sounding trite if they're told poorly, so put that writing improvement program to good use.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

How to Use the Internet As a Research Tool for Your Essays

The internet is a fantastic resource. Can you remember what life was like before we had access to the internet? All of our information and knowledge had to come from other sources such as text books, library sources, other people and visual or audio resources. Nowadays we can simply type in a series of words into an online search engine and out comes a list of hundreds of resources which may be of assistance to us as we strive forward to learn more about a particular subject matter. It is incredible really.

The internet is thus a crucial resource for anyone who is undertaking study as it can provide a vast amount of information about a subject area that you are learning about or that you are writing about. There is no longer the need to rely solely on the information that you can glean from text books or primary sources found in school, college or University libraries. Now you can access information that will help with the content and quality of your essays from your very own computer. Indeed, you can access this information whilst lying in bed or watching the TV if desired!

So how should you go about using the internet as a research tool to help you with your essay writing? Well the first thing to remember is that the internet is a fantastic resource...but it is also an open and public resource and so there can be an awful lot of rubbish and incorrect information contained on the internet as well as information that will actually be meaningful and useful to you. So proceed with caution. Always ensure that any information you take from an internet source has come from a reliable website, and that it can be supported by other information or facts quoted by other individuals. Don't assume that everything you read on the internet is factually accurate, or that it has a place in your essay argument or content.

The next thing to remember is that search engines work best if you have entered specific search terms into their search engine. Asking a large search engine to produce information that is related to environmental science will produce thousands of different website links and resources. All very well and good...if you have hours and hours spare to go through all of these links in order to find any information that might be relevant to your specific essay question. Most students don't have this great luxury of time...and they also don't want to waste precious hours searching through information in this way. So be sure to put specific search terms into the search engine that are relevant to your essay topic, for example, 'benefits of studying environmental science at University'.

Finally, when using information found on the internet, remember that it will need to be referenced in the bibliography of your essay. So to make this process as easy as possible, note down the exact URL for each useful website that you visited, make a note of the time and date that you visited the webpage, and who you think the author of the webpage is (if possible).

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

How to Get a Better Essay Score

Got a monumentally low grade on your last essay for class? Don't worry; it happens to the best of us. Your best recourse is to learn from that and make the next one the best you've ever written. Are you ready?

1. Stay with your structure. If you have a particular way of working and writing, stick with that. I'm not a big fan of overhauling people's processes - it creates more chaos than clarity. Stick with your current structure, but don't let it get stale. Instead, improve it one part at a time. Always implement new techniques (such as using writing correction software) within your existing context, rather than building one from scratch just to accommodate it.

2. Work on your weaknesses. What's the biggest flaw in your last essay that got you the poor marks? That is what you'll be working to improve on in your next essay. Ask your professor how you can improve on that particular area. If you don't get a satisfactory answer, consult good books.

3. Recognize your strengths. What's the one standout thing that was good about your essay? Identify it and embrace it - it's an area you're good at. Remember the old saying, "Always put your best foot forward"? That area is your best foot - employ it heavily in the next essay you write.

Will you become a master essayist overnight? Hell, no. However, this is a solid plan that will help you build up your essay-writing skills one brick at a time. At the end of the day, that's what learning is about - building up your skill set in a slow but sure manner.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Why Five-Paragraph Essays May Not Be Best For College Writing

The five-paragraph structure is among the most popular formats for essay writing. As a simplified version of academic writing, it uses a streamlined process that lets you state an idea and support it with evidence. Paired with a good writing software, the simple structure can help you crank up essays quite fast.

While employed by many students and, surprisingly, recommended by many "experts," most college writing instructors actually discourage its use in university assignments. Surprised? Don't be. There are actually good reasons for steering clear of five-paragraph themes in most college essays.

They do a poor job of setting context. Since five-paragraph themes rely on an hourglass approach (general to detail to general again), it usually begins with vague, "dawn of time" introductions. In college writing, starting out with something concrete and giving ample space to a detailed background usually works better.

They make it difficult to construct complex arguments. Because of the strict use of space (e.g. restricting yourself to three points), five-paragraph themes are better employed for listing-style and descriptive essays, rather than ones that place heavy emphasis on analysis and interpretation. While it's possible, adopting another format should make the job easier.

They're too simplified for real-world situations. Look at the five-paragraph theme and try to find a real-world counterpart for it. Check out your favorite newspapers, magazines and, even, collected works. Chances are, you won't find anything that even resembles it. That's because it's essentially a dumbed-down style of writing. While it usually works for high school and, possibly, college freshman levels, most professors expect better from their university students nowadays.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Writing About Literature With a New Tool

"Oh no! Not another essay to write on literature!"

If you've ever been in a class where essay writing on literature is taught, you've probably said those words yourself or heard someone else say something close to that.

