Research is an intense task that comes with its own set of rewards — one of which may be to pass your class. When writing a research paper, you need to know a fair amount of skills, from brainstorming and note-taking to interpreting statistical data and formulating conclusions. One often-overlooked skill is knowing and understanding how to use different citation styles.
Writing a research paper that comes out in academic publications, journals, and books need to be properly and carefully written. It’s also imperative that you put into consideration the proper citation of works referenced. Unlike less formal and non-academic writing, the research world is constantly monitoring citations to avoid issues of plagiarism (the unauthorized use of works and passing it as one’s own).
Citation Styles Explained
The location, syntax of reference information, and order set different citation styles apart. Each style reflects the priorities of the citation with respect to the author, concision, dates, publication, and readability. Some styles put more weight on the author of the work while others give more credit to the timeliness of the information obtained. Nonetheless, each style aims to give credit to the original work.
Citation styles also have 2 major divisions: documentary-note and parenthetical styles. The documentary-note style is the most common way of citing sources. It involves using a footnote or endnote detailing the source while making it easier to read the material. The parenthetical style, or in-text citation styles, involves the abbreviated forms of citation and needs a separate “Work Cited” page at the end of the paper.
Since there are several citation styles, knowing which one to use for a specific research project is important. Here are some ways to know you are on the right track of citing your sources:
- Ask your instructor regarding the preferred style of the school or discipline.
- Your region may also have a particular citation style considered as standard for academic research.
- The aims of the research can also determine the format that you need to use.
Different Citation Styles
There are several ways to cite your resources for your research paper. There arealso a variety of factors that you need to consider when selecting the most suitable one. Here are the widely-used citation styles that you may use on your research:
Where It Came From
The American Psychological Association (APA) style is widely used for many scientific, behavioural, and social science papers. It was developed when anthropologists, business managers, and psychologists convened to come up with a simple style guideline that would codify the different components of scientific writing making them more comprehensible.
The guidelines for the APA format for citations were published in 1929 in the Psychological Bulletin and have since grown to become one of the widely-used citation styles around the world and across different disciplines. Currently, the APA format is in its 7th edition.
How It Is Used
In using the APA format for in-text citation, follow the author-date method. You need to write the author’s last name and the year of publication separated by a comma and enclosed in parentheses. A complete reference for each source should also be in the reference list of the paper.
When quoting or borrowing a line from another work, you need to include the page number at the end of the parenthetical citation marking it with the abbreviation “p.” or “pp.” for several pages. You will not need the page citation if you are rephrasing or not directly quoting another work.
Where It Is Used
Some of the disciplines that use the APA format are the following:
- Cognitive Science
- Human Geography
- Political Science
Where It Came From
The Modern Language Association (MLA) citation or handbook was first introduced in 1951. The first 5 editions were published between 1997 and 1999 as Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations. It was eventually changed to MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers in 2003.
The MLA is an example of an in-text citation style. This was developed mainly to establish a system of documenting sources in scholarly writing. The association which is based in the United States said that their handbook has been used for classroom instruction across the world through the works of scholars, journal writers, and academic and commercial publishers.
How It Is Used
In MLA citation, when borrowing information from a source, the in-text citation needs to follow the author-page method. You need to put the author’s last name and the page numbers of the quotation or the paraphrased information. You will need a Works Cited page that details the reference. You have the option to put the author’s name in the sentence itself or in parentheses. What is most prominent is the page number of the author’s work where the sentence can be located.
Where It Is Used
The MLA citation format is used mainly by academic researchers. This is widely used by the humanities and other related disciplines including:
- Cultural Studies
- Language and Literature
- Literary Criticism
Chicago Manual of Style
Where it Came From
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), also known as the Turabian Citation Style, has been used for more than a hundred years. It was first used in 1891 when the University of Chicago Press opened. At that time, researches and other academic papers were brought in as handwritten manuscripts to the compositors who had to decipher each of the words written. The typesetters would then pass the papers to the proofreaders who checked for typographical errors and took part in editing for stylistic inconsistencies.
Because of the nature of their work, they had to come up with a set of rules or a style sheet. What was then the University Press stylebook and style sheet has been in use and was further developed to become the Chicago Manual of Style known today. It is currently in its 17th edition.
How It Is Used
The Chicago Manual of Style is a guide for American English and covers multiple aspects of manuscript preparation including grammar, usage, and formatting. Its most recent edition also reflected the updates of computer technology and the Internet and is seen to include further guides for e-publications and electronic source referencing.
When asked to use the CMS, you can either use the notes-bibliography system or the author-date system. the former involves the use of footnotes or endnotes and adding supplemental information with a bibliography. The author-date citation system, like the previous styles, use parentheses to cite the author’s last name, year of publication, and page and would need a reference or works cited list for the full details.
Where It Is Used
The flexibility of the CMS makes it usable for a multitude of research disciplines and fields including:
Specifically, the notes-bibliography citation system is used for papers in the arts and humanities. The author-date citation system is used for scientific papers.
Writing a research paper can be a daunting task especially with plagiarism and other copyright concerns to consider. Knowing the kind of citation formats and styles to use could save a writer from the threats of lawsuits and controversies involving their paper.
At Masters Essay, we understand the need for original and quality writing. We can help you with virtually any kind of writing task from blog posts, resume, and cover letters to dissertations, researches, and studies. Avoid burning out and let us help you accomplish your writing task.
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When you write your resume, it can be tempting to write everything there is to know about yourself. It might sound great, but those on the hiring team only want to know one thing — that you’re the right person for the job. Knowing exactly what to include in a resume will allow you to narrow down your personal information to what’s most relevant.
There are different ways to write a resume, and it can be confusing to choose the type of resume you need. Fortunately, there are certain things that are common — and essential — in all resumes.
Here are the few must-haves to include in your resume:
The first thing employers should see is your identification including your:
- Phone and/or mobile number
- Email address
This section will allow them to contact you should they have any questions or other concerns. Be mindful of any spelling or typographical errors and provide a professional email address.
- Objective or Summary
A resume objective or summary helps to state what your career goals are. This can enhance your resume and give employers a quick lowdown of who they’re dealing with.
Be specific and concise — no more than 1 or 2 sentences with about 30 words or so. Include keywords from the job listing. Match your career goals to the job of your choice. State how you are the ideal candidate for that job. Make every word count.
