The internet is absolute research gold for the student essay-writer. But NEVER copy and paste ANYTHING from the internet! All schools now use special software to detect plagiarism by cross-checking your words with published sites on the web. Paraphrase and properly cite everything you find online. If you must use the exact words found online, use quotations and cite the source properly.
Make sure proper format is followed throughout your paper! Improper formatting is by far the silliest mistake students make on their essays, partially because formatting is very easy to do if you follow the guidelines. The guidelines for the most popular and widely-used formats (MLA, APA, and the Chicago Manual of Style) are all described here in great detail: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/
There is nothing more disheartening than getting an essay back from your professor only to find that you didn’t follow proper instructions. You wrote a great paper, but after a few formatting issues here and a missed source there, your mark was significantly lower than it should be. Talk to your professors and teaching assistants about your paper BEFORE you hand in your paper and you will never be charged for any silly mistakes again.
Double-clicking on the top of your page document in Microsoft Word accesses the header of your paper. Here you can type in any headers you want for your essay. Be careful! Headers are universal throughout (i.e. every page will have the same header). If you want page numbers, there’s a different button for that.
The thesaurus: A writer’s best friend. Just be sure not to use the same adverbs over and over in the same essay. If you properly use words you appropriately looked up in a thesaurus, then your essay will aptly portray your ideas in a more accurate fashion. On the other hand, using extremely normal words can extremely lower your essay’s value and extremely bore and annoy the reader…extremely.
So you’ve found the perfect article to research and cite for your essay but you could do with more. Simply look up the sources that your perfect article cited itself. Usually there is a link to these citations (as in Google Scholar and PubMed). If not, scroll down to the end of the article and look at the reference list/bibliography. They’re all there!
Have an essay to do on life sciences? Search PubMed for all your research needs. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ has over 20 million peer-reviewed, academic articles from journals all around the world! Many are available as a free full-text PDF download. If not, you can always check out the summary page for quick referencing.
If you are struggling to find proper academic sources for your essay, don’t fret! Google Scholar has tons of free peer-reviewed articles and academic sources for you to peruse and even download for free. Simply go to www.scholar.google.com and type in any keywords associated with your essay. Voila! You are on your way to discovering hundreds of free academic sources to research for your essay.
How many times has this happened to you? You’ve completed your essay after hours of arduous work and you edit it all with the click of a button. You then get back your essay with a lower grade than you expected including a plethora of misspellings, grammar mistakes, and inconsistencies in your work. Many writers are under the impression that spell-check is a sufficient editor for their papers. We are here to tell you that it could not be further from the truth.
Of course, spell-check is great at catching spelling errors. It crosschecks a finished typed word with the words in its database (i.e. the dictionary) and if the words do no match, it provides the author with an alert and a suggestion for replacement. However, sometimes an author completes a word that may not be appropriate in context, but is spelled correctly. For example, if you wrote “fetched a pale of water”, spell-check would not pick up on that and you would hand your work in with an embarrassing error (the correct word in that context is pail). There are an infinite number of examples and scenarios this author has seen in papers exhibiting this same problem.
Oftentimes, if the sentence does not make sense grammatically, spell-check will provide an alert for that as well. But again, it does not pick up on everything. Consider the following phrase: “When they got to the house, they are laughing.” Obviously, the sentence does not use the rules of grammar properly but spell-check overlooks this type of writing. The only way to avoid these types of blunders is to read and re-read your work until you have fished out all the errors. Once you have done that, allow someone else to read it as well. They will usually point out some errors you may have missed in your editing.
There are some other general tips to follow that no editing software in the world (including spell-check) will offer the writer. The tense of the paper is probably the most frequently misused in all of postsecondary essay-writing. Before you begin your paper, think about the most effective tense to use throughout your work. The most often used is past tense, although some articles use present tense or a mix of the two. This is done when writing a type of response essay like a review of a text or an article. “I found the book to be very entertaining. It is both gripping and magical.” This sentence is an example of mixing tense effectively. Sometimes authors will flip-flop between the two tenses and will not be consistent so watch out for that as well. Usually as long as your tense is consistent, it will read well and be pleasing to the reader.
