Essay writing is a challenge university students frequently face. Anyone who hopes to earn high grades needs to spend quality time writing convincing papers. Guides for writing essays suggest having a structured text, solid thesis, and reliable resources. All these tips are useful, but students frequently mishandle their time and make mistakes. Some of the minor ones can be avoided with a little awareness:
- “Stolen” Content
Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and claiming it as your own. It is an offense taken very seriously in the academic and legal worlds. Students should not merely rephrase other content, but use it as a reference, with appropriate attribution.Plagiarism search engines are easily accessible; many professors use them to check students’ work. Write with a fresh, personal approach and use footnotes and other tools to cite your references.
- Excessive Arguments
Professors suggest their students have strong arguments to defend their essays. Be careful not to overdo it. You might be tempted to fill your essays with as many statistics and quotes as possible, but this can work to your detriment. Too many disconnected facts or statements make for muddled work. Keep your arguments focused. Shorter essays should be limited to approximately three main arguments to keep everything connected and orderly.
- Unrevised Papers
You have spent a considerable amount of time mulling over your essay and writing to the best of your abilities, and then — finally, it’s finished. However, your work is not yet done. Take a short break and then give it a second read. You might start noticing some opportunities for improvement. Whether some statements need tweaking, or you catch some spelling errors, it’s best to review and revise at least twice before handing in your essay.
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Reading, for many, is a visceral response to words on a page. When viewing from the critical lens of reader-response theory, meaning is extracted through reading. Literature becomes a transaction between the reader and the text. The reader’s personal experience is used to evaluate the meaning of the work.
Connection with the text differs the reader-response approach from other literary studies. Reader-response criticism requires the reader to discover the meaning of the text by considering their emotional response and personal experience while reading. This literary theory renders each text or novel open to multiple interpretations.
The Textual Interpretation
Here’s how to outline a literary analysis essay:
- Intro: The Hook
Your thesis statement is the heart that beats life into the essay. Make it count. Incorporate the name of the author and the title of the text in your beginning paragraph.
- Body: Textual Evidence
Textual evidence involves quoting phrases from the chosen text to justify your arguments. Since it is a form of evidence, citing should be followed with a page number at the end of the quoted phrase or statement. For example, if you are doing a critical reading of Haruki Murakami’s Hear the Wind Sing, you might write:
- Murakami writes, “At which point I had discovered that I had turned into a person incapable of expressing more than half of what he felt” (72).
- As you read through the assigned text, there will be phrases or sentences that stir up responses in you. Have a pen and paper handy to record every response.
- Here are some questions to help you approach the short story or novel and present a paper supporting your thesis.
- How does the book affect you?
Every form of literature is written with a reader or listener in mind. Ideally, it employs a tone capable of evoking emotions that may remind you of your past or propels you to the future.
- Does the text support your worldview?
Cite a quotation in your essay to support your stance.
- Are any of your opinions strengthened or challenged?
Write in detail (with quoted passages from the book to illustrate your point) why it moved you or failed to win you over.
- Does it tackle significant social issues?
Give concrete examples from the book. Reflect upon how it portrays or addresses issues in society.
Go back to your thesis statement and summarize your critical analysis in one paragraph. You can also include your overall impression of the text and if you believe others will benefit from reading it.
Remember that although this type of essay is centred on you as the reader, you are still writing a critical paper. Avoid using phrases like “in my opinion” and “I think.” Focus on the overall value of the work and back it up with textual evidence.
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Since it is important to rewrite and revise your work, there are several stages required to work your way toward perfection. Below are suggestions and techniques to use when rewriting and revising your work.
#1 The Whole Paper
Examine the entire essay to determine if it has made its point to the audience and has conveyed the desired message. Try to look at your paper from the reader’s point of view. A few quick checks:
- Make sure your paper is spaced according to instructions
- Share the essay with someone who unfamiliar with the topic and get feedback
- Do additional, needed research
- If necessary, save the strong paragraphs in a separate file and start over
#2 Paragraph Revisions
After that first stage, ensure your essay is well organized and each paragraph communicates its intended message. Make the essay cohesive and each paragraph consistent with its topic or subheading.