It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that you have to pick a literary device---such as characterization, plot, irony, symbolism, imagery, tone, conflict, denouement, or one of fifty other alien concepts---to write about, would it? Thought so.

And whenever these assignments come up, you probably don't even bother to figure out just why those zillion literary devices ruin a good story, right? You simply can't see the forest for the trees.

Let me explain---All those literary devices are "the trees," and "the forest" is the whole of the interesting story. Simply put, then: When you have to focus on the details of the structural pieces and forms in a story, you lose the interesting entertainment of a story because all those pieces and details make it impossible to keep track of the story as a whole.

You see, this focus on pieces and parts all began around the 1930s, when a movement called The New Criticism started up in America. The New Critics had the quaint idea that you should understand a story on its own terms, without referring to outside sources such as the author's life and thought, the genre, or the current literary trends. They believed that all you need is what's in the story.

Actually, that wasn't a bad idea---that is, until they ignored their own main principle and brought in all those alien literary devices from the outside that related mainly to just the pieces of a story.

What those New Critics missed was something that every lover of stories knows, but just about never is able to put into words, and it has to do with the wholeness ("the forest") of a story, not its pieces ("the trees"), which is this: By the end of a story, something important has to change---or there's no newness and no story! (You knew that, right?)

Here's how it works: In absolutely every published story, what changes at the end always relates to something important said early on in the story, either by or about the main character. And that early statement is always a strong evaluation or description concerning a trait, characteristic, goal, problem, or desire related to the main character. That's what I call the OldView. The change at the end I call the NewView, which is always a Reverse of the OldView.

With that one principle---the change between the important OldView at the beginning and the NewView Reverse at the end---as your tool for understanding a story, you can make sense of every literary device in every story ever written and published. Why? Because authors always use the parts (literary devices) in their stories to support the OldView-NewView change that provides the wholeness that makes a story a story. And that goes for both short stories and novels, any kind of story.

For example, in Edgar Allan Poe's famous short story, The Cask of Amontillado, at the end of the fourth paragraph, Montresor (the main character) says, "I was so pleased to see him, that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand." This OldView value statement is the strongest evaluation of Montresor's feelings up to that point in the story.

True, most everything said before that was about Montresor discussing the revenge he would take on Fortunato. But it is all said matter-of-factly, businesslike, with little warmth or energy. Most professional commentary on the story indicates that Montresor being pleased and "wringing his hand" is just part of his deceiving Fortunato about his hidden desires for revenge. But the story reveals that it is more than just that. "How's that?" you ask.

Well, at the end of the story, the following statement by Montresor provides a NewView Reversal to the important OldView strong value statement we just looked at: "My heart grew sick -- on account of the dampness of the catacombs. I hastened to make an end of my labour."

The dash-dash ( -- ) indicates Montresor is adding an afterthought, one in which he tries to turn around the truth of what he has just said---that his heart really was sick at what he had done in killing his friend, Fortunato. Physically speaking, the dampness would make only his lungs sick, not his heart, as any doctor will tell you.

In the OldView at the beginning, Montresor said, "My smile NOW was at the thought of his immolation [sacrificial killing]." So why isn't he smiling and happy at the end, when he is completing his great revenge on Fortunato? Why is it that his "heart grew sick," and why is he in haste "to make an end of" his labor?

Why not drag out the final acts of his revenge, enjoying his triumph, as he had been doing at the beginning, as well as during the middle of the story---"I was so pleased to see him, that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand"? His statement, "My heart grew sick" really is a NewView Reversal of what we expected of Montresor all along, since he was smiling outwardly and inwardly from the start of the story at the prospect of avenging himself on his friend.

Montresor truly was sick at heart, not of body, as he realized he no longer would have his friend to tease and to torment at his fanciful whim and idle leisure. Yes, Montresor was sick at heart, but it wasn't because of the dampness of the catacombs. Once he noted his own unhappiness, as soon as he realized his friend was finally dead, even before the walling up was completed, he used only four brisk and businesslike sentences to wrap up the story, with no sense of triumph or glee at having accomplished his revenge.

As a last touch, Montresor wistfully pronounces that Latin phrase which for centuries has been used to say goodbye to our respected friends and loved ones, "In pace requiescat," which translates as, "In peace may he rest." Not exactly what you'd say of an enemy you hated, now, is it?

