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):
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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.
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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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An analytical essay is one which provides an analysis of a piece of writing without merely summarizing the text. An analytical essay shouldn’t read like a book report, but rather provide an in-depth discussion about the themes and imagery. Effectively argue your points, backed up by textual evidence to support your claims.
For an effective essay, write an introduction that grabs your reader’s attention and gets their interest from the very first sentence. Once you’ve got the audience’s attention, lay out your thesis statement describing your intent. After that, the body of your essay will provide some supporting points and paragraphs. This content should keep the reader interested; the best way to accomplish this is to give each claim its own paragraph.
The basic analytical essay is written in a five-paragraph format:
- Introduction – the thesis statement
- Three supporting paragraphs
- Conclusion – recap what you said and further argue your thesis
Depending on your instructor’s requirements, you might need more supporting paragraphs. Support your claims by using specific examples from the text. Either use direct quotes from the text or paraphrase, but always properly cite your source(s).
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Writing a powerful essay requires fully understanding the words you use, whether writing about a simple or complex subject. Proper word usage is necessary to convey the message to your audience and allows the reader to comprehend what you are trying to say. Here are some of the most commonly confused/misused words found in essays:
The words “accept” and “except” are homophones and easy to misuse, especially when writing in a rush. Knowing the difference between the two can help you choose the correct word. “Accept” means to receive something willingly. Example: She was eager to accept her new engagement ring. The word “except” means to exclude. Example: He was eager to begin his new job, except for the fact he would have to relocate.
If you share a positive thought about something or someone, you are giving a “compliment.” Example: He received a compliment for his outstanding performance. When something “complements” another, the two items/ideas go well together. Example: My husband’s love for cooking complements my passion for baking.
The word “effect” is a noun describing the impact of an event or feeling. Example: The effect my professor had on me was immeasurable. “Affect” is an adjective that describes an action. Example: The devastating storms likely affect the population of the small town.
Desert and dessert are easily mistaken because of their similar spelling. If you are out on a dry, hot day, you might say “It feels like a desert out here.” On the other hand, a delicious, sweet after-dinner treat is a “dessert.”
“Capitol” is generally used to describe a city where the government of a state or country resides. Example: The capitol of Michigan is located in the city of Lansing. When you are looking to raise money for any reason (such as a business investment), you are seeking “capital.” Example: We were able to raise $2 million in capital this year alone.
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Finding a compelling topic for your research paper is a step by step process; don’t rush and reap the rewards Call Masters Essay in Ontario for assistance.
Challenge and Engage
The best thing to do is choose a topic that interests and challenges you simultaneously. It shouldn’t be something that’s too difficult to handle; don’t bite off more than you can chew. The topic should be thought provoking and grab the reader’s interest immediately.
Next, consider the scope of the essay. If the topic you choose is too narrow, it may be difficult to find research material. If the topic is too broad, it runs the risk of seeming too boring for the reader.
Do plenty of investigation on the topic. At this stage you’ll discover how compelling the topic truly can be, and save time if you decide to scrap it for a better idea. If you have a general idea in mind, research anything that could be associated with it to learn more and create an interesting essay. For example, if you choose to write about farming, consider other topics such as free trade agreements, weather patterns, transportation, and fertilizers.
What’s the Angle?
Choosing a topic almost always involves choosing an “angle.” Ask yourself, “What am I trying to prove with this essay?” Take into account historical, geographical, and sociological factors. This will help clarify your topic and its focus. Your topic may require final approval from the professor or teacher. Make sure you meet all established guidelines before proceeding with more writing and research.
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Your first step when writing a research paper is the outline. It helps you arrange your thoughts and keeps ideas coherent. Whether the paper is meant to be a lengthy discussion or a short presentation, an outline is a useful guide for the writer. There is no single, correct way to write an outline. The best outline is one you’re comfortable creating and is appropriate for the assignment.
Here are some types of outlines for research papers:
Starting with an informal outline will help you concentrate and list your thoughts. You’ll discover which points you’d like to emphasize, the details you lack, and how you’d like the paper to look. The informal outline consists mainly of words or phrases, with only bullets or numbers as a format. This kind of outline is especially handy when you’re pressed for time and need to draft something quickly.