The resume profile summarizes your experiences, skills, and goals that make you the perfect applicant for the job. Similar to the resume objective, this must be concise, too, while still informative. After all, writing a resume profile gives you the chance to highlight your relevant skills and experiences. Make sure to modify it so it fits the job you are applying to.
Employers also need to know your educational background. Show them all the degrees you have. List your most recent degree first. Include the name of the institution, its address, and the date of your graduation.
If it applies to the job, you can also list down your major or minor fields, your GPA, honours, projects, and publications. You do not need to include your high school degree unless you are currently a high school student.
This section shows what your career experiences are so far. Like the last section, you need to list your most recent experience first. It can also include internships and past jobs. If you are a high school student, you can also include sports teams and clubs if it applies to the job.
Include the names of the companies, your position, and the dates of employment. List down relevant skills, tasks, and accomplishments. If you have many years of experience working, you don’t need to include the jobs that are unrelated to the job listing.
You need to put your skills on your resume so employers can see if you are indeed qualified. Prioritize relevance. The closer your skills match what the job requires, the closer you are to getting that interview.
There are many good skills you can put on your resume — but you have to tailor them and, most importantly, be honest.
If you’re applying for an administrative position, for example, mention how you can use software programs. Here are other example skills you can list in your resume for an administrative position:
- Volunteer Work
This informs the employers on any volunteer experiences you have. Volunteer work develops certain skills that can be extremely useful for various jobs. This includes communication skills, leadership skills. interpersonal skills, ability to work with a team, and self-motivation.
List the name of the organization, the dates of your volunteer work, and your corresponding achievements.
- Interests and Hobbies
Include a section about your interests and hobbies if they are related to the job. If you are applying to work at a music store, then you should include your knowledge, skill, and experience in playing the guitar.
Additional Things You Must Remember
Give potential employers a good first impression of you by taking note of the following:
- Length of Your Resume
While you need to remember to be as concise with your resume as you can, its length also depends on the job you are applying for and the amount of experience you have. If you are an entry-level applicant, a single page is all you need.
However, if you are a mid-level applicant, this means you have accumulated more experience in your career. Your resume might consist of 2 pages, which you can use to list all relevant work experience you might have.
- Font and Size
While they may look aesthetically pleasing, using a cursive font might make your resume too difficult to read. Employers can go through hundreds of applications regularly and will not have the patience to decipher illegible submissions.Select a font that is easier on the eyes. Examples are Arial, Times New Roman, and Calibri.
As for the font size, it should be between 10 and 12 points. However, the size for your name and the section headings should be a little bigger. This way, employers can immediately pinpoint important information.
- Page Margins
The regular page margins word processing programs use is 1 inch on all sides of the page. It can affect the length of resumes. If you want to take up less space on the paper. decrease the margins to 1/2 inch on all sides.
When you arrange the sections of your resume, make sure it is formal, neat, and readable. The font and layout must be uniform and consistent. If you put one job title in bold, then you should also use bold on all the other job titles. Pay attention to spacing; use negative space wisely. Use tables to keep everything in place. Doing this prevents your resume from looking disorganized.
- Final Touches
When you think you are ready to send in your resume, pause. Double-check and edit your work. Look for any type of mistake you might have missed, such as spelling, grammar, and typos. Make sure that all information, especially names and contact information, is accurate and up-to-date.
Writing your resume does not have to be daunting. All you need to keep in mind is that you should include the important things employers would want to know from you. And make sure that every single thing you choose to include in your resume relates to the job you are after.
Resume writing is an art. If you need an extra hand to help you perfect it, seek professional help. We at Masters Essay are here for you. Our team of professional writers provides excellent writing and editing services. Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-573-0840 or email us at email@example.com.
When a student is tasked to write the research paper or academic research, it translates to being inches away from finishing the course. However, because of how detailed a research paper needs to be, most people experience burn out when writing. This “writer’s burnout” is the reason students from different academic levels experience a slump.
What Is Writer’s Burnout?
Some people confuse writer’s block with burnout, but the two are completely different. Writer’s block is that feeling of not being able to place what you had in mind on an empty page. Meanwhile, a writer’s burnout is when the writing project has caused the writer to wear themselves out and start hating writing.
What Causes Writer’s Burnout?
Burnout happens when people have pushed themselves too hard to accomplish certain tasks but are unable to do it within the expected timeframe. Burnout is experienced by people of all ages and employment — and it is certainly not foreign territory to writers.
When writing, the signs of burnout could include:
- Exhaustion – If you feel physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion. You may feel like you have run out of energy to do even the simplest tasks. For those writing their research papers, this translates to looking at it as a chore instead of a helpful activity.
- No Motivation – This becomes apparent when not even the thought of passing the course or graduating can make you look at your notes or type one more word. If the feeling extends for weeks or months, you have writer’s burnout.
- Forgetfulness – Forgetting little things and becoming increasingly absent-minded is a sign of stress and burnout.
- Negative Thoughts – Are you becoming Negative Nancy? Have you become more pessimistic than usual? You may be experiencing burnout.
- Work Quality Suffers – If you have negative feelings, these are likely to translate to your work. If the quality of your work drops, you may be stressed, overworked, and burnt out.
Why Students Hate Writing their Research Paper
Students today have gotten so used to using advanced communication tools but have oddly found it more difficult to express themselves through writing. According to a report by the Nation’s Report Card in 2011 during the first computer-based assessment in writing, at least 27% of students in Grades 8 and 12 are proficient at writing. Meanwhile in the 2016 ACT, around 40% of students in high school were said to be incapable of turning in written work at a college level.
Experts interpret the struggle of many students in writing as a result of their lack of interest. Most students do not feel the need or the enjoyment of engaging in writing because:
- Students may not appreciate the subject matter. the relevance of the topic that they are writing about. Sometimes, especially if they are working within a group, writing becomes a tedious task instead of an activity worth doing.
- Students feel pressured to aim for perfection. Attempting to perfect writing from the beginning slows the writing process. In research writing, there is a pressure to follow standard formats, appropriate grammar use, and methodologies. These could overwhelm a student especially if placed under the scrutiny of a panel.
- Some students fear feedback. Having someone critique your work is a vital aspect of the writing process. Bad, slow, or no feedback can demotivate them.