Using ‘he’, ‘she’, or even ‘he or she’ is not an effective way of referring to someone in your paper. For example, “when a doctor prescribes medicine, he or she will provide his or her patient with a dosage.” A much more effective way of referring to someone in your essay is by using the words ‘they’ and ‘their’. So, this sentence becomes, “when a doctor prescribes medicine, they will provide their patient with a dosage.” It may take some getting used to, but if you have not made a habit of it yet, start using this method of reference in your papers. It is much more pleasing to the reader.
Sometimes, essay instructions will prohibit the use of the word ‘I’ in your paper. As a rule, this author generally does not use the word ‘I’ as it creates an unprofessional and incredulous quality to your paper and shifts it to more of an opinion page. Thus, unless otherwise stated, try not use the word ‘I’ in any of your non-opinion papers and instead use ‘this author’ if you must place an opinion on something or talk about a personal experience. It sounds much more professional, and again, is pleasing to the reader.
Besides from the absolute rules of English grammar, spelling, and punctuation, there are ways of forming your essay to make the reader feel better about your work. Writing is very much a one-sided conversation, so try your best to keep the reader engaged and aesthetically pleased with your work. Have a question? Ask the fine experts at CanadianEssays.com.
Whether writing a paper on Shakespeare’s tragedies or a report on the principles of microeconomics, all great papers have the same thing in common and that is good structure. An essay that is properly structured is always aware of the reader and constantly making sure they are involved or excited by what is written. Now of course, some topics are harder to make interesting or captivating than others, but it will not matter if the essay has good structure. The reader will get lost in the pages no matter how boring the topic may sound in plain conversation. By performing a number of simple tricks, the author can assure that the reader will not only read the paper, but will feel good about it when they have finished. This is the simple secret of all well-written assignments and publications, and the difference between an ‘A’ paper and ‘A+’ paper.
The easiest but most widely violated practice in essay writing is good paragraph structure. The reason why this author uses ‘good’ and not ‘proper’ is because there is no such incident as ‘proper paragraph structure’ other than indenting the first line of the paragraph. And for you, the reader, to understand this point is to understand what paragraphs are for. They were invented to keep the reader reading with more involvement. That is all.
If this article was written as one long paragraph, you would glance at it and think, “Oh my, I have to read all this?” But if I divide up the sentences into tinier boxes, it is psychologically more pleasing to the reader’s eyes. After all, what is more fun to read: A long publication or a book of 1,000 popular quotes and sayings? People like to compartmentalize, and that goes for reading too. So use more paragraphs. Typically 3-4 sentences works best, or just zoom out and take a look. Make sure it looks pleasing from the outside.
The second thing good writers always make sure of is that their vocabulary is as extensive and diverse as possible. For readers, it is very displeasing to read the same words used in different sentences again and again. Not only that, but if you are using a variety of words in your paper, chances are you will strike the reader’s attention with one of those words and reinvigorate their enthusiasm in your paper. While people are reading, their attention level spikes when they see a harder word they understand. Use a thesaurus and boredom will never be a problem again. Your readers and graders will either feel challenged or excited by your paper so you cannot lose with vocabulary! You will also learn some great words on the way.
The third and most important factor in all great papers is general essay flow. It is the hardest thing to achieve, but if done properly, the reader will not feel like reading your paper was work, but rather, a pleasure. A lot of essays and publications are a pain to read because the essay has no flow whatsoever; ideas are thrown around all over the page, words are used in improper context, facts are irrelevant to the arguments, and the list goes on and on.
Most of the time, while the paper is being written, the author will not be able to catch the intricacies of where exactly they lose the reader among the many words and ideas in their paper. This is why correcting general essay flow requires you to read your whole paper from start to finish a few times while monitoring your interest in your own paper. If you are not interested in your writing, no one will be. The best thing you can do after you are happy with it, is to let someone else read it (preferably someone honest) and ask them specifically what parts they liked and if or when they ever lost interest in the paper.
The greatest thing you can do as an author is to be honest with yourself. Do you like your essay? If not, return to what parts you do not like and redo them. If you are not confident in your own writing, no one else will be either. You should be enthusiastic about every work you complete and submit as they are representative of your ideas and hard work. Remember, your friends at CanadianEssays.com are always here to help.