#3 Sentence Construction
Double-check sentence constructions. Before handing in an essay, an author must check spelling and correct grammatical errors:
- Sentences should remind the reader of the essay’s theme
- Sentences vary in length
- Edit too-long or run-on sentences
- Correct any language (grammatical) errors
- Run a spell check on your essay and check for missing words
- Capitalization and correct citation are also priorities
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A “mind map” is a visual strategy to help a writer structure information, analyze it, understand it, and come up with new ideas for an essay. Instead of taking notes, information is laid out in a way that is closer to how your brain sees it. It is both artistic and analytical and encourages you to use more of your brain while writing. Having a layout of your topic beforehand can help turn it into a strong first draft.
Step #1: Brainstorm
The first thing to do when creating a Mind Map is to brainstorm your topic. In this step, you will write down everything you can think of about your essay subject. More specifically, write the name of your subject in the middle of a page (placed horizontally). After you have your subject identified, write subtopics that revolve around your central subject. Use one to four words, if possible, to define a subtopic. Example: If your central subject is “green tea,” you might use “brewing time,” “health benefits,” “how it is grown,” and “history” as subtopics.
Step #2: Organize
Branch out lines from the central subject and connect them to the subtopics that revolve around your central subject. Once you have several subtopics, branch out from each of those, drawing a line from them to other words that are subtopics of those subtopics.
Step #3: Finish
Use color pencils or crayons to set information apart and make it appealing to the eye. To complete your mind map, further define the subtopics (and their subtopics) by writing more information about them in each area. Use a different color for each initial subtopic, if possible.
Once you are finished with this, you can begin writing with your creative juices flowing.
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Writing a thesis is an exciting part of your academic career. Not only is it an opportunity for you to display your mastery of the field, it’s also a chance to contribute to the knowledge of the topic in your discipline.
Choosing your thesis topic is the first major step in your journey as a researcher. A well-chosen topic often leads to a study that is timely, relevant, and meaningful. Here are some tips to keep in mind when coming up with your thesis topic.
Start with a broad idea
When brainstorming on your thesis topic, start with a general idea of what you want to cover. Think of a particular topic in your field that interests you and best suits your field of study.
Read on relevant literature
Once you’ve selected a topic, collect articles relating to that topic. Read up on these articles and take notes. One expert note-taking process consists of:
Creating a table with four columns.
- In the first column, write down all the main ideas relevant to the topic you chose.
- In the second column, list down all of the supporting ideas of each main idea.
- In the third column, list the original references or citations used by the article you are reading.
- In the last column, list your remarks or notes regarding the main idea.
Determine gaps in all available literature
While you’re going through articles of related literature, you may begin to notice topics that no other researcher has examined. A thesis paper is basically about “filling in the gaps of the literature” in your field. These gaps may include a certain group that has not been studied, or variables that may not have been previously considered. You can also find gaps in literature by reading the recommendation section of other research papers.
Narrow down your topic
Once you’ve determined possible gaps in the available literature of your chosen topic, decide which gaps you’d like to include in your own thesis topic. The topic you ultimately choose must possess the following qualities:
- It must be timely and address relevant issues that your field is currently facing.
- It is based on a logical rationale that is tied to an established theory.
- The variables are clearly stated.
- It must contribute to the existing body of knowledge available in your field.
Choosing your thesis topic is only the first step of the journey. Writing your thesis can be a challenging journey, with many ups and downs throughout the process. Everything from the introduction to the conclusion of your paper must be well-written and grounded, producing a strong piece that is valuable to your chosen discipline.
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Writing skills are a necessity in school and most people’s everyday life. If you worry about writing, have a tendency to procrastinate, or are fearful about the assignment, here are some tips to help you start writing a strong essay and finish it by deadline.
#1 Set a STRICT final deadline.
Deadlines are important because they compel a writer to get the work in small chunks, within a manageable time frame. If you find that you have difficulty holding yourself accountable, set computer calendar reminders and ask a friend, parent, or someone else to remind you of your goals. Set extra reminders as the final due date approaches.
#2 Set a daily quota.
This will help you reach your deadline and (as mentioned in item #1) break the writing task into easier, more manageable tasks.
#3 Write every day.
Writing every day will help you develop the habit of thinking “I get to write today,” instead of “I have to write today.” (And, if that mental shift doesn’t happen, at least it will be a routine that compels you to get the job done.)
#4 Shut off electronic devices and find a place to write comfortably.
Rid yourself of all distractions which and become more focused on writing an essay that will catches the reader’s’ attention.
#5 Visualize the finished piece.
Be specific in your thought process and visualize exactly what your perfect essay can (and will) look like.
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The terms “proofreading” and “editing” are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are significant differences between the two. Knowing which approach to utilize depends on what you need for a writing assignment. Are you looking for your content to improve in style and/or flow? Or do you need someone to purely remove spelling and grammatical errors?