When writing a more formal or longer paper, or when you have more time to prepare the work, constructing a formal outline is a good idea. You can begin with an informal outline and transform it later With a formal outline, a specific format must be followed. Roman numerals, letters and numbers are used to organize the ideas. The phrase or sentence structure of the main points and supporting points must be the same.
Both formal and informal outlines can be further expanded to form topic or sentence outlines:
In a topic outline, your ideas and explanations are sorted and distributed into different parts. Each part focuses on a certain topic (written in phrase form), and enumerates the details below. The usual format for topic outlines is Roman numerals for the main points, capital letters for the topics under each main point, and numbers for those under the sub-topics.
The sentence outline presents (in sentence form) the proofs supporting your thesis statement. The summary of the entire research paper is embodied in the sentences of this outline. The main points are labelled with Roman numerals, the supporting points for each labelled with capital letters, and details for each supporting point labelled with numbers.
While formal and informal outlines are created before the actual writing of the paper, the reverse outline is developed when you’re done with an initial draft. It can be used to check:
- If the draft accomplishes its purpose
- If all key elements are present
- If the order of ideas makes sense
To create a reverse outline, determine the main idea of each of your paragraphs. When combined, they should form the summary of your thesis statement.
Following an outline helps you keep ideas clear and that you don’t neglect any important information. There can be instances when you need to make changes or add to your outline, but your main points should remain the same.
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If you are a student, you know it can be difficult to write a powerful essay. It can also be daunting if you don’t comprehend the content of the research you read. Here are some tips for writing an A+ worthy essay:
Topic is Key
Having a firm understanding of your topic is important in order to convince the reader. To get an A+, though, the essay needs to stand out from the crowd. If you can add some originality to how you address the topic, this can improve the final grade.
Creating the Thesis
First, concentrate on the thesis, as it’s through line of thought that holds your essay. Brainstorm ideas that will become your arguments. Don’t buy into the myth that having three arguments is necessary. Having one strong argument can be enough to convince your reader. But if you have developed several good, convincing arguments, by all means, use them.
The hook (also known as the attention grabber) is included in the introduction and is used to spark a reader’s interest. Your hook is also used in the conclusion. The attention grabber can be in the form of a question regarding the topic, but should cover a broader thought which then leads into the thesis. By adding the hook to the conclusion, you provide an answer to the initial question that got your reader’s attention. Giving a thorough answer will allow your reader to fully understand the writer’s point of view.
Research, Research, Research
Research plays a crucial role in an essay, so make sure you have all of the facts to help explain your arguments. The library or internet are great places to begin seeking information to back up your thesis. While researching and using the information, create a bibliography to recognize the resources you used.
Connect each section of your essay with a transition statement. These allow your essay to read smoothly from beginning to end.
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Citation is the process by which you give proper attribution to authors of materials you used to form a thesis. Without proper citation and corresponding bibliographical references listed at the end of a paper, you could be accused of plagiarism or unfounded/unsupported statements and conclusions. Experienced writers in Toronto and surrounding areas recommend the following steps:
There are various writing styles and citation formats to consider:
- APA (American Psychological Association)
- MLA (Modern Language Association)
- Chicago Manual of Style /Turabian
- CBE (Council of Biology Editors)
- CGOS (Columbia Guide to Online Style)
Check Your Citations
Make sure your paper meets the necessary citation and reference list criteria:
- Are all references cited in the text?
- Are all the citations mentioned in the reference list?
- Are all entries in alphabetical and numerical order?
- Do reference list entries have basic, required information (e.g. author/s, publication year, title, page number, DOI Digital Object Identifier, URL, etc. )
- Do the in-text citations with multiple authors have the correct number of names and use of “et al.” appropriately?
- Are the names of the authors spelled correctly (and use either full first name or first initial as required by the chosen style format)?
- Are the titles accurate?
- Do various papers written by the same author(s) have the proper use of “ibid.” or “op cit” in the in-text citations?
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