- Students may not like their advisers. Research paper advisers can also demotivate students if they are not approachable or if their methods are considered draconian.
How to Deal with Burnout
If you are in a writing slump right now, the bad news is, you may be wasting precious time to get your research paper done. The good news, however, is that you are not alone and that you have the ability to overcome that rut you’re in.
Deal with burnout by following these tips:
- Acknowledge that you are going through a tough time. Acknowledgement is the start of understanding where you, what you’re feeling, and how it has affected your motivation to write.
- Seek help. If you are working with a group, divide the work among yourselves to make it easier to finish the task. If you are alone, look for a writing buddy with whom you can exchange notes or just talk to when you feel demotivated.
- If you are working alone, divide the research project into different parts that you can accomplish within a set time. Nobody expects you to finish it within a week, and you will never be able to finish it without starting. The easiest compromise is to divide your tasks into workable chunks.
- Create a reward system for every milestone so you will find new motivations while accomplishing the task. A very effective step on how to recover from burnout is giving yourself a treat once in a while so you have something to look forward to.
- Make research writing a task, not the whole world. One of the mistakes that people make is wrapping their whole world around that one big project and forget that there are other things that they can still accomplish. The easiest way to deal with it is to treat writing as another task no different from any other.
- Always keep your mind open for critique. Hearing feedback, especially negative ones, can demotivate anyone. However, critiquing is part of the writing process because there may be errors in your paper that only others can see. Instead of resenting feedback, embrace them and acknowledge that they are handed out to help your work get better.
- Stop comparing yourself with others. Remember that each person has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Focus on yourself and your own tasks. It will be much easier for you to move forward this way.
- Keep a good work/life balance. You see, some people tend to focus on one aspect of their lives without realizing that they are missing on very important things. Do not miss out on important events or occasions just because you want to force yourself to write.
- Be smart, work smart. Working smart only means making the most out of the available time you have. With the bulk of work that you need to finish, you may end up using most of your time for it. Do not fall for this trap. Instead, you can just allocate time for all things at hand and make sure to finish them as scheduled.
- Rest. Set aside time every day to pause and do nothing. You owe it to yourself to stay away from the tasks that drain you. Resting also reinvigorates you so you regain the energy you need to return to those tasks.
Research writing is part and parcel of any student’s life, a hurdle before the finish line. Push forward towards that goal. You’re almost there. If you need help with your writing, turn to Masters Essay, for you to learn academic writing from. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiry.
Your high school life has finally come to this — writing a research paper. Research papers are a normal part of student life and are nothing to worry about. You can expect to write a research paper at least once a semester as part of your regular course work. However, research papers are a serious project that will demand a significant amount of your time and effort. That said, it’s not something to worry about (at least not too much).
How to Choose a Topic
The trick to minimizing any worries is to have some confidence in your research paper topic; sometimes, you get to choose your own topics, which can make the project easier on you. The thing to remember is that an academic paper should be intriguing and thought-provoking. To help you do select an appropriate research paper example, consider these factors to help make the
- Pick something that interests you. One trick to writing an insightful paper is having a strong interest in a specific topic or the subject in general. Having a bit of passion concerning the topic makes the writing much easier, especially when you go in deep detail exploring the theme and formulating ideas. For example, having a passing interest in science would make writing a research paper on astronomy more satisfying.
- Make the topic clear. When you do pick a topic, it’s vital you understand everything clearly before writing about it. Ask questions when you bump into unclear points to get a better grasp on the topic. Part of writing a successful paper is grasping the topic in detail. A clear and precise understanding of the subject matter is key to showing readers you are a master of the topic and giving your work greater credibility.
- Be precise and specific. A research paper is an accurate, thorough work, based on verifiable and quantifiable facts. Do some research and go through the background reading to make sure there’s enough evidence to support your thesis. Remember, for your ideas to stand, you need references to reputable sources that support your position.
- Be innovative. One critical element of any academic paper is being innovative. When you write your paper, it helps to discuss the topic from a different and interesting perspective. Investigate deeply enough, and you may find some little-known facts that can surprise your readers. Take some time to make your topic more interesting to make your paper stand out from the crowd.
What to Write About
Now that you have some ideas on how to choose a topic, what should you actually write about? When it comes to writing a research paper, it’s a good idea to keep your level of experience in mind. If you have a topic you’re already familiar with, you can save a great deal of time and make the writing much easier.
When it comes to finding potential topics, there’s plenty that can catch a high schooler’s attention, especially when they can apply to you and your peers. A list of research topics you may find interesting can include:
- Bullying in high school
Bullying is one of those problems many kids deal with, making it a topic that will always have relevance, if not to you, then someone else. Writing a paper about bullying can give you and your school some unique insights into the problem as well as possible solutions (e.g. why it happens, how to deal with it, and how to prevent it).
- Extracurriculars and why they matter
Extracurriculars can be essential for a great many students; however, not everyone partakes in after-school activities (like clubs and student affairs). Do some research and use your paper to share some experiences and benefits from participating in after-school activities. For example, you can point to the health benefits and camaraderie you get from participating in sports. If you do extracurricular activities yourself, you’ll also have some first-hand experience to strengthen your position.
- Importance of learning a foreign language
As the world gets more connected, knowing a foreign language becomes a more useful and more marketable skill. Write a paper on some of the challenges and benefits associated with learning all about a new culture. Think of it as a way to provide some new insights about the learning process and help your school get a glimpse of what it’s like.
- E-learning vs. textbooks
Thanks to advancing technology, e-books are becoming more widespread. Modern students may be used to e-learning, but there’s still something to be said for traditional learning methods. Try this topic to help evaluate the benefits of both methods. It’s a great way to broaden your horizons and find more ways to learn. Everybody learns best with different methods, and comparing e-books to textbooks can give your peers more options to optimize the learning process. Alternatively, you can also touch on some alternative learning methods to give your school more ideas on how to meet the needs of more students.
- Importance of reading
Reading is a vital skill, especially for students, who get much of their knowledge from books. However, not everyone favours reading, and some people would rather not pick up a book if they don’t have to. Try your hand at this topic to enlighten your readers on some of the benefits of reading. It might just be a way to get your peers to alter their reading habits and expand their horizons.