The following example thesis statements demonstrate how knowing the changing OldView-NewView relationship in Poe's short story makes it easier to write about the literary devices in the story:

In The Cask of Amontillado, every teasing thing Montresor says to Fortunato on their walk through the wine cellar has a triple meaning---considering Montresor's hidden intent of killing Fortunato while still being his friend and enjoying his teasing of his friend-and so is highly ironic.
In Poe's story, The Cask of Amontillado, the most important conflict is the one Montresor has with himself at the end over whether to complete the dastardly deed of killing a man for whom he still has feelings of friendship.
In the short story, The Cask of Amontillado, the trowel Montresor shows to Fortunato is not only an image of the literal means of his death, but it is also an image of the huge joke he is building for his cherished friend.
The walling up of Fortunato in Poe's story The Cask of Amontillado is symbolic not only of Montresor walling up his hatred for Fortunato, but, sadly, also of walling up and hiding his tender feelings of friendship for Fortunato.
The theme in Poe's story, The Cask of Amontillado, could be, 'Never let friendship, a few bones, salt peter (nitre), excessive dampness, or the truth get in the way of a little friendly revenge.'
This pattern of OldView strong value statement up front changing to a NewView Reverse at the end works not only in every published short story, but also in every published long story, which we call novels.

Take, for instance, Jane Austen's brilliant novel, Pride and Prejudice, well-known to and beloved by both the American and English cultures. In the beginning of the story, Mr. Darcy is not only disliked by Elizabeth and her mother, Mrs. Bennett, but also by the entire town of Meryton: "He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped that he would never come there again."

At the end of the story, when Elizabeth discovers that Darcy has rescued Lydia and the reputation of the entire Bennett family, she reverses her prejudiced opinion of him and falls in love with him. And Elizabeth expresses her reversed feelings for Darcy almost at the very end of the story. Then, with Elizabeth's engagement to Darcy, her family also reverses their feelings about him---the town, too, probably, though we are not told so---a perfect OldView-to-NewView pattern of change by reversal, a romantic's pure NewView Reverse delight!

Another English novel very familiar to the American public is J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, which as a movie became a box office hit in America and around the world. The written story was even better because it shows the changing OldView-NewView relationship so very clearly. And the written story has a bonus---three major NewView Reverses.

The first OldView takes place at Bilbo and Frodo's big birthday party at the beginning of the story, where Bilbo is the star and Frodo is treated as unimportant, hardly noticed. At the end of the story, the NewView Reverse is that Frodo is honored after the last battle at the Great Feast of the West, where Bilbo is not even present. So Frodo has gone from being ignored as a Zero at the beginning to being praised, toasted, and lauded as a great Hero at the end---quite a drastic NewView Reversal!

The second OldView occurs near the beginning when Gandalf finally tells Frodo all about the powerful and dangerous Ring he inherited from Bilbo. In that conversation, Frodo has no pity for Gollum, and he feelingly says Gollum "deserves death." The NewView Reverse of this actually occurs throughout the story as Frodo consistently prevents Sam or anyone else, such as Prince Faramir (Boromir's brother), from hurting Gollum.

The third and probably most important OldView also occurs during that conversation with Gandalf, when Frodo states how badly he wants the Ring destroyed, passionately bemoaning the fact that he has been given the dangerous Ring.

The NewView Reverse at the end couldn't be more complete---At the very Crack of Doom within Mount Doom in Mordor, where Frodo has come to destroy the Ring, he surprisingly declares, "I do not choose now to do what I came to do. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine!"-and he puts the Ring on his finger. Fortunately, Gollum bites off Frodo's finger with the Ring on it and steals the Ring from Frodo. But Gollum falls into the fatal fires of Mount Doom with the Ring, thus completing for Frodo his failed mission of destroying the Ring.

As I've demonstrated, the changing OldView-NewView pattern naturally occurs in all stories, short or long. When you learn to recognize that pattern in stories, you can then much more easily see how all the literary devices ("the trees") are used by the author to support the overall wholeness ("the forest") of changing OldView-NewView that is always there, in every story.

With this new tool in hand, you'll be analyzing literature and writing those formerly dreaded (OldView) literary essays with ease (NewView)!

This article was written by Bill Drew, a writing expert who specializes in teaching writing of many varieties and levels, in both theory and practice, especially writing essays, thesis writing, and topic sentences -- with insightful emphasis in teaching writing about literature, as well as writing advertising and other business writing.

He is the author of The Secret DNA of Writing Essays-And Everything Else, as well as The Secret DNA of Analyzing Short Stories. The two books plus software for the first book are available at his website, at, and at

His NewView methods are being successfully taught in elementary, middle school, and high school classes.

For further information, see the many endorsements of his books and software on the Testimonials page of his website, as well as the several Reviews on

Upcoming books planned by Drew include The Secret DNA of Writing Advertising, The Secret DNA of Analyzing Novels, The Secret DNA of School Writing, with Lesson Plans, The Secret DNA of Shakespeare's Plays, The Secret DNA of Communication, The Secret DNA of Education and Teaching, The Secret DNA of Hemingway's Writing, The Secret DNA of Introductions and Conclusions, The Secret DNA of Topic Sentences and Paragraph Development, and many more to come in the Secret DNA series.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Structure Suggestion For a 1,000+ Word Essay

Tasked to write a 1,000-word essay? If you've written one before, you've probably realized that working with a definite structure is an excellent way to streamline your work process, allowing you to finish your essays in an efficient manner.