Refer to this chart to determine whether your writing needs editing or proofreading (or both):
Masters Essay is dedicated to assisting with the creation of superb work for students and writers. We employ writers, editors, and proofreaders who work according to your topic of choice and specifications. Call us today at (800) 573-0840 and we’ll work with you on that formal or academic paper required for school or work.
Presenting a thesis proposal can be challenging for anyone. If you have no experience with this sort of writing or doubt your writing skills, it can be much more stressful. Before writing a thesis, outline your plan. Without a proper proposal, you might get stuck. Here are a few suggestions to help with your approach:
Introduce your idea
The purpose of a thesis proposal is to introduce your idea to the professor. Discuss:
- Which information and ideas upon which you plan to base your thesis
- Why this topic is important to you
- How this effort fits with your academic curriculum, degree, and future pursuits
Use the right information
A thesis requires a large amount effort, research, and writing. Dedicate yourself to finding credible resources. Reliable information will also support your thesis proposal; you’ll have to take the same approach when creating the actual thesis document.
Paint a picture
Provide an outline for what you plan to accomplish. You don’t need to know everything right now. In fact, it’s possible new information will come to light that will change or influence what you write. However, it’s essential to have enough knowledge about your topic to draw a few potential conclusions at the beginning.
If you’re stymied by the idea of a thesis proposal, there’s help available. Masters Essay and our tutors can help right now, and continue to assist after your proposal is approved and you continue with the academic writing of a thesis. Call us at 1-800-573-0840.
If you’ve ever stared at a blank page, trying to conjure the right words and coming up empty, you’re not alone. Many writers, despite being passionate about their craft, find the writing process long and challenging. Here are some unorthodox writing tips to try when you’re stuck on a blank page:
Begin in the Middle
A piece of writing typically starts with an introduction, followed by the body of the piece and the conclusion. However, many writers get stuck at the beginning. You can avoid this by going straight to the body of your piece and writing the introduction last.
Take Your Time
If inspiration eludes you, perhaps it’s time to put the pen down for an hour or two and allow your mind to wander. Try an activity that does not require much mental effort. A long drive, a walk, or even cleaning the house can get your creative juices flowing. Return to your desk when you’re feeling less frustrated.
If this is your first draft, have fun. Let the words flow without censorship and write whatever comes to mind. This gets you “in the zone” and puts words on the page. You’ll be surprised how good some of them might be. Late, you can edit and refine your work.
Remember the Purpose of Writing
To set the proper tone, you must know what you want to accomplish. There are three main goals of writing. Knowing into which category your piece falls will help you keep on track. These are:
- To Inform – Informative pieces educate the readers. They are clear, precise, and (most importantly) objective. If you’re writing to inform, leave out your opinions and stick to the facts.
- To Express – Expressive pieces establish human connections, convey values, and contribute to culture. They generally have a more casual tone and structure, and often include feelings and opinions.
- To Persuade – Persuasive pieces are a serious form of writing meant to change the mind of the reader, or at least make them question their stance. A persuasive piece must be backed by reliable sources and based on facts to maintain its credibility.
Given the time and effort writing requires, even professional writers experience writer’s block sometimes. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you get stuck. Use these tips, or get assistance from professional writers and editors to complete your piece.
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Writing can sometimes be a fickle mistress, and even the most gifted writers occasionally experience writer’s block. Here are some ways to combat it. And if you can’t overcome your challenge, call Master’s Essay for help with writer’s block:
1. Engage the brain artistically.
Make a collage, paint, build something with Play-Doh: No matter what small artistic task you choose, continue to engage your creativity. Using your brain in a different way can get you back into the flow of writing much quicker.
2. Do some “free-writing.”
Step away from writing on your subject and free-write, using your stream of consciousness. By writing about whatever comes to mind, you may train your brain to tap into the very wording that’s eluded you. Remember, when you free-writing you are not working on a project. Avoid punctuation, avoid thinking about the audience; just write.
3. Get your blood flowing.
Distraction is key. If you can take a walk, go for a run, ride a bike, or hit the gym. Doing something physically active helps get creative juices flowing. Natural endorphins have wonderful influence on the brain.
4. Brainstorm/use bullet points.
Brainstorm and feel free to pursue different approaches to your topic, no matter how silly they may seem at the time. By looking at something at more than one angle, it will help pull out of writer’s block funk. You will naturally come up with new ideas by looking at everything with a different perspective.
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