- Online safety
This topic is particularly relevant today, considering how much time people spend online. Online safety is also a topic many are familiar with, so it might appeal to you and your peers. Design your research paper format to provide some great advice on how to stay safe online (e.g. which sites are least safe and what information to avoid sharing when communicating online).
- Culture of the First Nations
Ever wanted to know a little more about other people inside Canada? Then this topic might just be a golden opportunity to find out. Hit the books to trace how the First Nations had an impact on Canada’s culture and history through the centuries. As a Canadian student, it should also be much easier to find books and subjects you can interview to find the most detailed information you can use to make your work all the more comprehensive.
It’s important to think of your paper not as an obstacle but as a learning opportunity. Researching is a great way to get some in-depth, detailed knowledge on a topic. After all, you have to learn it like the back of your hand if you’re going to write about it. Use these insights to help make writing that paper a more fulfilling task and learn something new while you’re at it.
At Masters Essay, we provide writing services to help you produce the high-quality work you need, be it articles, essays, or reports. We’re here to help you manage your heavy workload and achieve success in your academic writing. Call us at (800) 573-0840 or visit our contact page; we’re standing by 24/7 to answer your questions.
The key to a good essay, short story, business letter, or a resume, good editing is key in creating a superb content piece. It’s one of the most critical phases of the writing process, but many writers can underestimate its value.
Editing your own work requires time and practice. In the process of mastering this skill, you get to sharpen your writing style and structure, practice how to convey and articulate your thoughts, and spot and cull out grammatical errors.
Perhaps you want to up the ante on your writing skills or learn the best editing practices so you can turn in a more polished work to agents or publishing. Maybe you want to be your own editor because you don’t have the resources to hire a professional one.
The following self-editing tips are for writers both new and experienced.
- Remove “sticky” sentences.
“Sticky” sentences are ridden with glue words. Glue words (e.g. “is”, “was”, “that”, “of”, and “in”) are necessary when writing coherent sentences but have no meaning in and of themselves. Minimizing glue words improves the clarity of your writing.
Sticky: Maisie needed to get the key to the apartment and so she asked for the phone number of the person who was in charge of the apartment unit.
Improved: Maisie contacted the apartment owner to borrow the key.
The original sentence contained the glue words “to”, “the”, “and”, “so”, “for”, “of”, “who”, and “was”. It scrambles to make a point, whereas the improved sentence is short and clear. Learn to spot and rewrite sticky sentences before your editor sees them.
- Get rid of passive voice.
One habit that gives away an inexperienced writer is the excessive use of the passive voice. Like adverbs and pronouns, you can use passive voice for a certain purpose, but overuse can weaken your piece.
Passive voice: In the news report, it is stated that the patient’s symptoms were exacerbated by poor hygiene habits.
Active voice: The news report states that the patient’s poor hygiene habits exacerbated symptoms.
The first statement uses two passives “is stated” and “were exacerbated”, which weakens the sentence and makes it less concise. The second statement does away with this, making it cleaner and more direct. One of the best tips for writing we can offer is to learn the difference between both voices and when to use which one.
- Weed out redundancies.
Redundancies can clutter your writing by increasing word count without adding to its meaning. Every word in a sentence should serve a purpose. If it’s not necessary, omit it. Some redundancies are so subtle and can easily be overlooked.
Example: The term “free gift” is redundant since no one ever pays for a gift. “Free” is unnecessary; delete it.
- Omit cliches.
One of the top pet peeves of editors is the use of tired phrases, i.e. cliches. Try to create a unique way to describe a person or event, especially when writing fiction. In many cases, cliches result from laziness or a lack of imagination. Get rid of cliches using your own ways of phrasing to appeal to your readers’ imagination in a fresh, new light.
- Avoid frequent use of initial pronouns.
Beginning a sentence with a pronoun is a surefire way to bore your readers. (“He said this,” “She went there,” “It’s incorrect.”) As much as possible, make it a goal to have fewer than 30 percent of your sentences start with a pronoun. Try to diversify your sentence structure to keep your readers’ attention and make your writing sound more engaging.
- Show, don’t tell.
This is a golden rule known to many writers. Readers like stories to play vividly in their heads. Offer them colours, textures, tastes, smell, and actions for a much appealing story. Strong verbs and precise details are your best tools in this task.
Telling: Ed hated his officemate.
Showing: Ed spent many nights wishing his officemate a slow descent down a ten-foot razor blade.
- Read it aloud.
One way to check the rhythm of your writing is to read it out loud. A good piece will sound smooth. However, if you stammer through poorly worded sentences, polish it.
- Eliminate uncertain language.
The mark of good communication is an authoritative tone; steer clear from uncertain sentences. Phrases like “could be a matter of ” or “seems to have,” sound indecisive. They also weaken your message.
- Leave out weak adjectives.
Loose adjectives can spoil your writing. To describe or emphasize nouns and pronouns, choose powerful adjectives. This will also minimize the use of adverbs “very” and “really” when emphasizing adjectives.
Weak sentence: Ania was really scared of scorpions.
Strong sentence: Ania was scared of scorpions.
Stronger sentence: Scorpions terrified Ania.
- Read your piece in a new format
Before editing, print out what you’ve written. You can also convert your Word document to PDF format or change the font style, colour, and size of your text. These techniques can help you see your writing from another person’s perspective, giving you a more critical eye.
- Take a break.
Leave your work for a couple of hours or overnight to create an emotional distance. Doing so allows you to revisit your work with fresh eyes and make it more likely for you to detect obvious mistakes.
- Check your tenses.
One common writing mistake is shifting from one tense to another. Revisit your work to check for inconsistencies. Another common mistake is the inappropriate use of the past tense.
Incorrect: I was ill for a week.
Correct: I had been ill for a week.
If you’re referring to an action that takes place continuously from one time to another, use the progressive tenses “have/had/will have been”.
- Put commas where they’re needed
Make sure to put commas in appropriate places (especially before a direct address within a dialog). A single comma means the difference between “Let’s eat grandma” and “Let’s eat, grandma”.
- Break down your editing tasks.
Breaking down your editing tasks makes them more manageable. For instance, you can check the logical flow of your ideas in the first read-through then assess your sentence structure in the next one. This process can prove useful when editing big pieces like essays, short stories, and theses.
Consider these editing guidelines:
- Does your introduction engage the reader?
- Does your content follow a logical flow?
- Does your conclusion link the main points and include a call to action?