We love essays that are tightly-structured for one reason: they make the work of writing easier. Instead of spending hours on trying different stuff out, you can just fit your notes into your paragraph arrangements and be done.

My favorite structure guideline for 1,000-word essays (or others near that in length) goes like this:

1. Introduction

2. Background

3. Explain point 1 (against the main thesis)

4. Refute it

5. Explain point 2 (against the main thesis)

6. Refute it

7. Provide an alternative view that supports the main thesis

8. Provide evidence (create a separate paragraph for each one)

9. Conclusion

Both the Introduction and the Conclusion should be self-explanatory, as they are present in almost any essay you do. The Background is intended to provide a place to give an overview of the subject - a brief history, the different points of view regarding it and why it should matter.

Many students skip doing steps 3 to 6, which I believe is a mistake. The best way to put an argument forward is to acknowledge the opposing views and refute them, even before detailing your own.

This is just a suggested format, by the way. You can make your own or borrow one from your essay writing software, if you have a structure in mind that you are more comfortable with. The important thing is to map out how you will present the essay before writing, so that you save on what would otherwise be wasted time.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Use of the Apostrophe - Avoid Using Contractions Within Your Essay

A contraction, in the context being discussed, refers to the use of an apostrophe in place of other characters. For example, it's instead of it is, can't instead of cannot, isn't instead of is not.

Thus the characters replaced by the apostrophe in the previous examples are 'i' 'no' and 'o'. In contractions the characters are replaced for ease of pronunciation, in informal spoken and written English.

The central point of this article however is this: You should never or at least very rarely use contractions in academic essay writing.

Due to the informal nature of contractions they should only ever be used very sparingly in formal written English. Their use is largely inappropriate for academic essays which by their very nature demand a formal and precise form of English.

Write the full word or group of words

Have not
It is
I will
Do not
Were not
Are not
Will not
Is not
Should not
Would not
Could not
Did not

Do not use contractions


An exception to the rule

As with almost every rule, there are exceptions.

One example where the use of a contraction might be appropriate in this context would be the insertion of a direct quote from an external source, in order to support an argument.

EG: Indeed the Prime minister speaking in the House of Commons stated that, 'I'm open to the possibility that a solution may not be found in the near future.'

(Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 12 December 2005 columns 23-34 - Fictitious Hansard citation)

Informal contractions such as 'I'm' are commonly found in speech and informal writing. Here its use is appropriate as it is a direct quote from a relevant external source.

The ideas presented here are not new, but the writing is. Please consider helping to improve the quality of this article and give other readers the benefits of your wisdom by leaving a comment.

Inspiring and helpful comments may be incorporated into future articles.

Friday, 4 September 2015

How to Structure and Write an Essay - The Main Body

This is the second of a few articles I am writing to give simple, easy to follow essay writing tips to international students. I actually run my own website at so I'm well qualified to give you some of the main tips I'd say would improve most of the essays we have submitted. My website offers a proofreading and editing service for just £8 for the first 1000 words so if you're still not 100% confident take a look and I'd love to help you towards far more professional results in the future.

So on with the article and I'm going to explain how to effectively analyse your points. This is the part of your essay you really need to get right to get the best marks you can. Your opening statement for these middle paragraphs will make a point - this could remain neutral or if you are attempting to persuade, or state your opinion, it will support your thesis; either way the point must always relate directly to answering the question. Make sure that the point will then have evidence to back it up - for example 'The economic position of the super-powers by the 1980s had set into motion the fall of Communism' - this sort of statement is fine as long as you can show exactly why you have said it. You don't need to be too nice and neutral in your essay, if you feel one answer is the correct one then argue it as much as you can - just make sure there is always evidence, evidence, evidence.

What many international students especially tend to do is just to now write down everything they know about the point - just remember all your paragraph needs to do is build the argument. Once you make your point put in the evidence to support it and then explain exactly how it supports it. The simple structure of each paragraph should therefore be point, evidence then an explanation of how the evidence supports the point; this is important - you are not explaining the evidence itself but how it supports the point and therefore answers the question. If you keep to this formula you will be answering the question comprehensively and should be on your way to the best mark; of course if there are different arguments you will be explaining how they interlink together in answering the question - advocating some and ruling out others.

The number of the paragraphs will depend on the number of points you need to make a strong argument. Next time we'll look at the conclusion and how to bring each of your points together but for now thanks for reading everyone;if you want more help with your written English visit my website.