- Are there repetitive ideas?
- Does every paragraph highlight the main topic?
- Are your points backed up by relevant data, statistics, and related quotations?
- Do your sentences have varying lengths?
- Did you use the correct spelling and punctuation marks?
- Have you replaced flimsy verbs and adjectives with stronger ones?
Self-editing is an integral aspect of the writing process. Following these writer tips can turn average write-ups into strong pieces that attract readers. As you discover your strengths and weaknesses as a writer, your editing sensibilities will also improve.
If editing and proofreading is not your strongest suit and you need to submit a piece at the earliest possible time, use the services of a professional editor. The editors at Masters Essay are here to help. Our staff have the flair of a skilled writer and the sensibilities of a sharp editor to make sure you submit the best work. We also offer a range of writing services in Calgary, the GTA, and Vancouver. Contact us today for your writing and editing needs.
Expository writing is a widespread form of writing. You’ve seen it in newspaper articles, essays, journals and even instruction manuals. Expository writing is writing that explains or teaches how to do something, convinces the reader of an argument, compares issues or clarifies something.
Like its name, the goal of expository writing is to expose, clarify or explain something. It often has a consistent structure and uses clear, simple language, along with well-researched facts and arguments to convey its message. In this article, you will learn the essential elements of expository writing, the different types, and how to craft a well-written essay.
Examples of Expository Writing
If you’ve ever read a blog explaining how to repair something step by step — this is a piece of expository writing. If you’ve ever read an essay arguing for or against current events — this is also a piece of expository writing. If you’ve ever read a magazine article talking about the best way to train your dog, this is also expository writing.
Expository writing is everywhere, and its goal is to help the reader understand something, teach a lesson step by step or argue for a point of view. It is helpful to imagine that your reader knows nothing about your issue or topic, and you need to explain it to them clearly and simply.
The Difference Between Expository Writing, Narrative Writing and Descriptive Writing
Expository writing is very different from narrative and descriptive writing. With narrative writing, you are telling a story using expressive language and imagery. Descriptive writing also tries to paint a picture with words and convey an image or experience so the reader can understand.
Expository writing should be clear and to the point. You do not need to tell a story or describe an event for your reader. You do need to communicate an idea as clearly as possible. It should be easy to read with simple language and precise arguments and information.
The Five Types of Expository Writing
There are five main types of expository writing out there. These are:
- Cause and Effect
- How To (or Explain a Process)
- Compare and Contrast
- Problem and Solution
- Definitions and Classifications
Cause and Effect – This type of writing could be someone explaining why a particular event occurred and the impact that it will have. An example of this would be an article describing the causes of the recent bush fires in Australia and then explaining the effect that they will have on the future of the environment.
The critical elements of this kind of writing are explaining why something occurred and then the impact, or as the name says – cause and effect.
How To – This kind of writing is reasonably self-explanatory. It is writing that explains step-by-step how to do something and guides the reader through a clear process. It will clearly state the main problem or what it is teaching, the steps needed to complete the task or solve the problem and the intended result of the process.
An example of ‘How To’ writing is an article listing the steps necessary for fixing a dishwasher. You need to clearly state what you are going to teach and then lay out the steps to complete the process.
Compare and Contrast – This kind of writing compares two subjects and talks about their similarities and discusses their differences. An example of this is an article comparing a visit to Disneyland and Disney World. The writer could talk about the similarities of the two theme parks and discuss their differences and which is preferred.
Problem and Solution – This kind of expository writing outlines an issue, describes it in detail and then suggests a solution or discusses possible solutions to the topic. This type of writing has a strong point of view and must back up all its statements and suggestions.
An example of problem and solution expository writing is an article discussing single-use plastics and possible solutions to reduce waste. It is essential for the writer to explain the problem clearly and what is involved and then clearly lay out possible solutions.
Definitions and Classification – this kind of writing describes the characteristics of a topic and discusses the many different types of that topic. An example of this kind of writing is this article you are reading right now.
Components of Expository Writing
With expository writing, you are trying to explain something as concisely and simply as possible to your reader. You don’t have to tell a story or paint a picture as in descriptive or narrative writing. Often using simple words and clear arguments will make your point much more effectively than colourful, expressive language.
Expository writing also has a clear structure to help you layout your argument or convey your information to your reader. This structure has three main parts that include:
- Introduction with a thesis or the topic to be explained or taught
- Body of writing where you lay out your arguments or ideas, or take the reader through the process step-by-step
- Conclusion – where you sum up the main ideas and arguments
How To Write A Piece of Expository Writing
If you want to write an expository piece, it helps to take things step-by-step. Here are the steps to help you create a well-written piece of expository writing.
Clearly state your topic with a sentence or two that describes what you will be talking about in your writing. The introduction paragraph is also the place to include your thesis statement if you have one, that states clearly the argument or idea you are defending in your writing. You should also briefly mention the arguments you will use later in your introductory paragraph.
The Body of Writing
The body of your expository writing should clearly explain your arguments and back up the argument with clear facts and information. If you are writing a ‘How To’ article, the body is where you include the steps in your process. It also helps to give examples and specific details. Do some research so you have informed opinions and concrete facts for each of your arguments.
The conclusion is the part of your writing where you restate your issue or problem and your arguments into a concise conclusion. If you are arguing for a particular point of view, this is where you clearly state your opinion and your reasons. It should be clear, concise and wrap up your argument.
Once you have completed your expository writing, give it to someone you trust who doesn’t know about your topic or idea. Ask them to read your manuscript and give feedback. They should be able to understand how to do the task you have described, or be informed about the topic and your suggested solution after they read your piece.
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You might not realize it, but writing makes the world go ’round. Huffington Post lays out some reasons why writing is more important than it’s ever been. As author Tomas Laurinavicius puts it, “In fact, the importance of writing has perhaps increased in the last decade or so, thanks to trends in technology. Most folks communicate via email, text, or social media, and hence, many millions of pieces of information are flowing between us through the written word every day. In matters of business, when every second counts, strong writing makes the difference between smooth operations and clumsy footing.”
Writing isn’t only important for business or academics, either. You use a wide variety of different writing styles in your daily life, even if you don’t think of it. That’s why it’s important to learn about different styles of writing, so you can learn what to focus on and how you can improve each one.
Argumentative writing is a particularly tricky one. For one thing, argumentative writing involves navigating conflicting opinions by its very nature. People get defensive when their ideas are being challenged or being asked to change. Tempers can flare, and people can get edgy. This negates your opportunity to actually change or influence someone’s thinking.
We’re going to look at some effective argumentative essay writing tips to help you master this particular art form.
What Is Argumentative Writing?
Argumentative writing is a form of persuasive writing. It’s one of the three main types of thesis statements, alongside analytical essays and expository essays. Unlike analytical or expository essays, however, argumentative writing does have an opinion and an angle. You’re trying to convince your readers of something. It’s still got to be laid out like an official essay, however; so argumentative essays are different than something like an opinionated blog post or personal status update.
Now let’s take a look at some specific effective argumentative essay writing tips.
#1: Start With An Argument
The argument is the cornerstone of argumentative essay writing. It’s the nucleus around which you will construct the rest of your essay. It will also inform the research you conduct, the formatting of your essay, even the language you will use to convince your readers.
You’ll want to pick an argument that’s well-supported enough to yield enough research to flesh out your essay. You’ll also want to think about the public perceptions of your argument, as well. You’ll need to consider the people you’re trying to convince. You’ll have to imagine some of their counter-arguments so you can address them with your argumentative essay.
#2: Craft Your Thesis
Once you’ve settled upon your central argument, started your research, and considered your intended audience, the next step is to craft your thesis statement. This is similar to constructing your case, but refined and condensed. It boils your central argument down to one sentence, ideally, or into an easily understandable concept, at the very least.
Think of the thesis statement as the ‘elevator pitch’ for your argumentative essay. An elevator pitch, if you don’t know, is a Hollywood term for how you’d sell an idea over the span of an elevator ride. It helps you get really clear on your argument.
It’s a good idea to come up with your thesis statement before beginning your research in earnest. It helps make sure you don’t waste precious time making wrong turns and going down blind alleys during the research phase.
#3: Do Your Research
Now that you know what position you’re taking for your argument and settled on your thesis statement, you’re ready to begin researching in earnest. Finding research for your argumentative essay is an art form all its own. Or, even more specifically, a science.
It’s not difficult to find evidence to research to support pretty much any argument in the information age. Consider OurHollowEarth.com, a website that states that the Earth is hollow and populated by The Twelve Tribes Of Israel. The website looks legit. It’s even got some high-quality backlinks. The mid-90s web design may be a giveaway that something’s amiss. The argument that UFOs actually come from the Hollow Earth to defend the ancient tribes that live there might be another clue.
Not only do you need to find the right information to support your argument, you also need to consider where that information is coming from. Do your best to find research from high-quality sources. Scientific studies and articles from peer-reviewed journals are the classic sources for academic papers, for instance. Published books are another authoritative research resource. Be careful with self-published books, however, as there’s less quality control over what gets published these days.
Don’t just research your own argument, either. You’ll want to do some research around the opposing argument as well. Think of writing your argumentative essay like preparing for a debate. While your opponent won’t be in the same space at the same time, they’re still your intended audience. While you’ll also want to consider people that already agree with your argument, you want to watch out about preaching to the choir. You’ve only got so much time to prepare your argumentative essay.
#4: Lay Out Your Argument Logically
Now that your research is underway and you know what points you’re trying to make, it’s time to decide on the format for your essay and then get to writing! Although every essay is different, the skeleton of every essay is the same: intro, body, conclusion.
The intro is where you’ll lay out your thesis, as well as snaring your reader’s attention. The conclusion is where you’ll reiterate your main point and attempt to leave your reader with a lasting impression. Both of these are fairly simple, often as little as one paragraph.
The body of your argumentative essay is where you’ll spend most of your time and focus. Although every piece is different, with differing lengths and requirements, a good rule of thumb is to have three supports in favour of your thesis. This will inform the format of the body of your argumentative essay, as well.
Think of each argument as a subheading. The supporting argument would be the title, so to speak, with the following content backing up the initial support.
Once you get the format of your argumentative essay down, it practically writes itself!
Writing an argumentative essay isn’t just a useful skill to help you get through school. It’s something you’ll use throughout your life, especially in today’s text-heavy world. You’ll use these skills throughout your career as well as in your personal life. Learning how to write argumentative essays will serve you well in all kinds of surprising ways.
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Writing essays is an important, vital life skill. Whether you’re writing an essay for a class or updating your resume, knowing how to write a smart, compelling essay is a skill that can lead to success. If you’ve ever been told your writing could use some extra polish, there are a few things you can do to make your essays that much more compelling.
Use these tips to make your writing much stronger and your points more compelling:
- Start with an outline
Before you even start writing, it’s a good idea to know what you’re going to say. Making a basic outline is key to narrowing down your thesis and formulating your points. Include all the facts supporting your central thesis to help organize your ideas into a coherent essay that flows naturally. Your outline should have a similar structure to your finished piece. Include an introduction to introduce your thesis, a body with several paragraphs to present and discuss your evidence, and a conclusion to tie it all together and connect it to your original thesis.
- Build your vocabulary
There’s a quote by Mark Twain: “Use the right word, not its second cousin.” How you use language always matters, and it pays to know what the words you use mean. A varied, vibrant vocabulary is key to expressing precisely what you mean, clearly and concisely. This is an especially important point in academic writing; in that case, you are trying to convince your readers that you are someone who can make a reasoned argument. A broad word palate can go a long way toward making your arguments much more persuasive.
A good writer should never rest on their laurels; always keep an eye out for ways to improve your vocabulary. There’s always room for improvement when it comes to vocabulary.
- Master proper grammar
This may sound like a given, but grammar matters when writing an essay. Master proper grammar, syntax, and punctuation to make your work more understandable for your readers. Familiarize yourself with the common rules (e.g. subject-verb agreement, tenses, and sentence construction) to make sure you have a strong foundation for your writing. One common issue is the difference between using “who” and “whom.” “Who” is used to refer to the subject (the one doing the action), and “whom” to the object (the one receiving the action). Knowing all the right rules can make all the difference in the world. Master how grammar works to ensure your readers take you seriously.
- Do your research
Conduct basic and thorough research to prepare yourself for writing your essay. Meticulous research is vital for a persuasive presentation of your ideas. Find some credible sources (e.g. studies published in academic journals, primary sources, or famous literary works) to put some expert weight behind your arguments. When reading the works of others, identify how your work differs from theirs to help define the parameters of your essay.
- Avoid repetition
It’s generally a good idea to mix things up a little with your writing. Refrain from using the same words again and again; readers tend to view it as a sign of laziness. The easiest thing in many cases is to remove the repeated phrase. However, if you do need that phrase, try replacing the word with something similar.
For example, if you find yourself overusing pronouns, substitute a proper noun in their place. Alternatively, use a synonym that can take the place of a word you are repeating. A final step is to take the integral words of your sentence and discard repeated words. Expand those vital words to breathe new life into your paper.
- Use the active voice
Active ideas and images are more powerful (and memorable) than passive ones. For example, compare “He did his chores,” to “The chores were done by him.” Active voice emphasizes the subject and what they are doing. It’s more engaging, and will grip your readers far more strongly. This makes your content more concise, precise, and memorable; and that makes your readers feel their time was well-spent.
- Banish the banal
Readers come to an essay looking for new ideas and fresh thoughts. Look through your essay during your editing and proofreading process for any cliches and idioms, then replace them with your own phrasing. This includes similes or metaphors you have used throughout the work (especially the common ones).
- End purposefully
The conclusion helps wrap everything up. Its purpose is to tie together all the ideas that you have presented to prove your point. A solid conclusion should review your key points and relate them to your thesis to show how the evidence proves or disproves it. If your conclusion leads to further questions, recognize them and present them as future topics for discussion.
And, finally, the two most important ways to improve your writing skills:
- Read, read, read
You may have heard talk that becoming a good writer starts by being a voracious reader. Devouring plenty of books naturally helps you become a better writer; reading helps expose you to different styles, ideas, and genres. Use the things you pick up from your reading to help you cultivate your ideas and sharpen your skills when you write. Read other people’s essays (or opinion pieces in the newspapers) to pick up new ways to improve your writing skills. Bring a critical eye to what you read. Ask yourself what you did or didn’t like about their essays, how biased they seemed, and whether or not they were persuasive.
The more you read, the more you learn. You may even pick up new techniques you can use yourself.
- Write, write, write
As with reading, writing is another way of honing your skills. Like other skills, writing needs practice for you to improve. Make time to practice regularly to keep yourself sharp. Try making a schedule to govern how you spend your time to get more writing done each day. You can also do more writing than your essays; try different writing projects (e.g. poetry and short stories) to broaden your horizons and find more ways to express your ideas.
Another thing you can try is keeping an eye out for local writing groups in Toronto. It’s a great way to find like-minded people with whom you can swap ideas and get feedback.
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Essays are an essential component of your academic success. You need to know how to write an essay for exams, as part of course work, and even to get into college or university. Feeling confident in knowing how to write a good essay will help you throughout your academic life.
It can be challenging to write a good essay that stands out from the rest. Many people wonder how best to choose a topic, organize their research and clearly state their arguments.
Here are some tips for writing a good essay with some good essay examples that will help unlock that writer’s block.
Know What You Are Writing
The first thing to tackle when you are starting to work on your essay is to know what kind of essay you are writing. The type of essay your write will determine how you approach the topic, how you share the information with your audience and, in some cases, how you format your essay.
Although there are many terms for the kinds of essays out there, they fit into four main categories. It all depends on what your goals as a writer are.
- Are you telling a story?
- Are you describing an event?
- Are you convincing your reader of an argument?
- Are you conveying a personal experience?
Each goal will have a slightly different way of approaching the writing. Before you begin your essay, be sure you know what kind of essay you want to write.
Four Basic Types Of Essay
- The Narrative Essay
The focus of a narrative essay is to tell a story (often about something that happened to you). It can be challenging because it means you have to write about yourself and how this particular experience influenced you.
It helps to make the story as compelling and interesting as possible and try to involve the reader throughout the telling with a first-person narrative. Your narrative essay should also lead the reader towards a conclusion or personal statement.
Some typical themes for a narrative essay topic are:
- First day at a new school
- Road trip
- Reaching a goal
You should use descriptive language in your narrative essay, and precise details to help your story come alive. Remember — it is a story, so be sure to include story elements such as plot, location, characters, dialogue and conflict.
- The Descriptive Essay
The purpose of a descriptive essay is to paint a picture with words in the mind of your reader of a particular topic. It is close to a narrative essay, but with a descriptive essay, you don’t need to tell a story, create a vivid image of your topic in the mind of your reader.
Descriptive essays are usually short, clear and concise and use vivid, expressive language to describe their topic. Even though your goal is to paint a picture, you should begin with a thesis, develop your theme and end with a conclusion. You don’t need to do a lot of research or find quotes to back up your statements with descriptive essays. They are more like creative writing.
Start with an introduction of the topic, and be sure to mention your relationship to the person, place or object. In the main body of the essay, focus on the particular qualities of the topic and use a paragraph to go into detail for each one. Use your conclusion to talk about your personal feelings on the topic.
Your goal is to make your reader feel like the object, place or person is right in front of their eyes and that they can taste, hear it and smell it. It helps to use language that engages all five senses. The best kinds of descriptive essays appeal to the readers’ emotions and use the description of the topic to convey a deeper meaning.
Typical descriptive essay topics could include:
- Describe your favourite food
- Describe the steps for riding a bike
- Describe your childhood kitchen
- The Expository Essay
An expository essay presents an analysis of a topic in a balanced way and uses facts, statistics, quotes and examples to back up their statements. An expository essay is based on facts, not personal feelings or emotions of the writer, so it is generally not written in the first person.
Examples of expository essays can include:
- Compare and contrast essays
- Cause and effect essays
- Describing a process — ‘How To’ essay
- Analyzing a concept — exploring and describing an event or written work
Topics for expository essays can be a wide variety such as current issues, trends in politics, or questions in history or culture. Some example topics for an expository essay include:
- Explain the history of your community
- Explain the new provincial seniors’ dental plan
- Explain the history of your school
- The dangers of vaping
- The Persuasive Essay
The writer’s goal in a persuasive essay is to convince the reader of their point of view or argument. Persuasive essays use facts, examples, expert opinions, reasoning and appeals to emotion to present a case, and argue why their point of view is correct.
Good topics for persuasive essays can come from almost anywhere; typical topics for a persuasive essay include:
- Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote?
- Should university education be free?
- Should companies pay for recycling or disposal of their products?
- Should college athletes be paid?
- Should children be banned from playing violent video games?
When you write your persuasive essay, think about the audience that will read your work. Build your arguments based on what your audience knows about your topic and what they will need to hear to be convinced.
Start with an introductory paragraph and thesis that clearly states your case. Develop the main points in your argument in each paragraph, and finish with a strong conclusion that restates your position.
College Admission Essays
College admission essays are one of the most commonly asked-for essays when applying to college. The purpose of this essay is not to prove you have done your homework and know your facts; it is to help the admission people get a sense of who you are as a person.
Most university and college admission websites have examples of admission essays and what they are looking for. What is most important is that your essay conveys a clear sense of who you are as a person. You can include facts and some of your academic knowledge, but these should be used to convey what is most important to you.
It can be difficult for some students to find their voice when writing college essays as most of their writing experience up to this point has been writing for assignments or using guidelines for a particular teacher or instructor. It helps to choose a topic that is interesting or matters to you, find your voice, share your personality and personal references and make sure you proofread it very well.
Essay writing can be a challenge, but with these tips and examples of good essays, you will be off to a good start. Find a topic that interests you, do your research, and essay writing can be interesting and fun.
If you are looking for help with writing a good essay, talk to us at Masters Essay. We offer essay writing assistance at any level. Call us today at (647) 436-7280 or take a look at our list of services.
Writing an essay can be challenging. You may have excellent ideas, but if you can’t express your arguments clearly, you won’t get the marks you worked so hard to earn. Maybe you struggle with getting started on a first draft, and don’t know where to begin;
Essay writing is an integral part of your academic life. These tips will help you improve your essay writing, and help you go from struggling academically to soaring.
- Read The Question, Then Answer It
Students often don’t read the assignment carefully to find out precisely what the instructor is asking them to do. This includes the length of the essay, as well as the content. If your teacher asks for a one-page essay, make sure that you turn in one page and not a 5-page full-length report. You won’t get any bonus marks for the extra pages, and you may get docked marks for not following instructions.
Read the whole assignment carefully to ensure that you understand what is being asked of you. Then reread it, making notes of all the details like length, due date, and any additional requirements (like the number of sources you need to use, whether or not they want illustrations, and other details).
Once you understand what is being asked for, it’s time to get working.
Pay attention to what first pops into your thoughts when reading the question. These first ideas and impulses can be a good place to start on approaching the topic.
- Make A Point!
A common problem in student essay writing is that the writer doesn’t choose a point of view in their essay. You may spend a lot of time describing things and talking about others’ points of view, but not making an argument for why you think that particular situation is correct or incorrect.
Take a point of view, make an argument, and then find ways to back it up in your research.
- Do Your Research – Check Your Facts!
Usually, your teacher or professor will recommend sources to help with your research that corresponds with the topic for your essay. Do the reading, and write down quotes and statistics that will support your argument, along with proper references. There’s nothing worse than making a bold argument, and then forgetting what page of the 500+ page book you thought you saw the quote on.
You may also want to look up what writers arguing against your thesis are saying, it is helpful to have a broad understanding of the topic, and it may help you craft a more persuasive argument.
- Use An Outline To Structure Your Argument
Start with writing your thesis and create a list of the main arguments you will use in your essay. By creating a clear outline with a structure, it helps organize your thoughts for when you start to write. You can also see in advance where you might need to go back and do additional research to beef up your arguments.
Starting with an outline also helps you stay on track with your arguments so you can choose the strongest ones. Don’t add statements that aren’t supported by your research to pad out your essay. Stick to the most persuasive arguments and make sure they are well-supported.
- Have A Clear Introduction And Conclusion
Introductions and conclusions are tricky things, and a good start is one of the most challenging tasks in writing a good essay. You’ve probably heard that your opening paragraph needs to grab your reader’s attention. One of the most effective ways to do this is to introduce your key idea and lay out your thesis. Your reader will lose interest in a hurry if your introduction is fluffy or full of claims that you can’t support.
Your conclusion should summarize your main points in a way that satisfyingly wraps up your essay and supports your main argument.
Probably the best tactic to use for writing both your conclusion and introduction is not to do them during your first draft. Instead, once you’ve written the rough draft, reread it, and then write the conclusion to fit the essay. Then write your introduction so that it asks all the questions that you have answered in your conclusion.
For more advice on how to write a clear essay Introduction, click here.
- Make Better Word Choices
Make word choices that are appropriate for your topic and your writing style. Don’t complicate your writing needlessly. Padding with overly complicated words and phrases that you don’t understand and that don’t suit the topic will not get you a better grade.
Say what you want to say clearly and simply. Explaining a complicated idea in simple language is a sign that you understand the concept well, and should result in a better grade.
- Always Proofread Your Work
While it may seem like a no-brainer, you should always do a spell check and grammar check at the end of your writing session. Many essays written in the middle of the night have costly typos and grammatical mistakes that can be easily fixed with a simple spell-check.
If you have time before your assignment is due, put your paper away and come back to it in a few days. This time away can help you see mistakes more clearly. When you proofread, look for obvious grammar and spelling errors; but also watch for clear sentence structure and plainly-stated arguments. What seemed to make sense at 3 am when you wrote it, might be stated in a stronger way.
- Don’t Plagiarize
This also may seem obvious, but it is never a good idea to present someone else’s ideas as your own. Plagiarism is a serious offence, and there can be severe academic consequences. Many teachers and institutions use online plagiarism tools that look for repeated phrases in your writing.
Be original. Have an idea and always back up your sources with references to support your work.
- Get A Second Opinion
When you’ve done the work of crafting your arguments, supporting them with evidence, and presenting it all in a well-worded essay, get a trusted second opinion before you turn it in.
Having someone proofread your work can reveal typos and grammatical mistakes that you missed, or can identify unclear arguments or sentence structure. Having a second pair of eyes on your work can only help to make it stronger.
If you need help polishing the final stages of your essay, or need assistance just to get started, Masters Essay can help. Our team of professional writers, editors, and proofreaders can work with you and help you finish your work on time, and show you how to present your ideas in the best way possible.
Take a look at our list of services for more information, and call Masters Essay at 1(800) 573-0840 for more.